Overview

What we call Man's power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument.

C. S. Lewis

In this Study Unit, we are going to compare and contrast the state, criminals and technology. We are also going to explore and evaluate the shifting impact of crime, custodial detention and rehabilitation. All this is captured succinctly within the context of prisons. We intend to focus on prisons to help illustrate the learning objectives of this Study Unit. Prisons capture the interplay of incarceration, rehabilitation, punishment, technology, crime, and punishment and state power very effectively. Today, a secure prison in form and a benevolent corrections system in function is the ideal that countries aspire to work towards with the aim of a programme that has pastoral values as its foundation. “Functional corrections systems are also a prerequisite to efforts to tackle “new" global threats, such as violent extremism and transnational organised crime, which are affecting an increasing number of conflict and post-conflict settings” (United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations 2015).