Punishing offenders is one of the central operations of the criminal justice system and is expected by the public to be carried out dutifully. But why do we punish those who violate the law? Is punishment effective in what it aims to achieve? Are there other alternatives for dealing with offenders apart from the traditional punishment responses? Should the death penalty be re-introduced in Australia? These questions and others will be explored throughout the course to encourage students to think critically about punishment in the context of how current Australian penal policies set about achieving the aims and objectives of punishment. This course is suitable for students who are interested in a career in the criminal justice system, policy development, public service, social justice or social welfare.