PUBPOL 475.002

PUBPOL 475.002: Topics: Criminal Justice Reform

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Fall 2020
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Instructor: Broderick Johnson - The United States, by far, leads the world in incarcerating its citizens.  Mass Incarceration has destroyed many lives, ripped apart many families and communities, harmed our economy, and further undermined faith in our justice system.  Its impact on individuals and communities of color has been especially pernicious.  This practicum oriented course on mass incarceration will explore it origins; who and what drove it, and why; the direct and indirect impacts; and even its “beneficiaries.  We will review efforts at federal and state reforms--where they have helped, and where they have fallen short. We also will consider strategies and coalitions that have made, and have the potential to make, reforms possible.  And finally, we will assess how the upcoming 2020 campaigns, especially for the U.S. presidency, will inform the debate and potentially lead to further reform.

The sessions will involve discussions about the key issues, drawing off assigned reading materials, and profiles of real-life perpetrators and victims of crime, and victims and champions of change.  Throughout the course, the students will be designated into smaller groups for purposes of making oral and written advocacy presentations.  Each student also will be expected to draft a brief 3-5 page “briefing memo” that lays out the positions the presidential nominees should adopt with respect to criminal justice reform.    

Combined with PubPol 750.002.