The Condemnation of Blackness: Race & Criminal Justice in American History & Policy
This course examines the way in which racial bias, in both American policy and politics, has impacted the relationship between African Americans and the justice system from the convict lease era in slavery's aftermath to the crisis of mass incarceration and the age of Black Lives Matter. We will pay particular attention to the impact of federal anti-crime policy on sentencing, mandatory minimums, DOJ Byrne Grants, the militarization of local law enforcement agencies, the drug war, juvenile justice, and prisoner rehabilitation and rights since The Great Society. Students will be evaluated based on three criteria: 1) Weekly three paragraph critical analysis of the readings. 2)Final 20 page critical historical and policy analysis on a specific aspect of criminal justice reform (e.g. ending money bail system for criminal defendants charged with low level warrants) 3) Class participation, including group presentation. Reading: We will read one book or article per week.