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Forensic Psychology – Criminality

5. The Aims of Imprisonment

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In this module, we turn to consider the criminal justice system, focussing in particular on the aims of imprisonment. We begin by exploring the history of prisons as part of the penal system and think about the wide variety of prisons that can be found in different countries today. We then discuss the four primary objectives of imprisonment, including (i) incapacitation, (ii) retribution, (iii) deterrence and (iv) rehabilitation.


In this course, Prof. Francis Pakes (University of Portsmouth) discusses some issues in Criminal Psychology. In module one, we think about Lombroso and the notion of the ‘born criminal’ before moving on, in module two, to discuss genetic explanations of crime more broadly. Next, we examine cognitive explanations of crime, focussing in particular on moral reasoning in module three and cognitive distortions in module four. In the final part of the course, we turn to consider the criminal justice system, focussing on the aims of imprisonment in module five and the problem of recidivism in module six.


Francis is Professor in Criminology. He studied psychology in Groningen (the Netherlands) and received his PhD from Leiden University (the Netherlands). He joined the University of Portsmouth in 1998. Francis has a keen interest in comparative criminal justice and the role of globalisation and shaping criminal justice across the globe. His background in psychology serves him well in studying issues of mental health and criminal justice and other vulnerable and excluded populations. He is an expert on prisons, crime and justice in the Netherlands and regularly features in the media discussing prisons, violent crime and other crime and justice related issues.

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APA style

Pakes, F. (2019, October 22). Forensic Psychology – Criminality - The Aims of Imprisonment [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Pakes, F. "Forensic Psychology – Criminality – The Aims of Imprisonment ." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 22 Oct 2019,

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