Rationale

Social work practitioners and human rights activists working with marginalized groups are grappling with contemporary debates in criminal justice such as access to justice, processing of marginalised groups and the increasing use of technology in detection, investigation and prevention of crime. This course will engage with ethical dilemmas around issues such as euthanasia, capital punishment, forensic investigation techniques which need a deeper understanding and analysis. It will also look into the growing menace of cyber crime and the efficacy of related laws to deal with the same.

Objectives

1.            To help students get an overview of the structure of and hierarchy within the different wings of the CJS.

2.            To help students understand issues relating to access to justice and processing of  marginalised groups within the CJS.

3.            To introduce students to forensic sciences and medico-legal aspects of crime investigation.

4.            To help students develop a critical understanding about the use of new technologies in crime investigation and criminal justice processing.

5.            To introduce students to the growing dimensions of cyber crime and discuss the efficacy of laws to deal with the same.

Course Content Summary (as to appear in the Prospectus)

Neo-liberalism and the penal welfare regime, risk society and the surveillance State, use of technology for prevention and detection of crimes, cyber crimes, capital punishment, legalisation of prostitution,  terrorism and counter-terrorism measures, New age corruption and other emerging contemporary issues.

This course introduces students to the issues and challenges in the field of criminology, custodial justice and corrections. Criminal justice settings are typically characterized by situations that reflect a conflict between the citizen and the State and society or some part of it. This conflict gets manifested through enactment of laws that infringe on the life and liberty of citizens and may involve taking individuals into protective or penal custody. These ‘involuntary clients’ are forced by those around them, such a parents, neighbours, and police, to seek counselling, get custodialised or take help of social service agencies. There is also the issue of protection of basic human and legal rights of these citizens while they are in custody. 

 Custodialisation or legal processing (whether as victims or as offenders), leads to social stigma and discrimination. In such situations, it requires a social work response based on dynamics of the situation rather than on the needs of individuals involved. This course will prepare students to respond to typical practice situations in criminal justice settings vis a vis clients, functionaries, families and the community.

 

Objectives

 

  1. To familiarise students with the need for specialized skills and tools to work in the field of criminology, custodial justice, corrections and rehabilitation.

 

  1. To develop a theoretical understanding of field realities and awareness of self as an instrument of change.

 

  1. To orient students to methods such as advocacy, judicial intervention, working with the system, legal awareness and aid, media relations and effective communication in criminal justice.

 

Course Content Summary (as to appear in the Prospectus)

 

Objectives of social work practice in authoritarian settings - Involuntary client - Therapeutic, behaviour modification and social conflict perspective  - Strategies of working in open and closed settings - Issues around working with children, youth and adults - Engaging with the system and the community - Intersections of social work with justice apparatus - Self as an instrument of change -  Advocacy tools in CJS - Ethical dilemmas and challenges.

 

 

Unit No.

Topics

No. Of Hours

1

Objectives   of social work practice in authoritarian settings

2

2

Involuntary   client

2

3

Therapeutic, behaviour   modification and social conflict perspective

4

4

Strategies of working in open and   closed settings

2

5

Issues around working with   children, youth and adults

2

6

Engaging with the system and the   community

2

7

Intersections of social work with   justice apparatus

4

8

Self as an instrument of change

2

9

Advocacy tools in CJS

8

10

Ethical dilemmas and challenges

2

 

Total

30

With increasing crime in society both in terms of types and levels, there has been a concerted attempt by the State and criminal justice agencies to focus on prevention as a method of reducing crime. Citizen participation in crime prevention is essential if results are to be achieved in this area. Social workers in collaboration with State actors can play a crucial role in involving the community to achieve better results in reducing crime through prevention. This course will focus on groups vulnerable to violence and crime, site specific crimes, and discuss the role that social workers can play in the prevention of such crimes. The course would also focus on development of prevention strategies with regard to specific types of crimes and against specific groups which are particularly vulnerable to victimization.