Describe contemporary practices of punishment in australia
1. As famously highlighted by Foucault, consider how modernism heralded a move away from the punishment of the body towards the discipline of the soul through surveillance and incarceration. How effectively does Foucault’s concept of discipline describe contemporary practices of punishment in Australia and other Western nations? Use examples to illustrate your argument.
2. Through his concept of “net-widening” Cohen argues that community corrections are not genuinely diversionary, while Scull has argued that a move towards “decarceration” amounts to “malign neglect”. Assess these arguments by considering the pros and cons of community corrections. Use empirical examples to support your argument.
3. Discuss the interplay of retributive and utilitarian justifications for punishment in the social and political push for indefinite or preventive detention for serious sex offenders. Use the concepts of risk and actuarial justice, as well as empirical examples from your lectures, online material, tutorials and your own research in your answer.
4. Is Australia a “dangerous state” (Christie (2000)? If so how, and to whom? If not, why not? Use prison statistics and any reports on the conditions inside Australian prisons to substantiate and justify your argument. You may choose to focus your answer on certain segments of the Australian population and/or one or two states in Australia. You may also choose to use comparative examples from international prison systems.
5. Indigenous Australians are still tremendously over-represented in the Australian prison system. And Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data demonstrates that the women’s imprisonment rate, between 2005 and 2015, has increased by more than 50% (much more rapidly than the male imprisonment rate). Focusing on indigenous groups, women, or both (looking at the intersections of race and gender), consider whether disadvantaged groups are punished differently to dominant groups. If so, how? If not, should they be punished differently in light of their structural circumstances?