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LAW Mass Incarceration and Its Effects

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LAW 384

Mass Incarceration and Its Effects

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Recommended for route(s):

[ Academia ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] [ Litigation ] Criminal Law: General

Why it is relevant for ...

[ Academia ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] as a Related Elective for those interested in Criminal Jurisprudence : Students interested in criminal jurisprudence should understand the social consequences of incarceration, and the connections between incarceration and other social factors.

[ Litigation ] as a Related Elective for those interested in Criminal Justice : Criminal lawyers should know something about the problems surrounding the reentry of prisoners into their communities, as well as law enforcement strategies to monitor returning prisoners.

General course Description:

Over the last 30 years, the U.S. penal population increased from around 300,000 to more than two million, with more than half a million prisoners returning to their home communities each year. For some racial and socioeconomic groups, incarceration has become a depressingly regular experience, and prison culture and influence pervade their communities. What are the social costs to the communities from which this vast incarcerated population comes? And what happens to these communities when former prisoners return as free men and women in need of social and economic support? What are the public safety consequences? How is our legal and criminal justice system responding? This course moves beyond a narrow focus on crime to examine the connections between incarceration and family formation, race and class, labor markets, political participation, and community well-being. It examines emerging policies and programs that help former prisoners reconnect with their communities (e.g., reentry courts, faith-based initiatives), as well as legal and law enforcement strategies to monitor returning prisoners (e.g., sex offender registries). Finally, this course is designed to stimulate students to think critically about contemporary punishment practices, and the serious social and economic consequences mass incarceration has wrought.

The course format combines lecture, independent research, and guest and student presentations.

Course Style: A Substantive course teaches the law, theory, and policy in a particular area of law

Course Frequency: Varied, check w/ registrar

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