Criminal Justice-COAS | Alternative Socal Control Systems
P202 | 1882 | Magno


The main emphasis of this course is to understand ways of preventing
conflict and crime that exist as alternatives to the criminal
justice and official legal systems.  We will explore   alternative
ways of controlling crime that do not involve punitive, oppressive
and violent responses but, rather, offer nonviolent interventions,
such as mediation, peacemaking, and community reconciliation.  In
order to figure out the best alternatives to preventing  crime,
students first need to examine societal causes of crime by looking
at what crime is through the lenses of poverty, class, gender,
capitalism, colonialism, terrorism and racism. We will draw on
radical and critical criminological perspectives to study crime in
relation to these sources of identity and social problems.
We will analyze the United States prison system, a traditional way
of preventing crime, by connecting its growth and utility to
capitalism, neo-colonialism, terrorism, racism and poverty. Here we
will draw on various types of statistical data about social
conditions in the United States, including data about prison
populations, hunger, homelessness, joblessness, and household
income. In addition, we will compare and critically analyze
government budgets and spending related to education, health,
foreign aid and military forces.
In this course we also will consider the ongoing campaign for
Alternative Social Control Systems in the United States, including
support for  Penal Abolition and Transformative Justice processes
that, for example, have been components of advocacy within the Civil
Rights Movement and the Black Panther Party. We will explore basic
ideas about resolving conflict in  nonviolent ways through Professor
Hal Pepinsky’s Peacemaking Criminology,  Mahatma Ghandi’s  idea of
ahimsa (the avoidance of violence),  and Joel Edelman’s  The Tao of
Negotiation.
The course draws on teaching methods that include a combination of
workshops, lectures, discussions and the viewing of video
documentaries.

Class Meeting:  9:30-10:20 a.m., Monday-Friday, Ballantine 209

Instructor:  Christopher Magno, criminal justice department