Course Details

Criminal Justice Reform

The United States is at the cusp of a potentially significant period of criminal justice reform. There is an emerging consensus in both parties and all three branches of government that the criminal system is malfunctioning in ways that do profound damage to the country, but consensus stops there. On one side are those who think the root of the crisis is the American public, and the solution is to place control over the criminal system in the hands of officials and experts. On the other side are those who think the root of the crisis is a set of bureaucratic structures divorced from the American public's concerns and sense of justice, and the solution is to make criminal justice more community-focused. This course will examine criminal justice reform from two theoretical perspectives. We will first examine the two perspectives themselves. We will then bring the two perspectives to bear on three of the major headings of the contemporary crisis: criminalization, sentencing, and plea bargaining. We will close by examining some of the major proposals for policy reform. Course Particulars: This course is a seminar, with a heavy emphasis on reading, writing, and discussion. Grades will be based on general class participation (20%), in-class presentations (20%), and the final paper (60%).

Catalog Number: CRIM 638
Additional Course Information: Research Writing


Course History

Spring 2020
Title: Criminal Justice Reform
Faculty: Kleinfeld, Joshua (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 4

Fall 2016
Title: Criminal Justice Reform
Faculty: Kleinfeld, Joshua (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 22