Crime and Justice Policy

Sample courses for a Crime and Justice Policy focus

Please note:
These are an example of the courses that would meet this requirement
We cannot guarantee when or if these courses will be offered


515. Criminological Theory
Overview of mainstream criminological theory, focusing on its origins as well as developments and advancements over time. Students will critically evaluate key theories and core constructs in criminology.

518. Special Topics in Criminology
Content varies. Explores select substantive and theoretical topics in criminology. Topics may include Communities and Crime, Gender and Crime, Contemporary Research in Criminology. 

595. Topic: Urban Inequity Race & Justice

595. Topic: Racial Structure, Crime & Justice
Dramatic disparities in exposure to crime and the criminal justice system are central to understanding racial and ethnic inequality in the U.S. In this seminar, we explore some of the political, social, economic, and ideological foundations of the ethno-racial divide in crime and justice. We will focus on both historical and contemporary factors, drawing on qualitative and quantitative accounts that theorize and explain crime and criminal justice as a racially stratifying system. Among other topics, we will discuss policing and the use of force, the collateral consequences and origins of mass incarceration, immigration and crime, bias motivated crime, segregation, and the dynamics of community organization. 


504. Criminal Law

593. Prisoner's Rights 

Community Regional Planning

570. Policing the City
What are the police for? Why does the US lock 2.3 million people in cages, more than any other country on earth? An unprecedented global uprising against racism and police brutality is challenging us to reimagine policing, prisons, safety and wellbeing in 21st century cities. Rooted in praxis, the intertwining of theory and action, this class strengthens students’ capacities to contribute to movements for justice. Learning from front-line communities and social movements like Black Lives Matter, this class develops a historical, spatial and relational analysis of policing, broadly understood. We study the histories and functions of policing; race and the uneven distribution of vulnerability and violence; and the spatial forms of racism, like prisons, immigrant detention camps, reservations, segregated suburbs and ghettos. 

American Studies

520. Law's Violence
Law, to be lawful, must be enforced. And enforcement doesn’t just imply force, it requires It. Law, as the legal scholar Robert Cover famously wrote, is “staked in blood.” The violence to which Cover refers is required, and made legitimate, by law and the liberal state: mass incarceration, torture, everyday police violence, the death penalty, and so much more. Whether by the lethal injection of an executioner's syringe or by the blow of a police officer's truncheon, law is never far from violence and always operates, as Cover argues, “in a field of pain and death.” This seminar is designed as an interdisciplinary approach to the study of law and its relation to violence. We are interested in the freedoms promised and brought to life by law and liberalism, and the ways that these freedoms always require or include organized violence in their first instance. Law's freedoms are always paired with forms of unfreedom. Individual liberty based on mass incarceration, “security” and “peace” accomplished by police and accompanied by war and repression; the promise of justice amid historic and ongoing injustice.