Link to What's New This Week Criminal Justice/Social Justice: CRMJ 490, Spring 2006, UWP

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Special Topics: Criminal Justice/Social Justice
Syllabus for CRMJ 490. Spring 2006

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: August 24, 2003
Latest update: April 27, 2006

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Index of Topics on Site Syllabus for Criminal Justice/Social Justice

Susan Takata
Office: 362 MOLN
Office Hours: MWF 8:45-9:45am & by appointment
Phone: (262) 595-2116
FAX: (262) 595-2471
Class meets MWF 11-11:50 a.m.

Brief Description:

CRMJ 490 will explore the criminological, sociological and philosophical discussions of justice. Perspectives include race, class, gender and other differences; both postmodern and critical theory analyses of institutional and interpersonal relationships. We will examine the relationship between "criminal justice" and "social justice." The readings in this course should challenge you to think about the theory and assumptions that underlie your position, and the many alternatives that have been and will continue to be presented in this new millennium.


  • Paul Loeb. The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear..
  • Martha Minow. Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Facing History after Genocide and Mass Violence.
  • Cornel West. Democracy Matters.

  • (optional) Jurgen Habermas. Between Facts and Norms.
  • (optional) Martha Minow. Making All the Difference.
  • other readings and texts to be assigned.
  • should read the newspaper and/or watch the news regularly.
  • Dear Habermas Website [refer to handout]


    You must have:
    • a three-ring binder
    • an e-mail address (available through the university)
    • Internet access (access to PCs in microcomputing labs on campus)

    Course Objectives

    • Answerability Objective: To teach the skills of answerability, illocutionary discourse and the process of collaborative creation. Outcomes: You are expected to demonstrate active and involved learning by participating in class discussions on answerability, the aesthetic process of collaborative creation, and the practice of illocutionary discourse. You will choose from these discussion topics for written discussion that will enhance your skills at translating oral thinking into written documents and serve as one measure of learning for this class. Written expression is as important as dialog participation and other means of expression (such as art or photography). Silence will not be acceptable, though I am willing to consider a preference for interpassivity.

    • Theoretical Objective: To come away from this course with a deep understanding of the role that theory plays in our lives, particularly as it relates to criminal justice/social justice. To use a vocabulary which permit discussion of theory: race, ethnicity, gender, diifference, the Other, structural violence, privileging subjectivity, unstated assumptions, relativism, tolerance of ambiguity, inequality, diversity and so forth. Outcomes: Measured by the inclusion of references in written and oral contributions to discourse.

    • Substantive Objective: To review and evaluate materials on the relationship between criminal justice and social justice. Towards the end of the semester, you will look back on your own class interactions as an example of the creative production of a forum through application of the aesthetic process of answerability and the understanding of illocutionary discourse. This evaluation of the class will be initiated in class and Internet discussions. Outcomes: You will participate in class discussions on the historical and contemporary issues focusing on criminal justice/social justice. You may choose measures of learning from these discussions.

    • Praxis Objective: To recognize differences between theory, factual knowledge, and the application and synthesis of that knowledge in praxis. Become familiar with the interrelationship between correctional theories, policies, and practices. Outcomes: You will choose between the types of knowledge and to balance them.

    • Specific Current Event Objective: To apply theoretical discussions to examples within your own institutions and lifeworlds as they relate to criminal justice/social justice issues. Focus on conceptually linking correctional theory to current events and personal narratives shared in face-to-face and Internet discussions. Outcomes: Class discussions, summaries of which will appear on the Internet, will provide myriad examples for applications. You will choose an application of specific personal interest and prepare an approach to the application, either for understanding, or in some cases, making it better, using the theoretical tools on which we have focused. You may choose measures of learning from these applications.

    Grades and Grading

    Grades can be important feedback when they are collaborative and used as feedback to guide further learning. They are harmful when they become a reified end in their own right. Because we are required by the institution to give grades, there must be a means of your letting us know what you hae learned. We expect each of you to communicate with us, so that we come to know you and your learning. Meaningful learning comes when we stretch the corners of each other's mind by looking at these concepts from multiple perspectives that come from our myriad unique experiences. You are invited to choose the measures of learning that best fits your learning style best. More details will be provided in class.

    The 6Cs - communication, cooperation, courtesy, consistency, competency, and creativity represent our standards for evaluation. Refer to Grades on the Dear Habermas web site. Your coursework must show scholarly discipline in conceptually linking your learning to theory, policy, practice, and to course readings and discussions.

    Ideally, four progress checks (meeting with the professor every four weeks) throughout the semester is recommended. A minimum of two progress checks with the professor is required (at midterm and at the end of the semester). The first eight weeks will be worth one-third of your course grade while the second eight weeks constitutes two-thirds of your course grade.

    The minimum requirements for a course grade of "C" are: 1) the completion of all the weekly discussion questions, 2) participatory class attendance (not only attending but participating in class discussions), and 3) at least a "C" pop quiz grades (to note "do not count" on a majority of pop quizzes is below average).

  • Statement on Plagiarism

    DON'T DO IT!! Give credit to those whose ideas and words you use. Cooperation and sharing in this class will earn you a better grade. Adversarialism is not a part of our teaching. We believe that learning flowers in an environment that permits mutuality to flourish.

    Other Important Notes

    Students with Disabilities - Any student with a disability requiring accommodations in this course is encouraged to contact me after class or during office hours. Additionally, students should contact Disability Services Office in WYLL D175. Staff can be reached at 595-2610 or 595-2372.

    Deadlines/Due Dates - All due dates and deadlines are firm. Late assignments will not be accepted. A "no show" will result in an "F" for that particular task. The absolute final deadline for all course work is Friday, April 21st at 11 a.m. central time.

    Communicating - It is your responsibility to communicate an emergency and other situations in a timely manner to the professor. Communicating your whereabouts is important. Don't be a field mouse.

    Groupwork: You may work in groups on any or all exercises or assignments. Cooperative learning groups are strongly encouraged. You can work with more than one group, and with different groups. All names of active group members should be recorded as indicated on the exercise material. (Refer to Cooperative Learning on the Dear Habermas site ).



    WeekTopic and Class PreparationMinimal Requirement for Textual Readings
    Week 1
    Introduction Loeb introduction
    Minow, foreword, ch. 1
    Week 2
    Seeds of the Possible
    ** Wed, Jan. 25th 12 noon to 1 p.m.-- Optional Dear Habermas Workshop in the library microcomputing classroom
    Loeb, ch. 1-4
    Week 3
    Dark Before Dawn
    Vengeance and Forgiveness
    Loeb, ch. 5-7
    Minow, ch. 2
    Week 4
    Everyday Grace
    Loeb, ch. 8-12
    Minow, ch. 3
    Week 5
    The Flight of Our Dreams
    Truth Commissions
    Loeb, ch. 13-21
    Minow, ch. 4
    Week 6
    Courage is Contagious
    Loeb, ch. 22-27
    Minow, ch. 5
    Week 7
    The Global Stage
    Facing History
    Loeb, ch. 28-32
    Minow, ch. 6
    Week 8
    Criminal Justice/Social Justice @ Midterm
    **Friday, 3/10 - Last Day to Drop Course
    Minow, entirety
    Loeb, ch. 1-32
    Week 9
    Spring Break
    **No Class- M 3/13, W 3/15 & F 3/17
    Week 10
    Radical Dignity
    Democracy Matters are Frightening...
    Loeb, ch. 33-38
    West, ch. 1-2
    Week 11
    Beyond Hope Loeb, ch. 39-44
    Week 12
    Democratic Traditions/IdentitiesWest, ch. 3-4
    Week 13
    Only Justice Can Stop a Curse
    ...Christian Identity... /...Youth Culture

    Loeb, ch. 45-49
    West, ch. 5-6
    Week 14
    The Democratic Armor
    ** Fri, April 21st at 11 a.m. central time - Final Absolute Deadline
    West, ch. 7
    Week 15
    Criminal Justice/Social Justice: Theory, Policy, Practice
    Week 16
    Criminal Justice/Social Justice: Theory, Policy, Practice
    ** Friday, May 5th - Last Day of Class
    ** Saturday, May 6th 12 noon - Deadline for Course Grade Email Follow Up

    Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, August 2003.
    "Fair use" encouraged.