The prison system: does it really work?

This is a Criminology Subject Spotlight with John Greenan from Anglia Ruskin University. An interactive, cinematic course taster experience to allow students to gain insights into what it's like to study Criminology.

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In this fascinating Subject Spotlight, John Greenan, Course Leader for BA Criminology and Policing at Anglia Ruskin University, presents The prison system: does it really work? He begins the Spotlight by discussing the prison system and whether it works, with an introduction to prisons, an exploration of the societal and economic impacts of prison, and the challenges that prisons present. Episode 2 focuses on whether prisons are criminogenic, and looks at some of the theories behind prisons, including labelling theory, social learning theory, deprivation theory and importation theory. Following this, John presents a case study on Norway’s prison system, exploring Norway’s approach to deprivation theory and importation theory, and how it compares with the UK. In the final episode, John looks at funding in UK prisons, compares that to Norway, then presents a budgeting activity for you to have a go at. He then concludes with an overall summary of the Spotlight.

About Anglia Ruskin University

Anglia Ruskin University is an innovative global university with students from 185 countries at our campuses in Cambridge, Chelmsford, Peterborough and Writtle. These students are at the heart of our University, and we're delighted that our final-year undergraduates are positive about their educational experience. Our community is also incredibly important to us, and we're proud of the role we play in our cities and the wider region – including the positive effect on jobs and the local economy. It is this impact that helped us become the THE University of the Year 2023, a prestigious award that recognises our success in delivering high impact projects focused on the difference we make in the region and communities where we’re based as well as the contributions our students and graduates make to society.

Meet the academics

John Greenan

John Greenan is a Lecturer and Course Leader for BA Criminology and Policing in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences at Anglia Ruskin University. John is a criminologist whose research interests lie in terrorism, extremism, radicalisation, penology and specifically studying conditions that influence extremism in the prison system. John commenced his tenure with the criminology team at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in 2022, transitioning from a distinguished career within Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS). As an adept prison specialist, he brings a wealth of expertise, particularly in counterterrorism and operational management. John's academic credentials include a Master of Science in Counterterrorism from The University of Central Lancashire. He is presently engaged in doctoral research at ARU, focusing on the factors influencing Islamist radicalisation within prisons in England and Wales. John teaches on a variety of modules across the criminology programme, focusing mainly on his specialist areas of counterterrorism, penology, and the criminal justice system. In his current capacity, John is leveraging his extensive professional network to foster collaborative ventures between prison management entities and academic circles. These collaborations are aimed at facilitating joint initiatives, encompassing research projects, symposiums, and training workshops. A testament to these efforts was the successful execution of a pilot conference at ARU in March 2023, centred on Prison Intelligence in the Eastern region. Following this achievement, John is actively engaged in consultations to elevate the 2024 conference to a national scale, aspiring to generate substantial societal impact. Concurrently with his doctoral studies, John is devoted to contributing to academic discourse through forthcoming journal publications, which include an exploration of the strategic approaches in managing terrorist prisoners, specifically addressing the debate between containment and dispersal strategies.

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Remarkable & relatable academics

Learn from some of the UK's finest and most decorated academics as they give you a genuine, insightful, and engaging experience of studying their courses at their universities.

Interactive quizzes and activities

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Content to enhance students university applications

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