The purpose of this course is to examine crime by looking at patterns, understanding the cause, and understanding the consequences individuals face when they commit crimes. It also examines how problems surrounding crime are dealt with in the United States. Specific topics to be covered include: analyses of how laws are created, theories of crime causation, penology, the relationship between crime/criminal justice and social class, race/ethnicity and gender, fear of crime, the social construction of crime in the media, growth of the prison system, and an assessment of the efficacy of alternative crime fighting strategies (i.e. community policing).
Students interested in a variety of careers may be interested in this course, including careers in history, public history, law and constitutional studies, communications, journalism, specialized areas of law reform, community outreach, advocacy, government advisory/counsel, government work in: city/town management, public policy at either federal, local, or state levels, and community affairs within local/state governments.