2015-2016 Georgetown Courses Related to Prisons and Justice
AFAM-225 Race, Policy, and Administration: Professor Meredith Anderson (Spring 2016)
This course explores the role of race and ethnicity within public administration and policy. Considering the salience of race in American political life, it is important to understand how it interacts with the bureaucracy and the policy process. Emphasized are issues of representation, inequities in policy outcomes, social constructions of minority populations in policy and administration, and other topics. Specifically, the course will cover the interaction of race with important policy areas such as education, health, welfare, criminal justice, environmental justice and employment. The course will also engage the challenges related to managing and administering policies to racial and ethnic populations. Additionally, we will examine inequities in policy outputs and outcomes.
ANTH-180 Urban Legends, Moral Panics, and Myth: Professor Denise Brennan (Spring 2016)
This course puts under critical review what we think we know about an issue. It provides the analytical tools for students to recognize statistics that defy logic, ideological claims that are passed off as data, moralizing dressed up as human rights issues; and myths that justify exclusion, disenfranchisement, expulsion or incarceration. In short, we will examine the anatomy of myth-making and moral panics and consider the consequences. We will unpack panics and myths around such issues as: human trafficking and the sex trade; gender and sexuality; mail-order brides; migration, refugees, and anchor babies; poverty, violence and incarceration; riots and looting; the American dream and upward mobility; and charitable giving and humanitarian organizations.
ANTH-205 Justice and Media: Professor Amrita Ibrahim (Spring 2016)
This course invites you to a discussion of how media shape our thinking on issues of social justice. We live in exciting and worrisome times: America has had its first African-American president, yet racial inequality continues to be evident in daily life. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry; yet there is opposition to this from conservative and religious groups. The American led War on Terror has led to new political dispensations in Afghanistan and Iraq, but not without tremendous upheaval in the Middle East and increasing suspicion of Muslims within America. The turmoil in the Middle-East, especially the war in Syria, has led hundreds of thousands to flee their homes for refuge in Europe, triggering what many have called the worst humanitarian refugee crisis since World War 2. How are we to respond to and think about these major events? Anthropology is a discipline that takes seriously the stories and experiences of people who seem geographically or culturally distant from us. Using it as a lens, we will take up some of these contemporary civil and human rights questions for exploration. We will also draw on journalism, film, and literature as companions to anthropological texts, to see how they frame similar issues. Taken together, these texts will offer us a variety of perspectives on these important issues. We will focus on a range of topics: the civil rights movement for equal marriage rights; crime and incarceration; sexuality and gendered violence; racial justice; war, terror, and displacement; and poverty and structural violence. We will read ethnographies and watch ethnographic films featuring places that might be familiar to you – such as the U.S. – while others might feel more distant at first, like India. We will read material that straddles locations – like the works of novelists and poets who feel at home in multiple locations. The course will put anthropology in conversation with other forms of writing and visualizing, expanding our understanding of the human condition across cultural and geographic borders. Through your interactions with these texts, you will learn 1) to identify the scope and limits of specific media in their approach to representing issues of social justice; 2) to critique the work that media do in making dominant social structures that are often deeply unequal seem natural and desirable; and 3) to imagine how media might be harnessed in ways to offer alternative social and political futures. Though we will read a variety of texts, the major themes of the class will be arranged around the following ethnographies. Though these are primarily focused on the United States, we will read additional material that takes us further field in terms of regional focus, but intensifies our understanding of the conceptual and thematic problems these books raise.
ANTH-252 Global Race in Motion: Professor Gwendolyn Mikell (Spring 2016)
This course explores how issues of identity, race, and place have been transformed over the past few decades, becoming very fluid phenomena. As globalization brought about new flows of people, resources, and ideas, what it has meant to be ‘african-american,’ ‘anglo,’ ‘african,’ ‘asian,’ ‘middle-eastern,’ or ‘latin’ is in flux. In the 20th century post-colonial world, technology made it possible for global discussions of democracy, human rights, and multiculturalism. Yet the clashes in Ferguson and the racialization of the ‘hijab’ in Europe show us that older tropes of whiteness and blackness have stubbornly resisted change. The greater securitization that resulted after 911 has also brought about clashes between defenders of Anglo-Euro privilege and non-whites demanding greater social and economic justice. This course explores 21st century examples of how these confrontations play out; the tensions over non-white neighbors, migrants, immigrants, and exiles; and the new resistance discourse in non-white youth movements. Students will do research projects that explore these incidences of ‘global race in motion.’
ENGL-338 18th Century Literature of Crime and Criminality: Professor Ashley Cohen (Fall 2015)
Eighteenth-century British fiction is brimming with figures from the criminal underworld. Pickpockets, robbers, rakes, rogues, highwaymen, pirates, prostitutes, vagabonds, cozeners, sharpers, and wreckers parade across the pages of the period’s most important literature. This course investigates the centrality of crime and criminality in eighteenth-century British writing. One of our primary goals will be to contextualize eighteenth-century literature on criminality in light of the period’s social history, which includes the rise of capitalism, urbanization and industrialization, the enclosure of the commons, the intensification of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and the expansion of British imperialism. A second goal will be understand how this literature participated in the “criminalization” of different populations, such as the urban poor, the Irish, “loose” women, and aristocratic libertines. With all of this in mind, we will ask: how did eighteenth-century writers not merely reflect, but also actively engage, debate, and, ultimately, reconfigure the social forces that produced new kinds of crime and new modes of criminality during this period? We will read novels, plays, and poetry by Daniel Defoe, Henry Fielding, Jonathan Gay, Mary Robinson, Oliver Goldsmith, and Maria Edgeworth; as well as criminal biographies, confessions, and the dying speeches of the condemned hanged at the famous gallows at Tyburn in London.
ENGL-406 Race, Law, and Literature: Professor Christine So (Fall 2015)
No description available.
FMST-399 Social Justice Documentary: Professors Bernard Cook and Sky Sitney
Social Justice Documentary takes up three intersecting bodies of knowledge: • Documentary Filmmaking techniques and practices • Film and Media Studies scholarship • Social Justice Theory and the practices of Community Based Organizations in Washington, DC. The course will enable students to collaborate with members of DC-based Community Organizations in order to create documentary video projects and learn about non-fiction video as a tool for social action. Students in Social Justice Documentary will work in small teams to produce short documentary videos about social justice issues as related to the work of Washington, DC-based Community Organizations. At the end of the course students should be able to define, summarize, and interpret documentary theories; have a working knowledge of pre-production, production, and post-production processes that are part of making a documentary video; and be able to formulate and demonstrate ways through which documentary video can be used to meet social justice ends. In addition, students will have gained experience in working as members of video production team—as successful video production heavily depends on cooperation, collaboration, and respect among team members. This is a 4-credit course and will require substantial time outside of scheduled class meetings. This course will include hands-on workshops on camera, lighting, sound, and editing scheduled in additional to regular course meetings.
GOVT-219 Prisons and Punishment: Professor Marc Howard (Fall 2015)
2.3 million Americans currently reside in jails and prisons, often under conditions of severe overcrowding, race-based segregation, and horrific physical and sexual violence. They are granted few (if any) educational opportunities or job training, in stark contrast to many European countries, which operate extensive rehabilitation programs that prepare inmates for their eventual release and reintegration into society. Yet even though prisoners and former prisoners (not to mention their family members) constitute a substantial portion of the American population, they are generally a powerless and forgotten group of people, with few rights or opportunities. Surprisingly, very little is known or taught about prisons and punishment—in the United States or elsewhere. This course will explore these issues in a comparative perspective. It will seek to answer the following questions: Why does the U.S. maintain an incarceration rate that is seven times higher than other democracies, even though Americans are no more likely to be the victims of crimes than are people in other societies? Why is the U.S. one of the few democratic countries to sanction the death penalty? In other words, why is the criminal justice system in this country so much more punitive than in comparable countries? This lecture course will also involve several different formats, including smaller group discussions of certain readings, the viewing of several excellent movies and documentaries that relate to prisons and punishment, and a class “field trip” to an actual prison.
GOVT-225 Race and Ethnicity in the US: Professor Maricella Foster-Molina (Fall 2015)
The Founding Fathers set forth a bold ideal: all men are created equal. They knew it was hypocritical. After all, slavery was an accepted part of life. This course will examine the impact of racial discrimination in the United States, starting with these bold, hypocritical ideals of the political elite in 1776. We’ll uncover the impact of immigration, particularly from Latin America. We’ll examine theories that attempt to explain the roles of race and ethnicity in politics. As the course transitions to modern times, we’ll look at how parties and institutions both helped and hindered racial minorities in the US politics. We will delve into implicit bias, a fundamental component of modern racism. In the process of understanding race in politics, we will explore how charts and graphs can lie, and how they can help us understand reality. The course will end with an examination of our own bold, hypocritical ideals and current issues such as police brutality and racial disparities in our prison system.
GOVX-400 Prison Reform Project: Professor Marc Howard (Spring 2016)
This course is the first in a new line of courses in the Department of Government (designated as GOVX) that follow a non-traditional structure and format, based on different methods and schedules of instruction and learning. “Prison Reform Project” is intended for a small number of highly-motivated students who are passionate about criminal justice and prison reform and are eager to produce an original and informed proposal for changing the existing system of mass incarceration. The class has been scheduled for the Friday 12:30-3:00 p.m. time slot. Although students must keep that time-frame open in their schedules, we will not meet every week. We will convene for sure on January 22, February 19, and April 1. Students will also be meeting within their smaller groups, and consulting independently with the professor, on a regular basis throughout the semester. In addition, pending final approval from the administration at the Jessup Correctional Institution (a maximum-security prison in Maryland), we will hold several (3-5) class sessions at Jessup (hopefully also on Friday early afternoons) with 10 incarcerated students who have previously taken classes with Professor Howard. Students will divided into several smaller groups to work together—both Georgetown and Jessup students side by side—on a specific reform proposal (which could address topics such as policing, sentencing policy, prison conditions, solitary confinement, prison rehabilitation, parole, or societal reentry). Georgetown students will then present the final projects—which can also be in different formats, ranging from a more traditional paper/report to a multi-media presentation—at a larger public event hosted by the Georgetown University Initiative on Prisons and Justice. The course will be restricted to a maximum of 10 Georgetown students, to be selected by the professor. Priority will be given to those students who have previously taken GOVT 219 (“Prisons and Punishment”) and/or those who are currently involved (whether as research assistants or volunteers) in the Initiative on Prisons and Justice.
GOVT-588 Criminal Law and Conflict Resolution: Victims/Witness/Defendants: Professor Brian Kritz (Fall 2015)
Within criminal law, there are three major players in the search for conflict resolution: victims, witness, and defendants. This course will consist of a combination of theoretical and hands-on clinical explorations of domestic and international justice systems from the perspective of these three groups, with the goal of better understanding how criminal court processes impact the resolution of conflict. Included in the course will be meetings with and interviews of victims of crime and survivors of genocide and other mass atrocities, as well as discussions with and about the professional players in the criminal justice system, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, and law enforcement members. The course will include a visit to D.C. Superior Court to view a criminal trial, and culminates in a mock trial where students will portray criminal prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges engaged in the search for truth and justice.
HIST-197 African Americans, 1900 to the present: Professor James Benton (Spring 2016)
This course will identify and explore a variety of themes (economic, political, social, cultural) shaping African Americans and U.S. society, both domestically and on the world stage, since 1900. Special attention will be given to the role of different organizations and social communities in advocating for change, the status of African Americans within U.S. society from 1970 onward, and current civil rights movements and where they stand in historical context.
JUPS-300 Social Movements: Professor Randall Amster (Spring 2016)
Recent years have brought a resurgence of social movements, from the Arab Spring and Occupy to #BlackLivesMatter and Climate Justice actions. Contemporary movements have sought to confront authoritarian regimes, promote economic equity, remediate environmental degradation, and address structural issues around race, gender, and other factors. In a networked world, movements today can be global in scope and deeply rooted in particular locales at the same time. In this course, we will strive to understand the histories, theories, strategies, and visions of social movements through a justice and peace lens, analyzing critical questions of power, ethics, tactics, and efficacy. We will also consider contemporary movements in terms of their aesthetics, creativity, messaging, performativity, and identity construction capacities. In the process of pursuing these inquiries, we will interact with movement participants, explore avenues for experiential engagement, and discern “best practices” in a wide range of contexts from grassroots initiatives to decentralized networks to transnational campaigns.
LAWG-455 Federal White Collar Crime: Professors William Hardy, W. Gary Kohlman, and Terence Lynam (Spring 2016)
This is an advanced course for the serious student interested in this area of law. It will cover procedural, substantive and practitioner oriented “tactical” considerations of “white-collar” criminal law. A student should have prior demonstrated interest in the subject area by having taken courses such as Evidence; Criminal Procedure; Constitutional Law or participated in one of the many GULC litigation clinics. The class will cover the principal federal “white collar” statutes, e.g., mail fraud, conspiracy, securities law, false statements, obstruction of justice and money laundering. Corporate criminal liability will be a course focus, covering necessarily related subjects, e.g., attorney-client privilege issues; “internal” investigations; government sponsored “Voluntary Disclosure” programs; litigation under the False Claims Act (Qui Tam); grand jury practice, document production, immunity, plea bargaining, co-operation agreements, discovery, and the interplay between civil and criminal proceedings, i.e., “parallel proceedings”. We intend to limit class size to 25 students to maintain active class participation of interested students.
LAWJ-032 Advanced Criminal Procedure and Litigation: Professor Abbe Lowell (Fall 2015)
This course addresses the law, strategy, and ethical considerations of criminal procedure and litigation beginning with the decision to commence an investigation and/or charge through sentencing. Topics to be explored will include the prosecutorial decision to charge, representation (e.g., conflicts) of and compensation (e.g., forfeiture) by client issues, grand jury practice, immunity and plea negotiating, discovery, motions practice, prosecutorial and defense misconduct, selected trial issues, and sentencing. Materials for this course will include court opinions, pleadings from actual cases, Department of Justice manuals and policies, and news and law articles. The course may be organized around an actual case from its investigation inception, through pre-trial motions and discovery, to trial and verdict.
LAWJ-512 Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic: Professor Vida Johnson (Fall 2015 and Spring 2016; year-long course)
The Criminal Defense & Prisoner Advocacy Clinic (CDPAC) offers students an intensive experience in indigent criminal defense and prisoner advocacy. Through client representation, classroom lectures and discussion, simulations and exercises, small group “case rounds,” and individual supervision meetings, students will obtain a rich understanding of the culture and ethics of indigent criminal defense, and develop expertise in criminal trial advocacy and the representation of prisoners.
LAWJ-586 Race and American Law: Professor Sheryll Cashin (Spring 2016)
This four-credit course will provide students with an in-depth examination of the issue of race in the American legal process from the formation of the United States Constitution in 1787 to the present. It is a legal history course that will survey the legal rules and institutions that have shaped racial identity and race relations, particularly concerning the experience of African Americans, American Indians, Latinos/as, and Asian Americans. Among the subjects that will be covered are: Indian removal, slavery, Reconstruction, segregation, Japanese-American internment, civil rights, citizenship and immigration. The course will also cover most of the seminal “race” cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
LAWJ-1021 Race, Gender and Criminal Law Seminar: Professor Paul Butler (Fall 2015)
The course examines the role of race and gender in substantive criminal law and criminal procedure. Selected topics include rape, racial disparities, hate crimes, victimization, race and gender based defenses, including cultural defenses and the “battered spouse” defense, jury selection and participation, prostitution and sex crimes, and racial profiling. Readings will consist primarily of cases and scholarly articles. Possible case books include “Race and Races” (Thompson West) and “Women and the Law” (Thompson West). Selected readings from “Race, Crime, and the Law” (Kennedy) and “Let’s Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice” (Butler).
LAWJ-1085 Sentencing Law and Policy: Professor Brent Newton (Spring 2016)
This two-hour credit course will address issues of sentencing law and policy in the state and federal court systems, in both capital and non-capital cases. Students will study relevant Supreme Court case law, statutory and sentencing guideline schemes, and relevant reports of the United States Sentencing Commission. The larger focus on the course will be on the proper purposes of criminal punishment and whether state and federal sentencing schemes adequately address those purposes. Students’ grades will be based on an in-class final examination, and class participation.
LAWJ-1175 Borders, Banishment, and Beyond: Professor Allegra McLeod (Spring 2016)
This seminar will explore a series of crises that afflict border fortification, incarceration and policing. Course readings and discussion will also center on reformist proposals to address those crises and more far-reaching abolitionist alternatives to borders and banishment. Migration and incarceration—borders and banishment—present some of the most pressing legal, theoretical, and policy controversies in contemporary public life. Over the past two decades, criminal-immigration matters have become the most commonly prosecuted federal crimes; populations in immigration detention and criminal custody have dramatically increased; and though major proposed immigration reforms are stymied in Congress, pressures for reform in both the immigration and criminal contexts continue to mount. The course will begin by considering the historical, psycho-social, and legal foundations of border fortification and banishment practices. Then, attention will turn to some of the crises that pervade border enforcement and incarceration settings—from the presence of millions of people in the United States without legal status, to the explosion in criminal and immigration detention, to the widespread problem of sexual assault and prison rape. Reformist alternatives to the status quo in immigration and criminal legal processes will be considered, including through examination of social movement projects and public interest practice settings focused on relevant reform. The course will conclude by investigating various abolitionist efforts to think and work beyond borders and banishment. Students will have the opportunity to visit a jail or prison, immigration and criminal court, participate in a police ride-along, and to observe public service advocacy work ongoing in these or related settings.
LAWJ-1181 Prison Reform Advocacy and Litigation: Professors Eric Balaban and Deborah Golden (Fall 2015)
In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in weekly seminars and conduct related fieldwork at outside organizations. This fieldwork practicum course will introduce students to the prison reform and related fields. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 15 hours/week of fieldwork at non-profits or agencies that deal with prison reform and related issues. SEMINAR: Seminar materials will cover substantive law, policy, and practical advocacy skills. Substantive law will comprise the major statues, regulations, and case law governing the U.S. carceral system. The policy units will cover issues such as privatization and approaches to sexual assault. Finally, the course will touch on practical skills such as interviewing techniques, media relations, and self-care. FIELDWORK: Fieldwork placements will be at various non-profits and agencies that deal with prison reform and related issues. Depending on the agency and its needs, work will include litigation, individual advocacy, policy development, or legislative advocacy.
LAWJ-1185 Problem Solving Justice: Developments in Treatment, Diversion, and Community Courts (Fieldwork Practicum): Professors Marisa Demeo and Gretchen Rohr (Spring 2016)
In fieldwork practicum courses, students participate in weekly seminars and conduct related fieldwork at outside organizations. This fieldwork practicum course will introduce students to the legal concepts, administrative and ethical challenges and public debates concerning this country’s exponential growth of problem-solving courts and other collaborative adjudication models. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of fieldwork as Law Interns for a judge within the D.C. Superior Court. SEMINAR: In the two-credit, graded, seminar portion of the practicum, students will learn about problem-solving adjudication through classroom debates, reading and reflection, independent research projects and presentations. State and some federal courts are reforming conventional courtrooms and designing specialty dockets to reduce recidivism and the impact behavioral health disorders, addiction and other daily challenges have on compliance with court orders. Although varying in their methodology, these courtrooms may place greater emphasis on results-driven proceedings, individually tailored sentencing, social service interventions, cross-agency partnerships and uniquely trained judicial officers. In addition to engaging the lively theoretical debate over the benefits and risks of modifying adversarial principles, this course will closely examine how problem solving courts look in practice. Some of the specialty courts operating in the District of Columbia include Juvenile Behavioral Diversion, Family Treatment, Adult Mental Health, Drug and Fathering Courts. Problem solving principles have also been incorporated within the Domestic Violence, Paternity and Child Support, Abuse and Neglect courts and DC’s Community Courts, or criminal courtrooms dedicated to adjudicating misdemeanor cases from designated neighborhood wards. Although problem solving courts number in the thousands nationwide, their future is still undetermined as their methodologies, procedures and effectiveness are still under development. Students will have the rare opportunity to critically engage the tools of procedural justice and the experiences of attorneys in both conventional and reformed courtrooms in order to make their own conclusions as to the value of problem solving courts. FIELDWORK: In the two-credit, mandatory pass-fail, fieldwork portion of the practicum, students will have the unique opportunity to work as Law Interns for Judges within the D.C. Superior Court. Students will be assigned to a variety of specialty and conventional courtrooms to support their administration and application of problem solving methodologies. Fieldwork placements will be determined at the start of the semester.
LAWJ-1335 Race, Inequality, and Justice Seminar: Professor Emma Jordan (Fall 2015)
This course explores the law’s response to the problem of economic inequality. By 2015, the political and economic conversations have recognized the stark and unacceptable wealth and economic differences that underlie growing political and social instability. We will approach the subject from an interdisciplinary perspective that includes sociology, psychology, history and cultural studies. The course offers an introduction to the work of classic economic thinkers such as Adam Smith, and contemporary economists and legal scholars including Milton Friedman, Gary Becker, Richard Posner and Ian Ayres. The primary focus of the course however will be an exploration of the limits and failures of conventional rational choice approaches to explaining the questions arising from economic inequality for members of groups who have experienced pervasive race, gender and other forms of cultural subordination. We will explore the conceptual framework of marketplace distribution of commodities, the cultural determinants of market value, and the claims of subordinated communities for economic equality. We will develop an understanding of the silence of the Constitution on questions of economic inequality. We will draw upon the insights of a wide range of social science research to map the consequences of the lack of a coherent legal framework to govern questions of distributive justice. This course does not require a technical background in quantitative economics. The primary material will be drawn from sociology, history, psychology, narrative economics, and critical race theory. The case study for this seminar this year will be the economic and social conditions of the city of Baltimore, Maryland. We will explore the impact of the cumulative economic and social deficits of that city. We will take advantage of our course discussion and research to investigate this dramatic example of economic and social inequality in America. This recent example of the explosive combination of police abuse and the underlying condition of wealth and income inequality is just the most recent example of long term neglect. We will try to figure out what factors surround the anger at the criminal justice process of stop and frisk and the implementation of the “broken windows theory” of police enforcement practices that have created police estrangement from many low wealth communities of color. The Freddie Grey Riots and the long-term political, economic and sociological dynamics of Baltimore provide an important to delve more deeply into the connection between police practices and the economic death of cities such as Baltimore. We will ask are there important counter examples to Baltimore and Ferguson.
LAWJ-1350 Policing in the 21st Century: Law Enforcement, Technology and Surveillance: Professor Arjun Sethi (Spring 2016)
This seminar will explore the intersection of contemporary surveillance practices with the need to safeguard civil liberties, and investigate how new technologies are being used to manage and control populations of people. The course will place special emphasis on the evolving right to privacy in an increasingly cyber- and technology-oriented world, the expansion of government surveillance following the attacks of 9/11, and the implications of new law enforcement technologies on civil liberty protections. Our texts will include a variety of sources ranging from case law, legal scholarship, government manuals and congressional testimony to congressional letters, TED Talks, and digital publications. We will investigate more widely-known electronic surveillance and lesser known non-electronic surveillance, including suspicious activity reporting, fusion centers, watchlists, NYPD mapping, and stop and frisk. We will also discuss both targeted programs (such as NSA surveillance and cell phone location tracking) and non-targeted programs (such as government databases, license plate readers, and facial recognition technology). Throughout the course, we will specifically discuss how these technologies can be used to stifle dissent, using the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri as just the latest example. We will then discuss how judges and legislators have responded to these surveillance technologies, and pay special attention to the legal tools, doctrines, and defenses available to the government in surveillance-related matters. We will conclude by investigating the different avenues through which today’s surveillance practices are challenged, including lobbying, litigation, and private industry work-arounds.
LAWJ-1354 Best Practices for Justice: Prosecutors Working to Improve the Criminal Justice System: Professors Kristine Hamann and Patricia Riley (Fall 2015)
In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of the professors. This project-based practicum course will focus on emerging issues of importance to prosecutors and will provide opportunities for doing research that will support the growing national movement of prosecutors who are developing statewide Best Practices committees. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of project work under the direction of the course professors. SEMINAR: The criminal justice system is undergoing a period of re-examination and reform; Best Practices Committees have provided an on-going process for prosecutors to be part of this national discussion by working to enhance the prosecution function and to assess emerging issues. Fifteen states have formed such committees, with more states in the development phase. The critical topics being addressed by Best Practices Committees and covered in the practicum will be: • Concerns about identification of the perpetrator, including current research on memory and development of identification procedures • Ensuring the integrity of statements of the accused, including interrogation methods, articles on false confessions, and recording of statements • Managing forensic evidence, including new forensic science, laboratory standards, and dealing with problems in forensic science • Exploring the challenges of digital evidence, including using digital evidence for investigative purposes, privacy vs. public safety, and ethics and digital evidence • Engaging in an understanding of prosecutorial ethics, including law enforcement ethics and conviction integrity units • Reducing crime and building community trust, including community prosecution, crime strategy units, and research on crime prevention PROJECT WORK: Under the direction of the professors, students will engage in: • Legal work to support practicing prosecutors and the growing number of statewide Best Practices Committees for prosecutors. More specifically, students may work on emerging issues facing the criminal justice system relating to: identification procedures, statements of the accused, forensic evidence, digital evidence, ethics, and how to reduce crime and build community trust. Students will have individual or group assignments, depending on the topic. Students may also draft materials for the National Resource Center for Prosecutors, which is a resource that gathers and categorizes articles on policy issues of importance to statewide Best Practices Committees for prosecutors. And students may prepare a comprehensive analysis of erroneous convictions that have occurred since 2004. • Research for Prosecutors’ Statewide Best Practices Committees. More specifically, students may serve statewide Best Practices Committees by responding to needs for research on pressing issues in a particular state. Students may also participate in developing ways to enhance the functioning of Best Practices Committees and how to maximize the dissemination of information about emerging issues and innovative practices. Finally, students may participate in some Best Practices Committee meetings.
MPJO-754 Crime Reporting: Matthew Apuzzo (Spring 2016)
Readers love a good crime story – whether it’s about corruption in the mayor’s office, bank fraud on Wall Street or a local drug bust. The stories are filled with intrigue, drama, suspense and even humor (think “stupid criminal” stories). And many of the same skills that make someone a good crime reporter are the same that make a good investigative reporter. In this class, we’ll learn about covering law enforcement agencies, victims, criminals and courts with hands-on reporting and writing. We’ll look at crime statistics and documents to figure out how to report and tell the story behind the numbers, and we’ll use public information laws to gain access to primary-source records. Source development is an important part of crime reporting, and we’ll focus on ways to build relationships with sources. Students will use all the tools and skills they learned in Digital Essentials and Reporting and News Writing to report and tell stories for multiple platforms, and they should be prepared for multiple story assignments.
PPOL-611 The War on Drugs: Causes, Consequences and Alternatives: Professor Richard Baum (Spring 2016)
The United States has for half a century led the global war on drugs abroad and cracked down aggressively at home on drug use, drug dealing, and related crime and violence. The course will explore the development and impact of these policies, focusing on: the formation of initial domestic drug laws and international drug treaties, centralization in the White House of drug policy making starting in the Nixon and Bush Administrations, and policy responses to increased drug use in the 1960s and 1970s and the crack/cocaine epidemic in 1980s. Class lectures and discussion will examine outcomes of these policies, including mass incarceration, racial disparities, evolving drug abuse trends and drug cartel violence in the Western Hemisphere. The course will also review how data, research and reporting is used–and misused– in the drug debate, and assess alternative policies designed to better address the challenges posed by drugs. During weekly class discussion students will have an opportunity to explore these issues, as well as the debate over drug legalization, the health and public safety challenges posed by different drugs, and the role played on the drug issue by non-governmental actors. Grading will be based on five elements: 1) A 4-5 page analysis of a drug issue for the Drug Czar, 2) an 800 word newspaper style op-ed on any drug-related issue selected by the student; 3) a term paper; and, 4) a shorter, reformatted version of the term paper that will be part of a class drug policy transition project designed to inform the incoming administration in 2017; and, 5) class participation. Students will provide one five minute oral presentation based on one of their papers as part of their class participation grade. Reading assignments will include two texts, selected articles and book chapters, and excerpts of legislation and government and NGO reports.
PPOL-616 Cities and Crime: Professor Jocelyn Fontaine (Fall 2015)
This course examines the relationship between cities and crime from a place-based theoretical, empirical, and policy perspective. The goal will be to provide students with a solid understanding of the urban environment from a criminological perspective and to explore whether and how crime policy and the criminal justice system is responsive to theory and empirical evidence on cities (place) and crime. Specifically, students will learn how to: 1) sharpen their assessment of current crime control policy and criminal justice system practice; 2) assess the value and application of place-based theoretical orientations to crime from a policy perspective; 3) identify assumptions and values supporting crime policy and their implications for the criminal justice system; and 4) make effective policy arguments based in theory and empirical research on place and crime.
PYSC-249 Cognition, Culture, and Justice: Professor Fathali Moghaddam (Spring 2016)
The objective of this course is to educate and encourage students to understand and evaluate (1) the distinction between subjective justice and formal ‘black-letter’ law; (2) the role of cognitive processes in decision making about justice, with particular attention to research supporting relativist vs. universalist positions; (3) cross-cultural variations in conceptions of justice, with reference to both cultural psychology and comparative law literatures; (4) the psychological research on human duties and rights, with particular attention to the concept of ‘universals’ in duties and rights; (5) selected concepts in traditional ‘psychology and law’ research, including competency and intentionality, eyewitness evidence, profiling; (6) the relationship between the psychological citizen, justice, and democracy; and (7) the psychological requirements for individual and collective democratic functioning.
PSYC-368 Children, Families, and the Law: Professor Jennifer Woolard (Fall 2015)
Psychology research and practice can inform several areas of law affecting children and families, including child maltreatment, adolescent reproductive rights, juvenile delinquency, and child custody, among others. We will examine the psychological assumptions about the interests of children, parents, and the state that are present in the law. We will also investigate how psychological theory and research is designed and applied to legal dilemmas facing children and families. Readings will come from both law and psychology.
SOCI-142 Black Death: From Slavery to Michael Brown: Professor Michael Dyson (Fall 2015)
No description available.
SOCI-192 Law and Society: Professor Sarah Stiles (Spring 2016)
This course has three complementary parts. Students begin with an overview of the U.S. justice system. We pay special attention to the last 35 years and the impact of the War on Drugs on society, especially mass incarceration. This is followed by a section focusing on “Hot Topics” in the law. Students will read and brief landmark Supreme Court cases on such topics as, same sex marriage, gun ownership, climate change, campaign finance, and the criminalization of poverty. Students, in small groups, choose one topic they will be an expert in and create an informative website and accompanying short video informing fellow Millennials why they need to know about it and what they can do about it. Finally, students have the opportunity to make it real through mock trials. Playing the roles of attorneys and witnesses, students learn the mechanics of a trial and create legal strategies to best represent their clients. It all comes together when students enact the trials in courtrooms at Georgetown Law with legal professionals serving as judges.
SOCI-193 Sociology of Criminal Justice: Professor William McDonald (Fall 2015)
Law school will teach you to think like a lawyer. This course will teach you how to supplement that legal thinking with what you need to know in order to answer questions that can not be answered by strictly legal logic. The course is inspired by Oliver Wendell Holmes’s concept of “sociological jurisprudence.” If you are planning to go to law school, you need to take this course. This course focuses on the relationship between law and society with special attention to criminal justice. It deals with the creation of law and administration in the criminal justice system including the work of the police, prosecutors, courts, and corrections. The course does NOT deal with the causes of crime. (That subject is dealt with exclusively in my other course, Criminology). The emphasis of this course is on the sociological understanding of the origin and operation of criminal law and criminal justice. The course is divided into three parts: a review of theoretical perspectives; the application of theories to case studies; and an examination of the contemporary administration of criminal justice.
SOCI-196 Comparative Law Enforcement: Professor William Daddio (Spring 2016)
The purpose of this course is to present and selected law enforcement systems nation-states and international police organizations develop and use to control crime and criminals within and across national borders. The course will use a global comparative approach to the law enforcement systems countries develop to counter crime and its impact. Many nation-states have standardized their laws, a globalization to some extent. Law enforcement systems still vary greatly. Some differences are due to the system of law they enforce, but most differences are cultural. Those differences cause problems in dealing with global crime issues. Students will learn about the different law enforcement systems to better appreciate possible outcomes in countering transnational crime. The course topics will include: • Discussion of the types of legal systems: common law, civil law, religious law, customary law • Present law enforcement systems from select countries including U.S., France, Saudi Arabia, and the United Nations • Compare the different law enforcement systems • Discuss trends for the future
SOCI-197 Transnational Crime: Professor William Daddio (Spring 2016)
This course focuses on transnational crime from a sociology and criminology perspective. Sociology is the study of human social interaction and structure in groups. Sociologists examine systematically the ways people behave and arrange themselves in groups. Why people behave and organize the ways they do. By systematically observing and analyzing the group interactions and the group structures, sociologists can describe, explain, and interpret the group behavior patterns, and explain the influences of the social structure on that behavior. Sociology’s structure/functional, interaction, and critical theories have been very useful in understanding social issues, and have been very influential in deciding social policy issues: sometimes beneficially, sometimes not so well. The purpose of this course is to present current transnational crime behavior and explain national law enforcement agencies and international police organizations response to control transnational crime. The course will discuss: human trafficking, money laundering, trafficking in illegal items (drugs, weapons, antiquities, flora and fauna, body parts), and other transnational crimes. All definitions of crimes are social constructs, and are severely influenced by cultural and social forces. Some countries have similar laws, but many do not. In one country a deviant behavior is labeled a crime, and in another country the behavior is legal. One country’s criminal may be another country’s law-abiding citizen. Different crimes and different priorities compound the responds to transnational crime control. Those differences cause problems in dealing with global crime issues.
WGST-222 Relationship Violence and Sexual Assault: Professor Laura Kovach (Fall 2015)
This course will examine intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking. We will examine theories about intimate partner violence, frequency and prevalence of rape, and social and cultural contributors to domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault on college campuses. We will also evaluate current systems and policies that exist to support survivors and hold perpetrators accountable. We will then discuss what we can do individually and collectively as a community to end gender violence.
WGST-251 Women and the Law: Professor Sara Collina (Spring 2016)
This course examines the treatment of women in U.S. law and its implications for public policy. Gender will be the primary category of analysis, but discussions will reflect the many factors that influence the ways in which individuals view and encounter the law (socio-economic status, race, religion, political outlook, sexual orientation, etc.). Topics include workplace discrimination, single-sex education, domestic violence, same-sex marriage, and reproductive rights. Note: I am committed to meeting the educational needs of the students enrolled in the course. Toward that end, I may change some content and requirements during the semester.