International and Greek Penitentiary Policy

COURSE TITLE International and Greek Penitentiary Policy
If the ECTS Credits are distributed in distinct parts of the course e.g. lectures, labs etc. If the ECTS Credits are awarded to the whole course, then please indicate the teaching hours per week and the corresponding ECTS Credits.
3 6
Please, add lines if necessary. Teaching methods and organization of the course are described in section 4.

Background, General Knowledge, Scientific Area, Skill Development

Scientific area
Learning Outcomes
Please describe the learning outcomes of the course: Knowledge, skills and abilities acquired after the successful completion of the course.
Students are expected to know:

– the historical process through which the means and methods of penal repression have been formed,

– the diverse theoretical foundations and orientations affecting national and international penitentiary policies, with emphasis on European penological discourses and realities,

– custodial penitentiary institutions and community sanctions and measures, trends and problematic aspects of penal repression and the critical approaches questioning this specific field of formal social control.

Based on this knowledge, students will be able to participate, as researchers and practitioners, in drafting and evaluating penitentiary policy programmes, in developing custodial and community treatment interventions for remanded and convicted persons and in implementing respective measures.

The course is the basis for students to attend other criminological sciences lessons taught in the Department and to examine issues of crime and its control, connecting them with the subject of these courses, namely “Criminology”, “Crime Policy and Globalization”, “International and Greek Penitentiary Policy”, “Penal  Phenomenon and Formal Social Control”, “Security and Human Rights”, “Youth, Crime and Penal Repression”,”Victimology and Restorative Justice”, “Special Issues of Criminal Justice and Crime Policy”.  Through the teaching of these subjects, students acquire the necessary basic knowledge on theoretical and applied criminology, including a wide range of measures introduced and implemented to prevent and control crime. Moreover, students are prepared for a more systematic engagement with criminological sciences later on, at postgraduate level.

General Skills
Name the desirable general skills upon successful completion of the module
Search, analysis and synthesis of data and information,


Adaptation to new situations

Decision making

Autonomous work


Working in an international environment

Working in an interdisciplinary environment

Production of new research ideas

Project design and management

Equity and Inclusion

Respect for the natural environment


Demonstration of social, professional and moral responsibility and sensitivity to gender issues

Critical thinking

Promoting free, creative and inductive reasoning

Adaptation to new situations

Working in an international environment

Working in an interdisciplinary environment

Production of new research ideas

Project design and management

Equity and Inclusion

Demonstration of social, professional and moral responsibility and sensitivity to gender issues

Critical thinking

Promoting free, creative and inductive reasoning

Elements of history, philosophy and sociology of penal repression and the execution of sentences are combined in this course. It includes analyses of the formation of penal repression means and methods, the purposes and functions of punitive measures in the light of traditional, conventional and revisionist, critical approaches, the content of different penal sanctions and measures, whether custodial (reformatories, prisons etc.) or community based (probation, community service, electronic monitoring) and combinations of these sanctions and measures features.

The rules of international organizations (UN, Council of Europe) for the organization and operation of the services enforcing custodial and community penal sanctions, managing the treatment and protecting the rights of persons remanded or convicted, are discussed together with the respective rules of the Greek legal system and the characteristics of penal and prison reform and penitentiary policy in the 20th and the 21st centuries. Emphasis is put on elements of social policy (education, work, healthcare, communication with family and the wider social environment, social rehabilitation and reintegration) provided by law and organized by the competent services (namely the prison and probation service) for persons subjected to various forms of penal control. The political nature of penality is highlighted, seen as a phenomenon inherent to the exercise of power in different forms of societal organization.

The discussion of these issues is supplemented with student papers based on relevant reports of national authorities, bodies and institutions as well as international organizations and preventive mechanisms or judicial bodies and research centers (the Ombudsperson, the National Commission for Human Rights, the Special Permanent Parliamentary Committee on the penitentiary system and other detention structures, NGOs, the European Court of Human Rights, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the International Centre for Prison Studies etc.). Lectures are enriched with presentations by guest experts, practitioners and individuals who have experienced various forms of penal control and discussions on the content of films or books such as Oliver Hirschbiegel’s “Das Experiment”, Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange, Tony Kaye’s “American History X” and Jacques Audiard’s “Un prophete”.

The course is divided in five wider topics, namely:

1. The penal phenomenon and its political nature. The prerequisites and the distinctiveness of punishment. The development of penal sanctions. Revenge and retaliation, reparation and redress, penal coercion. The state power to punish. The evolutionary approach of the penal phenomenon and its revisionist critique.

2. The objects of penal sanctions (life, liberty, property, status). Justification and philosophical foundations of punishment in history. Theories of punishment. The binary system of sanctions; penalties and security measures.

3. The symbolic and actual functions of punishment in modern western societies. Mass incarceration, prison overcrowding, penal austerity and the social organization of prison. Prison amelioration and abolition as social policy perspectives in the field of penal repression.

4. The turning points of punitive methods. The decline of the death penalty, the shift to custodial sentences and the search for non-custodial alternatives or substitutes. Correctional systems and the individualized treatment of offenders. Utilitarianism (rehabilitation, social reintegration) and neutrality (legality and protection of rights).

5. Rules for the execution of sentences in Greece and abroad, with a focus on Western European jurisdictions. The work of international organizations (UN, Council of Europe), their rules and recommendations and observations of national independent and advisory authorities for custodial and non-custodial sanctions and measures.

Face to face, Distance learning, etc.
Face to face
Use of ICT in Teaching, in Laboratory Education, in Communication with students
Use of ICT in teaching to download documentaries, interviews and use of PPT in classes, use of e-class for teaching material, announcements, exercises and other posting educational activities  and for communicating with students.



The ways and methods of teaching are described in detail.

Lectures, Seminars, Laboratory Exercise, Field Exercise, Bibliographic research & analysis, Tutoring, Internship (Placement), Clinical Exercise, Art Workshop, Interactive learning, Study visits, Study / creation, project, creation, project. Etc.


The supervised and unsupervised workload per activity is indicated here, so that total workload per semester complies to ECTS standards.

Activity Workload/semester
Lectures 39
Interactive teaching 15
Drafting a paper or participation in educational activities 35
Independent study-Research an

d preparation for the exams

Presentation of a Study-Research


Final Written Examination


Student Evaluation

Description of the evaluation process


Assessment Language, Assessment Methods, Formative or Concluding, Multiple Choice Test, Short Answer Questions, Essay Development Questions, Problem Solving, Written Assignment, Essay / Report, Oral Exam, Presentation in audience, Laboratory Report, Clinical examination of a patient, Artistic interpretation, Other/Others


Please indicate all relevant information about the course assessment and how students are informed 

Written exams, 100% or in combination with the optional drafting and oral presentation of papers on specific issues of the lectures, in consultation with the instructors.



Chaidou, A., 2018. Penology-Corrections. Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki (in greek)

Courakis, N., 2009. Penal repression between past and future. Athens – Thessaloniki: Sakkoula (in greek)

Koulouris, N., 2009. Surveillance and criminal justice. Alternative sanctions and the dispersal of prison. Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki (in greek) 


Alexiadis, S., 2001. Corrections. Athens – Thessaloniki: Sakkoula (in greek)

Alexiadis, S.. & Panoussis Y., 2002.  Penitentiary Rules. Athens – Komotini: A.N. Sakkoulas (in greek)

Aloskofis, W., 2010. The informal code of prisoners. Athens – Komotini: A.N. Sakkoulas (in greek)

Archimandritou, M., 2012. The prison as a mode of detention and as a form of execution of sentences. Athens – Thessaloniki: Sakkoula (in greek)

Courakis, N., 2008. Penological theory. Athens – Thessaloniki: Sakkoula (in greek)

Galanou, M., 2011. Correctional treatment and rights of detainees. Athens – Thessaloniki: Sakkoula (in greek)

Giovanoglou, S., 2006. Institutional social reintegration problems for released inmates. Athens – Thessaloniki: Sakkoula (in greek)

Dimopoulos, Ch., 2009. Penitentiary Law. Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki (in greek)

Koulouris, N., 2009. The social (re-)integration of prison. Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki (in greek)

Spinellis, C.D., & Courakis N., 2001. Correctional legislation. Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki (in greek)

Panoussis, Y. [Ed], 2009. Prisons with open gates. Athens – Komotini: A.N. Sakkoulas (in greek)

Pitsela, A., 2006. Social support in the field of criminal justice. Athens – Thessaloniki: Sakkoula (in greek)

Pitsela, A., 2003. International penitentiary policy texts. Athens – Thessaloniki: Sakkoula (in greek)

Ombudsperson [Karydis, V., &. Fytrakis, E. introduction and editing]. 2011. Incarceration and rights. The Ombudsperson view. Athens: Nomiki Vivliothiki (in greek)

Vidali, S.. & Zagoura , P. [Eds]. 2008. Counseling and prison. Athens – Komotini: A.N. Sakkoulas (in greek)

Canton, R. & Dominey, J., 2018. Probation. Abingdon: Routledge

Cavadino, M. & Dignan, J., 2006. Penal Systems. A Comparative Approach. London: Sage Cohen, S., 1985. Visions of Social Control. Cambridge: Polity Press

Coyle, A., Fair H., 2018. A Human Rights Approach to Prison Management. London: Institute for Criminal Policy Research Birkbeck, University of London

Daems, T., van Zyl Smit, D. & Snacken, S., 2013. European Penology?. Oxford: Hart Publishing

Foucault, M., 1977. Discipline and Punish. The birth of the prison. London: Allen Lane

Garland, D., 2001. The Culture of Control.Oxford: Oxford University Press

Jewkes, Y., Crewe, B. & Bennett J. [eds], 2016. Handbook on Prisons.  Abingdon: Routledge

Jewkes, Y. & Johnston, H. [eds], 2006. Prison Readings, Devon: Willan

Matthews, R., 2009. Doing Time. An Introduction to the Sociology of Imprisonment. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan

McNeill, F.& Beyens, K. [eds], 2013. Offender Supervision in Europe. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan

Pratt, J.& Eriksson, A., 2012. Contrasts in Punishment. Abingdon: Routledge

Raynor, P. & Robinson, G., 2009. Rehabilitation, Crime and Justice. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan

Ruggiero, V. & Ryan, M. [eds], 2013. Punishment in Europe. A Critical Anatomy of Penal Systems..Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan

Wacquant, L., 2009. Prisons of Poverty. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Welch, M., 2011. Corrections. A Critical Approach. London and New York: Routledge

White, R., Graham, H., 2010. Working with Offenders. Devon: Willan

Wooldredge, J.D. & Smith, P., 2018. The Oxford Handbook of Prisons and Imprisonment. Oxford: Oxford University Press






Alternative ways of examining a course in emergency situations


Teacher (full name): Nikolaos Koulouris, Associate Professor
Contact details:
Supervisors: (1)
Evaluation methods: (2) Drafting two small papers in the form of answers to questions from a list of topics (100% of the total grade, 50% of 5 units each).
Implementation Instructions: (3) The examination of the course takes place according to the examinations programme, announced by the Secretariat of the Department of Social Policy. Before the exams, students must have registered in e-class with their academic account, otherwise they are excluded. On the day of the exam, the topics of the exam are posted in the field ASSIGNMENTS-EXERCISES, and the students are asked to answer and submit their answers in a file format (word), within the predetermined time of the exam. The answers are submitted in the field “ASSIGNMENTS-EXERCISES” of e-class. During the examination, students can use bibliographic sources, as the topics require critical thinking and deep understanding of the topics.


The papers and presentations students prepare during the semester are taken into account as supporting the grade of the written exams (an up to 3 points bonus). For the bonus grade to be added, students are required to obtain a passable grade in the written examinations (at least 5 out of 10).


Throughout the examination students can communicate with the teachers through the electronic platform at the link of the course. On the same platform, students who are eligible to be examined orally and have declared it to the secretariat, are examined on the same topics of the written examinations.


  • Please write YES or NO
  • Note down the evaluation methods used by the teacher, e.g.
  • written assignment or/and exercises
  • written or oral examination with distance learning methods, provided that the integrity and reliability of the examination are ensured.
  • In the Implementation Instructions section, the teacher notes down clear instructions to the students:


  1. a) in case of written assignment and / or exercises: the deadline (e.g. the last week of the semester), the means of submission, the grading system, the grade percentage of the assignment in the final grade and any other necessary information.
  2. b) in case of oral examination with distance learning methods: the instructions for conducting the examination (e.g. in groups of X people), the way of administration of the questions to be answered, the distance learning platforms to be used, the technical means for the implementation of the examination (microphone, camera, word processor, internet connection, communication platform), the hyperlinks for the examination, the duration of the exam, the grading system, the percentage of the oral exam in the final grade, the ways in which the inviolability and reliability of the exam are ensured and any other necessary information.
  3. c) in case of written examination with distance learning methods: the way of administration of the questions to be answered, the way of submitting the answers, the duration of the exam, the grading system, the percentage of the written exam of the exam in the final grade, the ways in which the integrity and reliability of the exam are ensured and any other necessary information.

There should be an attached list with the Student Registration Numbers only of students eligible to participate in the examination.