The interplay between gender, crime, and criminal justice received very little attention in the sociological and criminological literatures prior to the 1980s. Women’s involvement in crime has been historically overlooked in theory, research, and programming. Indeed, one of the key points made by feminist theorists and gender researchers studying crime is that females and gender have been either neglected, or researchers have explained female behavior using traditional theoretical approaches based on male behavior, rather than considering the unique ways that gender may affect crime and criminal justice experiences.
Since much of the information about crime and the criminal justice system is presented in relation to men, a course focused on women fills a tremendous gap in the criminal justice discourse. The goal of this course it to provide a general understanding of what gender is and how it impacts (1) criminal behavior, (2) victimization, (3) treatment by the criminal justice system, and (4) experiences of professionals in the legal/criminal justice system. Throughout this course, we will focus on the development of important skills and capacities. These skills include identifying and evaluation arguments, comparing and applying theoretical approaches, analytical thinking, developing and supporting arguments, and many others. Each of the assignments will be oriented toward the development of these skills. Exams will consist primarily of multiple choice and short answer.