Criminal Justice-COLL | Alternative Social Control Systems
P202 | 27457 | Evans


This class will offer students an opportunity to explore crime,
violence, and social control through a variety of perspectives and
provide the opportunity to question and criticize the current system
of social control.  Typically, criminals are dealt with through
institutions of control  police, prisons, jails, and post-
incarceration supervision.  While these methods are theorized to
reduce crime, in reality, higher arrest rates and increased prison
populations indicate that historically, the crime rate has never
been higher.  Beyond criminal justice, social control is exerted
through other social institutions like education, popular culture,
the media, and religion.  In this class, we will start by critically
examining models of social control such as the war on drugs, war on
crime, torture, racism, human trafficking, discrimination and
oppression, and we will critically evaluate controversial
alternatives such as the drug decriminalization, prison abolition,
and amnesty. We will also discuss alternative models of social
control peacemaking, non-violence, restorative justice, and mediation

Engaging in this process will also require us to examine our own
definitions of crime, terrorism, law, punishment, and violence.  The
class will offer an analysis of the normative definitions of these
concepts through such lenses as racism, colonialism, imperialism,
patriarchy, and capitalism.  We will question how these concepts
take on meaning, explore the power that is exerted through them, and
discuss how different lenses may shape our understanding of them in
different ways.

The class will be broad in scope, encompassing issues as diverse as
domestic criminal justice policies, international relations, and
colonialism and anti-colonial struggles, and particular attention
will be paid to the role of the prison in the maintenance of social
control in the U.S.  Current events will be weaved into the class
where possible.  This class will be discussion-based, with lectures
and occasional film screenings.  Assignments include weekly
reflection papers, a presentation, attendance, and participation.


Class Meetings: Tuesday and Thursday, 11:15-12:30, BH 013

Instructor: Doug Evans, criminal justice department