Link to What's New This Week UWP Commentary on Recent Lectures:Week of September 22, 2002

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UWP Commentary from Lectures - Week of September 22, 2002

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: September 6, 2002
Latest Update: September 27, 2002

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Site Teaching Modules UWP Commentary on Recent Lectures:
Week of September 22, 2002

Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, September 2002.
"Fair use" encouraged.

* * * * *
Comments grouped by course.
Subject of comment in green.
susan's commentaries in bright blue. Template:

  • Student Name: CRMJ/SOCA 233 - Criminology, CRMJ/SOCA 363 Corrections, CRMJ/SOCA 365 Race, Crime, Law

    For All UWP classes:

    On Tuesday, September 24, 2002, Tony Ciardo wrote:
    On theory, policy, practice

    Hi i'm tony ciardo from your corrections class. I read a artilce on parolees' access to the internet. U.S Parole Commission is having a tight restriction policy on the parolees' access to the internet. They have to ask their parole officers for permission especially for the child molestors, hate crime criminals, and people that used bombs in the act of crime. People on the board can't ignore the issue because these criminals will do their crimes on it all the time if not watch properly by the parole officers. The policy here is great to do, but will the pratice work ?

    tony -- good question. you can see the rationale for the policy but what do you think might happen in practice? why.

    On Thursday, September 26, 2002, Bobby Malecki wrote:
    In response to Ciardo's comments

    I am Bobby Malecki from your MWF class at 10:00 A.M. and I was looking through your websight this evening and noticed Tony Ciardo's comment and looked into this Parole Officer's internet watching thing and personally, I think it's not justified. I don't care if the practice works or not, and by no means do I agree with criminal behavoir, but once you've served your time and go on parole, it's bad enough. Add your internet time to be monitored I just find mind blowing and ridicolous. We have rights in this county and nation and I beleive watching someone's internet activities like that is bonderline ridiclous. A person on parole is monitored enough, to the point where let them have their time on the internet. -

    bobby -- might want to research this issue further before forming an opinion?

    On xxxday, September xx, 2002, xxx wrote:



    From CRMJ/SOCA 233: Criminology

    On Sunday, September 22, 2002, Michelle Sims wrote:
    On $14 million and juvenile mentoring

    I think this is a very excellent program. I have been a mentor for the past 2 years. My mom has been a mentor for abour 3 to 4 years. A friend of mine is the owner and director of Peacemakers Mentoring Services, who my mom and I work through. I know and have heard many stories about how a mentor has affected children's lives.

    michelle -- what might be the theory behind juvenile mentoring program success? why.

    On Wednesday, September 25, 2002, Bobby Malecki wrote:
    On $14 million and juvenile mentoring

    I found the DC report to be compelling. The Juvenille founding is ridicolous, the governemt I think shouldn't be wasting money on delinquents, let the families and parents raise their own kids and put the money toward something more useful, like improving national health care or education in general.

    bobby -- why ridiculous if it's based on studies? might want to research this issue further?

  • On Tuesday, September 24, 2002, Tony Ciardo wrote:
    On the death penalty

    Hi, I'm tony ciardo from criminology class. I read an article on the death penalty. The author describes how the death penalty is moral and just. We must never forget that if no one murders, then no one will be executed. Murders aren't innocent people fighting for their lives. The author also says that America should get back the mentality that victim rights are more important then criminal rights. This article was a great bias article for the "for" people of the death penalty. i'm still on both sides of the death penalty.

    tony -- if you had to take a side which side would you select and why? we'll be talking about the death penalty in class.

    On Tuesday, September 24, 2002, Alfred George wrote:
    On the death penalty

    I am pro-death penalty, for those who commit crimes that are "especially heinous,atrocious, or cruel or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman. But I have to agree with some of the reading of Blackmun, when he says that race continue to play a major role in determining who lives or dies, because quite a few of the mistakes as it relates to the death penalty in recent years have involved mostly men from minority groups. So I don't think that the death penalty should be done away with, I thuink we need to open our eyes to this major problem that plagues it and not continue to be like the mjority that turned it's back on McClesky's claims. Sorry for going over 25 words .

    alfred -- we'll be talking about the death penalty in class.

    On Tuesday, September 24, 2002, LaShay Holley wrote:
    On the death penalty

    I found out that 38 states currently have the death penalty, and that there are currently 3400 children that are on death row, babies that didnt know what they were doing but know is about t die.

    lashay -- good! my previous email had just asked if you could find out the answer to your question and you did. want to do a website review on this site? there is a link to the class page with the website review questions or if you'd like research the death penalty issue further.

    On Tuesday, September 24, 2002, Sheila Simonsen wrote:
    On the death penalty

    I am definitely against the death penalty, Through out history people have been put to death for crimes they never committed, that's my main reason for being against the death penalty. When I was 15 I met a man who was on death row in Alabama, he was only 16 when he was involved in a robbery and double homicide, he drove the get away car unknowingly, He is now the author of the book "Twice Pardon" and an inspirational speaker to teenagers about the choices they make and how it can effect their lives for ever. Death penalty sound great in theory, but in practice it doesn't work. Those that are going to commit heinous crimes don't care that they may be put to death, and innocent people have lost their lives for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    sheila -- we'll be discussing this issue in class or is this something that you might want to research more?

    On Wednesday, September 25, 2002, Kimberly Bailey wrote:
    On the death penalty

    I wanted to comment on the death penalty article. I am on both sides for the death penalty. Race does plays a major role in who lives and dies as Blackmun commented. For example, if a black man and a white man commits the same crime, most likely the black man will have to serve more time or death. Now the are beginning to realize that it is alot of innocent blackmen on death row.

    Kimberly -- how can you be on both sides? the race factor is a fascinating aspect of this issue, too. we'll be discussing this issue in class. or is this something that you might want to research more?

    On Friday, September 27, 2002, Anel Garza wrote:
    On the death penalty

    I enjoyed being in groups and having to look at the death penalty from a different perspective, although it still didn't change that I don't think it's correct but it was something I never did.

    anel -- i'm glad you liked today's class. and it's always a good idea to try to understand the "other" side of an issue.

    On Tuesday, September 24th, Nicole Hagman wrote:
    On self report studies

    I really enjoyed class today. My group and I had a really good discussion on the survey. We strongly believed that people did not read the directions and some where maybe not honest. We did not find it surprising that the majority of students surveyed were really into alcohol. I personally thought that the number of drug users was low. I was expecting more drug users because its college, and in my mind I thought that more people would experiment with drugs.

    nicole -- great. i'm glad.

    On Tuesday, September 24th, Jennifer Kruesel wrote:
    On self report studies

    when we got the results back from the surveys we all did I was really suprised at some of the results. From what I have seen at Parkside living in the dorms I do not think that people answered those surveys truthfully. I know we did not do enough sampling throughout the school and the way we handed them out could of had an effect on how it was answered. I expected a few of those catogories a lot higher than what they were.

    jennifer -- which categories would you expect higher numbers? why?

    On Tuesay, September 24, 2002, Chelsey Kis wrote:
    Use of Deadly Force and Prison Guards

    I was looking up on the internet deadly force and found a website called Media Awareness Project. One of the sections that i found was called "Only California Uses Deadly Force in Inmate Fights." It stated that since 1994, state prison guards breaking up brawls have killed 12 and seriosly injured 32. In the rest of the nation only six were fatally shot, all when they were trying to escape. . .

    chelsey -- what do you think of prison guards and the use of deadly force? what's your reaction? i'm putting this up on the commentaries because my other classes might be interested in this issue.

    On Wednesday, September 25, 2002, Anel Garza wrote:
    On the Classical School

    I personally don't think that if the punishment is harsher that crime rates will go down. Some crimes aren't precipitated and even if they are they aren't thinking of the consequences before they do it debating on whether or not they should do it. The punishments should already be harsh, some aren't and that's the holes that people use to get out of the system. There shouldn't be no if and or buts!

    anel, i know you had noted this under corrections but since we talked about Beccaria and Bentham in the crim class, i'm putting this under crim. are you saying there are "no exceptions to the rules/laws? why.

    On Wednesday, September 25, 2002, Jessie DuBois wrote:
    UWP Police Dept Crime Statistics

    When I looked through the statistics I was very surprised by all the different types of crimes that were committed. I expected the disorderly conduct adn assult to be high because of fights. I though there would be more rapes and sexual assults than there were reported. I didn't know what exactly some of the crimes mean or entail. There was one "throwing hard objects" I acually know who the three people were that were charged with that. They were throwing eggs. I thought that maybe they should have some sort of disription of the crimes also. Not for every incident, but maybe what something like "throwing hard objects means to someone who didn't know the circumstances.

    jessie -- a good idea to follow through and check out the UWP Police Dept statistics.

    On Thursday, September 26, 2002, Ray Christianson wrote:
    On Headstart

    ... I just wanted to comment on the disscussion we were having in class on on wed. 09/24. The topic came up on the program head start and how it is for poorer families and some of the class seemed disturbed by the fact that only lower income families could get in. I think it is great for disadvantaged kids to get a head start on schooling. If it wasn't for this program many kids through out the area would not be educated enough to start real school. Sometimes the lower income families don't have the recources to educate their little ones about what they should know and how they she act in school. For the higher income families, they can pay because they can afford it. They also have the proper resources. I think headstart is a wonderful way for disadvantaged children to learn before they get into school.

    ray - i agree with you. headstart is one way of leveling the playing field for those who are disadvantaged. want to research this topic further?

    On Thursday, September 26, 2002, Krista Lindemann wrote:
    Drunk driving and punishment

    I was surfing the net about some drunk driving stats and ran across this... ""Drunk driving is proving to be even deadlier than what we previously knew. The latest traffic death statistics released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), using a new method of calculation, show that 17,448 people were killed last year in alcohol-related traffic crashes. This number represents nearly 800 more deaths than previously estimated. Sadly, it also represents an increase over the 17,380 people killed in such crashes in the year 2000. Additional statistics show that more than half a million others are injured in crashes involving alcohol.""" Refering to what we talked about in class on Wednesday, someone mentioned that the punishment for first offenses is too light. I agree that first offense's are way to easy. I know someone who crashed into the back of a semi truck at 1pm and was drunk. This was the second offense, and all they did was take away her license for 1 month. I think the punishment needs to be harsher after the first offense. With such a light punishment, those criminals are bound to do it again!

    krista -- your observation fits in nicely with our class discussion on the Classical School. Does the punishment fit the crime? also you might want to do a website review (the questions are listed under "forms for all uwp classes" on my class page.

    On xxxday, September xx, 2002, xxx wrote:



    From CRMJ/SOCA 363: Corrections

    Tony Ciardo and Angie Siemers wrote on Sunday, September 22, 2002:
    On the Wisconsin Dept of Corrections funding

    Angie siemiers and I, tony read a artilce on the corrections department of Wisconsin explaining that Wisconsin received $2 million for the next three years to improve community safety and give high risk youth a better chance of successful intergration. This is for youth age group from 14-24; and targets juveniles after they are released from a juvenile correctional institution. This grant includes funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment , job training and youth mentors. We discussed that this grant will help the detterance of youth crimes. It will help the youth re-enter society and learn how to succeed in life and stay out of the corrections system.

    Tony and Angie -- what does this tell us about "theory, policy, practice" then? why.

    Jamie Thomas wrote on Monday, September 23, 2002:
    On the book, Holes

    I decided to read holes this weekend. The book brought up so much anger in me. It's a shame that some institutions are actually ran like that. I hope the government has some kind of a system to keep up on these different institutions so they these problems don't keep occuring.

    jamie -- might want to research what goes inside juvenile correctional institutions and how they try to prevent this from happening?

    Caroline Zires wrote on Monday, September 23, 2002:
    On prisons and jails on the outside & keeping silent

    When you were talking in class today about how that prison looked ugly on the outside so it would scare children away I thought that made sense. In Waukegan I pass the jail all the time and the building looks really nice from the outside. I can even see the basketball court the have a few floors up. I always think it can't be that bad in there, so maybe if the building actually looked more like a jail it would deter some people. I also thought the comment you made about not talking to anyone for 24hours was pretty interesting, I'll have to try that this Saturday on my day off.

    caroline -- might be an interesting creative measure to observe prisons and jails on the outside to see if they would scare kids. let me know how saturday and not talking goes.

    Sarah Brown wrote on Monday, September 23, 2002:
    On the next category in American corrections


    sarah -- what might be examples to strengthen your argument for "reform and reintegration"? hopefully, others will email in their ideas as well.

    Nikki Rosa wrote on Monday, September 23, 2002:
    On the complexities of corrections

    In talking about the history of prison today i began to think about how we have never had a solution to corrections.....There is never a right or wrong way and no one way will work for everyone.......There will always be some who like this way and some who like this way and other who disagree with both,......It's nearly impossible to know the answers unless you are in that prisoner shoes......Even now you may believe some crimes are wrong but if you put yourself in the shoes of the people involved you may have a different outlook......The victims or their families want one thing and the prisoner wants another and both see it from different view may believe you would never kill another human being but what if you did and you couldn't control it maybe then you would feel differently about one knows what goes on in another persons head so we cannot judge......with this same idea you may not believe e in the death penalty but what if it was your child or mother who was killed what would you believe then??

    nikki -- that's why corrections is such a fascinating and yet extremely complezx field. there are no "easy" or "simple" answers.

    On Wednesday, September 25, 2002, Mohammad Farhan wrote:
    On "who goes to prison?"

    I think that only criminals that have committed major, harsh crimes such as murder, rape etc.. should go to prison. This way we can control the overcrowding and not everyone goes to prison for petty crimes.

    mohammad -- how would that control the overcrowding then? what do you consider "petty crimes?"

    On xxxday, September xx, 2002, xxx wrote:



    From CRMJ/SOCA 365: Race, Crime and Law

    On Sunday, September 22, 2002, Nick Contreras wrote:
    Competition vs. Cooperation

    I'm not in the class, but I was reading Tim Mostowik's comment on the need for someone to be #1, or someone to be, "the best." I totally agree with him. As a competitive person, I feel that if everyone's equal, or average, what is there to strive for? Someone has to be the best, for other's to respect and admire. A book was written, about a world where everyone was made to be equal. The strong had weights to keep them down, the smart had loud shocks to keep them from thinking more than others. In the end, this one man broke free of his restraints, and all was well. Maybe someone can help with the name of the book, it was "Harry.. bergeron?"

    nick -- that's okay. in fact, i encourage students to crossover to the other classes to see what each class is doing because there are interesting issues that overlap. why must there always be a winner? might want to check out fellman's rambo and the dalai lama (it's on reserve in the library).

    On Monday, September 23, 2002, Tim Mostowik wrote:
    Reaction to race/IQ class discussion

    i tought that the loewen-binet high low iq test was very interesting even though i got everyone wrong. i didnt know what any of the questions were saying. the language and vocabulary that was used was something that i was unfamiliar with.

    tim -- what happens if you were tested on a subject that was totally unfamiliar and yet the test counted heavily toward something (i.e., admission to a school, job, etc.)? then what?

    On Monday, September 23, 2002, Mike Rosandich wrote:
    Reaction to race/IQ class discussion

    I can see where everyone is coming from on college entrance exams being a little bias, but I think they have to be. This country is very multiracial and that's a very good thing, but to go to college and graduate you need to know those tests and the material on them. I could be wrong but I think that they are a pretty good measure. As far as law school exams and stuff, the girl in class was right they kind of "weed out" applicants. I think that those tests as a gateway is a good idea because people being a gateway, is uncontrolable and no way to standardize it.

    mike -- so when are tests biased? and when are they fair?

    On Tuesday, September 24, 2002, Kim Dexter responded to Mike Rosandich's comments:
    Reaction to race/IQ class discussion

    I understand what Mike was saying about cetain college exams being necessary.I think those trying to get into medical school certainly need to know anatomy and science. But I think there are significant biases in general achievement tests and Act and SAT exams. I remember biases, for example, particularly pertaining to history. History questions focused on presidents and wars - typically white male perspectives and topics. Not much about women in general. Typically, many of the history books I remember from grade school and highschool were written the same way. A lot of stuff about men and wars - who wins and who loses. This brings us back to the competition issue.

    kim -- some of these tests are so obsolete that they don't include things about women or racial/ethnic minorities. yes, just look at the school textbooks that kids are using today and how much diversity is portrayed.

    On Wednesday, September 25, 2002, Sarah Rekenthaler wrote:
    Reaction to race/IQ class discussion

    I just wanted to let you know that I was talking with a friend about I.Q. tests and him and I agreed that most if not all of the tests are biased. My friend pretty much said that they target one group of people like we discussed in class on Monday. We also talked about the A.C.T. tests and S.A.T. tests and agreed that those were biased too. We both came to the consensous that these tests do not justify how smart somebody is. I just thought I'd share this with you.

    sarah -- if tests don't tell us who's smart and who isn't, then how do we measure who's smart?

    On Monday, September 23, 2002, Erica Gavins wrote:
    On race and racism

    I was thinking about what you said about how sometimes people falsely accuse others of being a racist. But if you really think about it, I don't think that we should blame those people all the time. Only because many minority groups in the United States has been discriminated against for so long that it becomes an expectation to be discriminated against by a particular group of people.

    erica -- because something has happened for a long time or that's the way it's always been, does that make it okay? why. (remember fellman's "paradigm shift?") what i find scary stuff are the "unstated assumptions" or the privileging of subjectivity (similar to ethnocentrism) that occurs.

    On Monday, September 23, 2002, Tracy Blauser wrote:
    On race and racism

    a thought on lecture today-race and gender are so ingrained, we use it in everyday language, sometimes just to differenciate people.(the lady doctor, the black professer) It is just because we are used to white men in these positions. I think we should celebrate our differences and appreciate the differnt perspectives we all can offer.

    tracy -- a good point how we are always making comparisons and noticing differences. why is that? might want to check out Martha Minow's Making all the difference: Inclusion, exclusion and American law .yes, i agree that we need to appreciate our differences and diversity. imagine if we were all the same?

    On Thursday, September 26, 2002, Akela Brown wrote:
    On race and racism

    I think putting less emphasis on race is what alot of people try to do everyday. If we stop talking about race it would not go away because, there is a difference that divides us culturally- besides our color. The way things are set by the policy makers divide us also. The unequal distribution of power puts the minority at a disadvantage,and things have to be monitored and scrutinzed. If that wasnt so there would be no affirmative action laws, no need to say equal oppurtunity employer. That would be a given. I tghink the color issue is important in some instances.

    akela -- your point is well taken. how do policymakers use race to divide us?

    On xxxday, September xx, 2002, xxx wrote: