547 Criminal Justice Policy: Crime, Politics, and the Media

This course will focus on various changes in criminal justice policy that occurred in during the last four decades (e.g., changes in sentencing law and policy, increased incarceration rates, and the "war on drugs") and will explore some of the factors that brought about those changes. To what degree were these changes responses to changes in the rates and types of crimes experienced in the U.S.? To what degree were these changes prompted by political campaigns and strategies, or by a media-induced sense of crisis? What factors determine how the media covers crime and criminal justice? And how does media coverage affect public opinion? How do the U.S. politics of crime vary from that of other countries? Readings will include legal materials that will probe and analyze statutory and administrative changes, as well as interdisciplinary readings.

Course Areas of Practice
Course Type
Seminar
Learning Outcomes
Legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context
2019
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

547.01 2
  • Reflection Papers
  • Group project
  • Class participation
Sara Sun Beale M 6:00-7:50 PM 4046

This course will focus on various changes in criminal justice policy that occurred in the last 30 years (e.g., changes in sentencing law and policy, increased incarceration rates, and the "war on drugs") and seek to identify the factors that brought about those changes. To what degree were these changes responses to changes in the rates and types of crimes experienced in the U.S.? To what degree were these changes prompted by political campaigns and strategies, or by a media produced sense of crisis? Readings will include legal materials which will probe and analyze statutory and administrative changes, as well as interdisciplinary readings. Each student will prepare six short (4-5 page) papers responding to the course readings, and will take part in a group presentation on a topic selected by class members.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None
2016
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

547.01 2
  • Reflection Papers
  • Final paper (10+ pages in length)
  • Group project
  • Class participation
Sara Sun Beale Tu 5:45-7:35 PM 4046

This course will focus on various changes in criminal justice policy that occurred in the last 30 years (e.g., changes in sentencing law and policy, increased incarceration rates, and the "war on drugs") and seek to identify the factors that brought about those changes. To what degree were these changes responses to changes in the rates and types of crimes experienced in the U.S.? To what degree were these changes prompted by political campaigns and strategies, or by a media produced sense of crisis? Readings will include legal materials which will probe and analyze statutory and administrative changes, as well as interdisciplinary readings. Each student will prepare six short (4-5 page) papers responding to the course readings, and will take part in a group presentation on a topic selected by class members.

Syllabus: PDF icon 547.01.Fall2016-syllabus.pdf

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.