This course analyzes the theory, practices and policies of the American correctional system, covering the nature and administration of both institutional and community sanctions and agencies. Students explore competing penal theories and review evidence on the effectiveness of correctional practices. The course investigates the historical development and evolution of imprisonment, trends in the use of confinement, and the effects of incarceration on offenders, families and communities. Students analyze the characteristics of correctional populations and debate the causes and implication of race, class and gender differences. The course identifies significant current issues and reviews the ethical, legal and practical dimensions of proposals for reform. Issues surrounding collateral consequences when released will be examined as well.
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