Contemporary Issues in Policing, Prosecution, and Punishment through Law and Film

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
MON 3:45 - 5:35 pm JON 5.206

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


Same as LAW 196W, Intro to Contemporary Criminal Justice Issues Through Law and Film.

This course examines a range of contemporary issues in policing, prosecution, and punishment through the lens of a series of documentary films and related short reading assignments.  Through class discussion and exchange of short response papers to the films, students will explore and critically examine a range of issues and controversies in the American criminal justice system, including the expansion in the role and powers of the police resulting from the War on Drugs; the use of racial profiling, no-knock warrants, and other policing practices; officer-involved shootings and the doctrine of qualified immunity; the "school-to-prison pipeline; sex offender registries; the prosecution of juveniles in criminal court; and long-term solitary confinement, among other issues. Students will discuss and explore the feasibility of alternative approaches to these practices and examine the legal, political, and practical obstacles to reform.


Textbooks ( * denotes required )

No materials required


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Important Class Changes

Date Updated
09/26/2022 Experiential credit changed
09/21/2022 Experiential credit changed