Advanced Issues in Criminal Justice Policy Seminar1
Students will learn how to use to the tool of policy analysis and to advocate policy positions through intensive study of a number of criminal justice issues currently under debate in the U.S. Class work will include reading and exercises that will give students public policy analysis skills, as well as in-class interactions with local policy makers in mock briefing and testimony situations. Students will produce one ungraded and three graded criminal justice policy papers (three of them short, one longer) and will participate in weekly exercises through reading and study of selected materials. Topics may include mass incarceration and re-entry programs, video surveillance, the impact of DNA and innocence exonerations on criminal justice reform, racial discrimination in the criminal justice system, community vs. broken windows policing, and the role and reform of parole and probation; topics will change from year to year. The course will expose students to high-level research, policy documents, debate, and discussion concerning the most urgent topics in the criminal justice system, and it will require students to hone their written and oral advocacy skills.