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234.6 sec. 1 - Criminal Justice Reform in California (Fall 2012)

Instructor: David Onek  (view instructor's teaching evaluations | profile)
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Units: 3
Meeting Time: TuTh 2:10-3:25
Meeting Location: 115

Course Start: August 23, 2012
Course Control Number (Non-1Ls): 50690

This course will examine criminal justice reform in California. Topics will include juvenile justice, the death penalty, Three Strikes, parole, restorative justice, drug policy, racial disparities in the criminal justice system, criminal justice realignment, reentry, women and girls in the criminal justice system, and police reform. Students will learn to evaluate potential reforms by asking: (1) Does it make us safer?, (2) Is it cost-effective?, and (3) Is it fair and equitable? Students will learn the importance of utilizing evidence-based practices, building partnerships, and employing effective communication techniques in successful reform efforts. 

There will be two class meetings per week, on the same topic. The first class will be a discussion led by the instructor; the second class will be a discussion with a leading practitioner in the field. Confirmed guests include Scott MacDonald, Santa Cruz Chief Probation Officer; Jeanne Woodford, Former Warden, San Quentin State Prison; George Gascon, San Francisco District Attorney; Nancy Mullane, Author, Life After Murder; Sunny Schwartz, Director, Community Restoration Programs, San Francisco Adult Probation Department; Gil Kerlikowske, Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy (White House Drug Czar) (via video link); James Bell, Executive Director, W. Haywood Burns Institute; Mark Leno, California State Senator; Wendy Still, San Francisco Chief Adult Probation Officer; Gena Castro Rodriguez, Executive Director, Youth Justice Institute; and Bernard Melekian, Director, Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office), U.S. Department of Justice (via video link).

Students must write a 30-page final paper on a criminal justice reform topic. The paper will take the form of a policy memo to inform a high-level decision-maker about a specific issue and recommend a program or policy direction. This course may satisfy the UC Berkeley School of Law Writing Requirement.

David Onek is a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at the UC Berkeley School of Law and served as the Founding Executive Director of the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice (now part of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy). Onek previously served on the San Francisco Police Commission and as Deputy Director of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Office of Criminal Justice. Prior to that, Onek worked at the W. Haywood Burns Institute for Juvenile Justice Fairness and Equity, Legal Services for Children, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, and Walden House. Onek was a candidate for San Francisco District Attorney in 2011, running on a strong criminal justice reform platform and finishing second to the incumbent. Onek currently hosts the Criminal Justice Conversations Podcast, a co-production of the UC Berkeley School of Law and the UC Berkeley School of Journalism, which features in-depth, thirty-minute interviews with a wide range of criminal justice leaders. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Brown University.

Exam Notes: P
Course Category: Criminal Law
This course is cross-listed in the following categories:
Jurisprudence and Social Policy (JSP)
Law and Society
Social Justice and Public Interest

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