Issues in Criminal Justice: Inside-Out Program (21334). 4 units. Since the early 1970s, the criminal justice system in the United States has expanded dramatically. The country has adopted an array of increasingly tough approaches to crime, including aggressive street-level policing, longer sentences, and a range of collateral consequences for criminal convictions. As a result, there are currently 2.2 million persons in prisons and jails and seven million under some form of correctional supervision. The impact on African Americans has been especially profound: In many of our nation's cities, nearly one-half of young black men are in the criminal justice system.
This seminar will focus on the tough-on-crime era’s historical roots. We will also examine the impact on these policies, especially on African-American communities.
The assigned reading will be quite substantial (one book a week, typically 250-300 pages) and will come from a wide variety of sources, including history, sociology, political science, criminology, journalism, and law. Here are examples of books that will likely be on the reading list: Khalil Muhammad, The Condemnation of Blackness; Randall Kennedy, Race, Crime and the Law; Michael Flamm, Law and Order; James Q. Wilson, Thinking About Crime; Michael Tonry, Malign Neglect; Lisa Miller, The Perils of Federalism; Amy Lerman and Vesla Weaver, Arresting Citizenship; Victor Rios, Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys; Alice Goffman, On the Run; David Kennedy, Don’t Shoot; Jill Leovy, Ghettoside; and Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy.
In lieu of an examination, students will write weekly reading response papers and a final paper. Substantial Paper credit is available. Supervised Analytic Writing credit is not available. Paper required. Enrollment limited to eight. J. Forman, Jr.
Update from Professor Forman: I am currently in conversation with the Connecticut Department of Correction regarding the possibility of teaching this course using the Inside-Out methodology, details of which can be found here. If my request is approved this will impact the course curriculum, our meeting location (we would meet inside a state prison), and the day/time that the class is offered. If you bid for this seminar, please do so understanding this uncertainty. As soon as I get confirmation from the DOC and have more details to share, I will send out an announcement.