• Offered by Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Laws

Prisoners are among the most disadvantaged end-users of the legal system. The way we treat prisoners is contextualised by a variety of historical, social and economic factors. The way we treat prisoners is also contextualised by what we think we know, and what we’re told, about the place of punishment in a modern criminal justice system. Similarly, but often overlooked, the way prisoners are treated is sometimes reflected in the way we teach, train, recruit and support the uniformed and non-uniformed staff who work with and look over them. This course will consider the dilemmas of corrections in Australia and explore the ways in which reform in corrections can lead to improved socio-legal outcomes for prisoners.

The course will give students a better understanding of the theory and contemporary practice of reforming law in the corrections context, and they will participate in learning activities designed to develop understanding of the various reasons for reforming the law in this context. The divide between juvenile justice and adult corrections will be explored, as will pathways to prison (from the outside to the inside). The purpose of punishment and new wave emphasis on rehabilitation will be examined, as will the application of human rights in prisons and the importance of external oversight of the conditions of detention (inside).

The course will also examine the transition and reintegration of prisoners from places of detention to the community (from the inside to the outside). Justice reinvestment will be examined as an example of one framework designed to reform reliance on custodial arrangements.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

At the end of the course, students will:

  •  Have specialised knowledge and skills, especially with respect to research, in the area of corrections and law reform, especially insofar as reforming the law impacts on places of criminal detention in particular.
  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of a complex body of knowledge in the area of law reform efforts in juvenile justice or adult corrections.
  • Be able to analyse critically, reflect upon and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories as they apply in the area of juvenile justice, adult corrections and law reform.
  • Be able to apply knowledge and skills to demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment, adaptability and responsibility as a learner.

Indicative Assessment

Class Participation (inclusive of online discussion 10%)
Short Essay (2,000 words 30%)
Research Project (4,000 words, 60%)

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Intensive Delivery over 4 days

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying in one of the following programs; Master of Laws (7300) Master of Laws (Legal Practice) (7312) Master of Diplomacy/Master of Laws (7883) Graduate Diploma in Law (6300) OR you must be studying one of the following programs; Master of Legal Studies (7305) Master of Environmental Law (7309) Master of Government and Commercial Law (7313) Master of International Law (7310) Master of Law, Governance and Development (7317) Master of International Security Law (7318) Master of Diplomacy/Master of International Law (7893) Graduate Diploma in Law, Governance and Development (6317) Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies (6305) Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law (6309) Graduate Diploma in Government and Commercial Law (6313) Graduate Diploma in International Law (6310) Graduate Diploma in International Security Law (6318) Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (6303) Graduate Certificate in Environmental Law (6351) AND have successfully completed LAWS8015 OR you must be studying a Juris Doctor (7330) and have completed 30 units of 1000 level law (LAWS) courses.

Prescribed Texts

A full reading list will be provided in the Course Outline 6 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1554
2014 $2808
2013 $2676
2012 $2676
2011 $2646
2010 $2592
2009 $2544
2008 $2544
2007 $2544
2006 $2520
2005 $2190
2004 $1836
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2778
2014 $3762
2013 $3582
2012 $3582
2011 $3582
2010 $3576
2009 $3264
2008 $3264
2007 $3264
2006 $3264
2005 $3084
2004 $2778
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Autumn Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1630 01 May 2015 01 May 2015 15 May 2015 04 Jul 2015 In Person N/A

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