JST320 Drugs, Crime and Society (8)

The link between drug use and crime remains a central issue for contemporary criminal justice. This subject examines social, legal and political responses to illicit and licit drug use and abuse in contemporary society. Students will examine domestic and international debates on the current 'war against drugs' and the policing of illicit drugs. The relationship between key social concepts such as race, gender and ethnicity, and official and unofficial interventions, will be explored. Also considered are a range of interventions inside and outside the criminal justice system.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Bathurst Campus
Session 3 (90)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: JST320. 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

Assumed Knowledge

Any JST Level 2 subject

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to explain the history, social construction and criminalisation of drug use including concepts such as addiction;
  • be able to describe patterns of drug use and abuse across a variety of historical, cultural, national and international settings;
  • be able to describe the main issues concerning the policing of drug markets;
  • be able to identify and compare the political, social and economic implications of contemporary drug policies; and
  • be able to critically analyse a range of political, criminal justice and medical AOD use/abuse interventions


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • History & nature of drug use in Australia
  • Theories of Drug Use
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Drugs & Illicit Drug Trading
  • Drugs & Crime
  • Organised Crime & Drugs
  • Transnational Crime & Drugs
  • Drug Control Policy & Practice
  • Drug Treatment & Prevention

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of JST320 in Session 1 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 %
Online quiz
Short answer exercise

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.