Course Listings

Politics

PPLE 338W Reforming Criminal Justice (1)

The United States currently incarcerates about 2.4 million men, women and children. The number of incarcerated does not take into account how many people’s lives are affected by our extensive system of punishment, including those on parole or probation; children of incarcerated parents; and communities that support prison systems. Furthermore, racial disparities in arrests, sentencing, and prison time call into questions our guarantees of equal justice and fundamental fairness. Inside the prison walls, many prisoners are subject to a system of control that prioritizes punishment over rehabilitation. This course explores these elements of the penal system with a group of prisoners at the Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP), a maximum security male prison, and asks, what can be done to reform and improve the system? Eight of our classes will be held at OSP; students and prisoners will work together on reform ideas, culminating in a research project that will go to a lawmaker, advocacy group or corrections organization for consideration. (Note: Students must have a government-issued identification, submit to and pass a criminal background check, and follow the rules of dress and conduct established by the Oregon Department of Corrections.).

  • General Education Requirement Fulfillment: Writing-centered; Social Sciences
  • Offering: Spring
  • Instructor: Buis Michaux