Course Details

Mass Incarceration

This course explores mass incarceration, the steep increase in imprisonment rates that began in the 1970s and has disproportionately affected young, poor, African-American men. Guided by legal and social scientific scholarship, we will examine the complex roots and damaging consequences of this phenomenon. To what extent can we attribute mass incarceration to the War on Drugs? How do political shifts produce legal change, and how might legal rules themselves operate independently to fuel mass incarceration? How does incarceration affect employment, health, family, and community life - and crime rates? In thinking about mass incarceration's engines and outcomes, we will also consider the unintended consequences of some reform efforts. In addition, we will tackle difficult questions of de-carceration. While many people agree that the American criminal justice system puts too many people in prison, how do we decide who should be released, whose punishment must involve imprisonment, and how long must that incarceration last? Finally, we will reflect on how mass incarceration is evolving to include expanded monitoring and surveillance even outside the carceral institutions.

Catalog Number: CRIM 692
Additional Course Information: Perspective Elective


Course History

Spring 2019
Title: Mass Incarceration
Faculty: Rountree, Meredith Martin (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 2.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 25