Crime and Justice
Broadly, Crime & Justice covers policy issues, theories, and strategies relating to criminology and criminal justice. Perhaps one of the most common areas of concern within US society is the topic of crime. Whether raised in the political arena, portrayed in blockbuster movies that unnerve our sense of security, or discussed in every day conversations, there is a pervading fear of crime that often drives daily behaviors—sometimes in unconscious ways. What exactly is crime? How do we define it? Who commits it? And why does it feel like what we fear changes on a moment’s notice? In this class, we will focus on the social construction of crime in order to dissect how we come to understand what crime is and how we respond to it.
Broadly, Community Corrections covers the limitations of incarceration and the potential of community based alternatives. We will focus on two major forms of community supervision: probation and parole. Because community supervision varies from state-to-state, this course will focus on aspects of probation and parole that are common among the systems. By the time this course is over, you should be able to discuss the various ways in which individuals are placed on community supervision, what it means to work as a probation or parole agent, and what it means to be on community supervision. You should also be able to think more critically about community supervision and community policies.