CSS 301: Theories of Crime, Criminal Behaviour and Punishment

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, the students should be able to:

  1. appreciate the development of criminology and its sub-disciplines;
  2. discuss the theoretical and methodological perspectives in criminology;
  3. analyse the philosophy and methods of punishment and corrections, including victim and restorative justice;
  4. demonstrate skill in evaluating and applying criminological theories to crime problems in Nigeria; and
  5. evaluate the functions, performance, challenges and prospects of criminal justice administration in Nigeria.
Course Contents

Normative foundation of society and social order (values, norms, rules, laws, social control). Evolution of criminology. Sub-disciplines or sub-specialities of the field. Pioneers in criminology and penology. Positivist and non-positivist approaches to criminology. Typology of crimes. Theoretical perspectives in criminology – bio-psychological. Sociological approaches – strain (anomie), sub-cultural, control. Social learning, developmental, critical, feminist, post-modernist, conflict (social Marxist), routine activity and economic models. Traditional and contemporary crime prevention and control strategies.

It also covers philosophies and perspectives on crime and punishment. Criminal justice administration process. Role of criminal justice agencies. Evolution, functions and powers of police and judicial system in Nigeria. Philosophy, theories, types and methods of punishment and correction (retribution, restitution, deterrence, rehabilitation). Custodial and non-custodial treatment of offenders. Victims of injustice and restorative justice. Assessment of the application of criminological theories in Nigeria and evaluation of criminal justice administration in Nigeria.