JST203 Punishment and the State (8)

Punishment and the State examines the practice of punishment focusing on the different ways punishment has historically been understood, justified and implemented. The subject examines punishment as a social institution, through recognition of the relationship between formal forms of punishment and the mechanisms of social control embedded within everyday social practices. A range of perspectives on punishment are explored and applied to a critique of both the use of imprisonment as well as non- custodial 'alternatives'. Contemporary issues such as managerialism and privatisation, and the increasing emphasis on risk and actuarialism in custodial and community punishments, are also examined.


Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Bathurst Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: JST203. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Centre for Law and Justice

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the development of the State's use of punishment and the central place of the prison in this process;
  • be able to identify the main critiques of conventional punishment;
  • be able to describe the ways in which disciplinary power is exercised beyond the confines of the criminal justice system;
  • be able to appraise the processes of punishment, including imprisonment and community sanctions, and describe their intended and unintended consequences; and
  • be able to analyse contemporary forms of punishment and how they impact deferentially on groups in society with emphasis on Indigenous Australians.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Sociological and critical perspectives on punishment
  • History, theories and goals of punishment
  • Contemporary issues and trends in punishment

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of JST203 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
1st multiple choice quiz
2nd multiple choice quiz
3rd multiple choice quiz
Case study critical reflection
Take home exam

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.