Criminal Justice Reform: Theory and Research in Action (30182). 3 units, credit/fail. We are at a pivotal moment with respect to American policing (and arguably the U.S. criminal justice system more generally). Police shootings in Ferguson, North Charleston, Cleveland, and Cincinatti —as well as the death of Eric Garner after police put him in a chokehold in Staten Island and the death of Freddie Gray after he was transported in a police van in Baltimore—have brought national attention to the questions of how police should do their jobs and even how that job should be defined. Perhaps at no point since the 1960’s, when the Kerner Commission wrote an influential report on American policing following a period of widespread urban unrest, have long-held assumptions about the purposes and methods of policing been called so deeply into question. Academics and researchers can and should be a part of the conversation about how to make policing (and all of the components of criminal justice operation) simultaneously more effective, just, and democratic.
Participants in this workshop will explore theories (procedural justice, legitimacy, social network analysis, implicit bias, among others) and empirical findings that are being marshaled to re-think the function and form of policing. They will also engage in research projects and public policy advocacy that aim to give these ideas practical effect. Our immodest goal is that participants should have an opportunity to help define the face of American policing in the 21st century. We meet weekly; preparation and attendance at these discussions are required for credit. If you need to miss a class, please be in touch with the professors in advance of the meeting. Students missing more than two sessions without permission will not receive credit. Graded credit may be available to students who wish to write papers (including Substantial Papers and Supervised Analytic Writing papers) in connection with this course. Enrollment limited to twenty. Permission of the instructors is required. T. Meares and M. Quattlebaum.
Course Bidding: In addition to listing this course among experiential course selections, students should submit a one-paragraph statement of why they would like to join the workshop and what they hope to get out of the course. Students who hve worked on the project in previous terms should indicate that experience in their statement. Statements should be submitted by December 10 at 4:30 p.m.
Note: In addition to the regular meeting time, students accepted in this workshop should hold Tuesday from 4 pm until 5 pm for supervision meetings for their experiential work. The instructors will meet with each experiential group for one hour on most Tuesdays.