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Recent Courses I've Taught

CRJ 102: Crime and Punishment

Why do people commit crimes? How do governments punish crimes? What crimes go unpunished? How does punishment, especially mass incarceration, affect families and communities? This course is an inquiry into crime and punishment, understanding them as social systems that intersect with social inequality, authority and the state, economy and the labor market, and culture and morality.

CRJ 172: Comparative Criminal Justice Systems

Crime control and mechanisms of justice have changed in extent and nature to keep up with how economic markets, information, transportation, and crime have all become more global and interconnected. This course analyzes impact of internationalization and globalization on crime and criminal justice at national and local levels.

CRJ 190: Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice

This course examines current issues in criminal justice with an emphasis on the application of law, management, and ethics to the analysis of contemporary criminal justice issues and policy. This course serves as the culminating event for criminal justice majors with an emphasis on writing and oral communications, research, and analytical thinking.

CRJ 210: Critical Examination of Law and Justice (graduate level)

The law touches all areas of modern social life, including education, family life, race relations, employment, entertainment, inequality, and other social issues. In this course students' explore law as a social institution and learn classical and contemporary work that defines the field, concentrating on canonical empirical studies and the theoretical concepts and claims that undergird them. 

CRJ 250: Comparative Criminal Justice Systems (graduate level)

National contexts across the globe differ in how they define and approach crime and justice. Students in this course will analyze the social, cultural, and political background of different systems of justice around the world, critically comparing crime control policies  and justice within the context of globalization. 

CRJ 256: Historical Analysis of the American Criminal Justice System (graduate level)

In this course we will trace the evolution and historical foundations of American patterns of crime and violence, criminological theories, law enforcement structures and philosophies, the adult criminal justice system, and the juvenile system in three distinct historical periods: Colonial and Early American Roots, 1609-1814; Creating the American Criminal Justice System, 1815-1900; and Reforming the Criminal Justice System, 1900 to today.

CRJ 281: Transitional Justice After Atrocity Crimes (graduate level)

This course explores the practice of seeking justice in societies that have experienced mass atrocity. Divided into two units, the first is focused on what constitutes an atrocity crime focusing on war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, evaluating theories as to why people commit atrocity crimes, how they unfold and who are the victims and why. The second unit centers on post-atrocity justice including including truth and reconciliation commissions, ad-hoc criminal tribunals, the international criminal court, hybrid courts, domestic courts, and memorialization.

Criminal Justice Study Abroad in Ghana

In this study abroad program students are exposed to comparative criminal justice through site visits to prisons, courts, police, domestic violence service centers and community justice/alternative dispute resolution centers. Students thus experience hands-on learning by asking Ghanaian criminal justice professionals about their own experiences, facilitating comparative critical thinking among students. While students participate in a pre-trip orientation seminar for two days structured similarly to a traditional classroom with required readings and discussions, the majority of student learning occurs in non-traditional spaces outside the American classroom, with few select lectures and lots of fieldwork activities. For example, students learn about the legacy and horrors of the trans-Atlantic slave trade by visiting slave dungeons on Ghana’s Cape Coast. Students discover the differences in court procedures and processes by observing Ghanaian criminal court proceedings and speaking with prominent judges in their chambers. 

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