|Justice Studies Courses
The justice studies major will be available starting in fall 2021.
Note: The letter Q in the course number designates writing-intensive courses.
Reducing Local Crime (3)
This course relates urban design and management to crime and crime prevention. The course is presented through the critical lens of problem-oriented policing and situational crime prevention to reduce local crime. It emphasizes data-informed decision-making, community engagement, efficient utilization of resources, transparency, and sustainability. This course provides a practical study of policies and programs that demonstrates how police and other organizations can address crime vulnerabilities and exposures in the communities they serve through strategies that go beyond specific deterrence of offending.
Constitutional Issues in Criminal Justice (3)
This course explores the U.S. Constitution and how it regulates the criminal justice system processes. The course will provide a historical overview of the Constitution, the formation of the legal system, and the evolution of the Constitution through its Amendments.
Criminal Justice: Ethical and Philosophical Foundations (3)
This course explores ethical and philosophical issues and moral dilemmas within the field of criminal justice, including principles of justice, deontology and utilitarianism, philosophical issues in sentencing, police and ethics, ethics and research, and the scope of state control are discussed in this course.
Criminal Justice Research Methods (3)
This course develops the tools needed for conducting research and writing reports and scholarly papers in criminal justice. This course provides the tools to be an informed consumer of criminological research and to conduct basic research projects. Specific topics include the primacy of design, principles of reliability and validity, sampling theory, survey preparation, experiments and quasi-experiments, and qualitative designs (intensive interviews, content analysis, and ethnography).
Data Analysis in Criminal Justice (3)
This course examines the various types of data used within criminal justice and the fundamentals of statistics and analysis. It also provides an analysis of the appropriate use of data, the limits of various methods, how data are collected, and how to interpret findings. Policy implications of data will also be discussed.
Prerequisites: 47:202:301 and the basic undergraduate math requirement.
Comparative Criminal Justice Systems (3)
This course reviews theories and methods for comparative research, describes limits and advantages of comparative data, and discusses how comparative research can inform criminal justice policies. Specific topics include the role of history and politics in shaping approaches to law enforcement and punishment, the contribution of police and prisons to racial inequality, and the global diffusion of criminal justice ideas, laws, and practices.
Gender, Crime, and Justice (3)
This course provides an in-depth survey of changing social values about gender, changing criminal codes about sex crimes, changing law enforcement policies and procedures in prosecuting sex crimes, and emerging legal doctrines about privacy and sexual rights. Gender differences in crime commission and the types of crimes committed, as well as issues centering on criminal justice processing are explored.
Violent Crime (3)
This course provides an in-depth analysis of the relationship between violence and criminal behavior. It assesses the theoretical basis of violence by investigating its anthropological, biological, and sociological explanations and roots. It includes in-depth investigations of how and why violence occurs within the contexts of individuals, groups, and societies.
Race and Crime (3)
This course examines how race is related to crime, victimization, punishment, and interactions with the criminal justice system. The course considers how race is defined at societal-, cultural-, and individual-levels, how these definitions are malleable, and how this impacts criminal justice policy.
White-Collar Crime (3)
This course focuses on crimes organized by persons whose economic, political, and/or privileged positions facilitate the commission of illegal activities. The course will include critical assessments of how white-collar crime is defined and understood, and the similarities and differences between white-collar crimes and other criminal activities. The costs, investigative procedures, challenges with measuring, and long-term potential consequences of white-collar crimes are discussed.
Prerequisites: 47:202:102 and 47:202:103.
Crime in Different Cultures (3)
This course explores crime through the critical lens of anthropology by situating criminal acts as consequences of the complexity and nuances of human interactivity and cultural heterogeneity. Crime and punishment in other societies, especially non-Western societies that lack institutional systems of criminal justice, and the social evolution of crime and crime-related institutions throughout the United States of America's history are particular topics that are discussed in this course.
Prerequisites: 47:202:102 and 47:202:103.
Mass Incarceration and Collateral Consequences (3)
This course examines trends in mass incarceration, their sources, and their direct and indirect effects on society. Since 1970, incarceration rates in the United States have quintupled and are now higher than those in any other country in the world. These huge increases in mass incarceration over a short period of time have persisted through periods when crime was rising, and even in the more recent time periods when crime has been falling. Apart from the dubious effects of mass incarceration on public safety suggested by these divergent trends, mass incarceration also has substantial collateral consequences across society, affecting families, communities, the labor market, the military, political processes, and the use of taxpayer dollars.
Miscarriages of Justice (3)
This course provides a critical and interdisciplinary examination of the current functioning of the American criminal justice system, focusing specifically on the procedures used by various criminal justice actors that can lead to errors in case processing and unjust outcomes. This course examines policies and practices of the United States' criminal justice system (e.g., police procedure, prosecution, jury selection, scientific evidence, appellate court procedures, etc.) that unintentionally contribute to the wrongful apprehension, prosecution, conviction, incarceration, and even execution of the innocent. The course explores the collateral consequences of punishing "false positives," including implications for undermining the legitimacy of the criminal justice system and allowing impunity for culpable offenders who remain at-large.
Topics in Criminal Justice (3)
Vary per semester.
Internship in Criminal Justice (3)
The Pursuit of Justice (3)
This course surveys philosophies and strategies regarding structures of justice. The class begins with a review of the differences between retributive and distributive justice and how they are related. This analysis leads to a broader discussion of "what justice means," both historically and in contemporary thinking. The course will explore an array of ideas about justice in social relations and in response to the law.
American society tends to hold itself up as an arbiter of justice and equality, domestically and globally. Upon scrutiny, however, the topic of inequality reveals itself to be an epistemological aporia in which starkly oppositional ideas and frameworks are all held up as social goods, whether within American social practice, theoretical debate, academic discourse, or lived experience. This course addresses one, central question: How is it that institutions and nations with expressed intentions of achieving freedom, justice, fairness, and democratic thriving often end up both exacerbating injustice and deepening inequality?
Topics in Justice Studies (3)
Vary per semester.
Senior Thesis I (3)
This course is a research-based seminar designed for students demonstrating the academic maturity and preparation to pursue a thesis project independently. Students will draw on their knowledge of theory, methods, and policy learned in core and elective courses to analyze and propose
a research plan on an important topic in criminal justice.
Prerequisites: 47:202:301 and 47:202:302.
Senior Thesis II (3)
The senior thesis must be a substantive piece of scholarship involving primary or secondary research, which serves to synthesize knowledge acquired in the justice studies major over the
course of the student's undergraduate career. A senior thesis project should be an original work that ideally makes a contribution to the discipline of justice studies.