Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

234.2 sec. 001 - Criminal Justice Theory (Fall 2022)
"Punishment (Abolition), Law & Society"

Instructor: Jonathan Steven Simon  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
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Units: 3
Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: In-Person


W 10:00 AM - 12:40 PM
Location: 🔒 Log-in to view location

From August 24, 2022
To November 30, 2022

Course Start: August 24, 2022
Course End: November 30, 2022
Class Number: 32236

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 23
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 25
As of: 02/17 06:39 AM

Today it is common to describe the form of legal punishment in the United States since the late 20th century as “mass incarceration”; but how did we get there and are the very visible social harms of that regime exceptions or expressions of fundamental flaws in the role punishment plays in modern society? This course provides tools to answer those questions by exploring the relationship between punishment, law and society, as well as efforts to abolish punishment, over the long arc of western legal history. The course will cover the major transformations of punishment and abolition since the birth of the prison at the end of the 18th century, right up to the birth of mass incarceration. It will also introduce students to theoretical work that can help untangle the historically and geographically diverse interrelationship between social change, legal reform, and penal practices including: the sociology of law, critical race theory, gender and sexuality theory, and political economy. The course is also designed to help students complete a major piece of research and writing (30 plus pages) for academic (journal article) or professional (strategic memo) purposes. Participants will choose a topic in discussion with Professor Simon related to change in penal laws, practices or abolitions thereof, going on today (or an historical example with contemporary resonance) and explain its significance (and policy implications) drawing on the histories or theories covered in the course or related materials. All students will receive comments on a graded rough draft (date and portion of grade to be determined) and be expected to participate in leading the discussion of specific assigned materials.

Requirements Satisfaction:

This class fulfills Option 2 of the J.D. writing requirement for all students in the course. All students must write 30 pages and complete a draft.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: Jurisprudence and Social Policy (JSP)
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Race and Law
Social Justice and Public Interest

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