Link to What's New This Week UWP Commentary on Recent Lectures:Week of February 9, 2003

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UWP Commentary from Lectures - Week of February 9, 2003

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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: February 13a, 2003

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Site Teaching Modules UWP Commentary on Recent Lectures:
Week of February 9, 2003

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:

  • From CRMJ/SOCA 363: Corrections

    On Sunday, February 9, 2003, Krista Lindemann wrote:
    On inmate penpals


    krista -- i am glad that you asked me first. but absolutely NOT!!! students have asked me in the past but this is one area that i definitely prohibit. (the only exception is if you have a relative or close friend in prison/jail but that requires prior approval). But never ever correspond with a prisoner off of a website.

    On Wednesday, February 12, 2003, Krista Lindemann wrote:
    On "Who goes to Prison?"

    In response to the talk about who should go to prison and who goes to prison, I feel that theory, policy and practice is very ineffective here. The theory behind all of this is that those individuals who commit crimes should have to pay the time in prison. However, in practice, this isn't happening. According to Haas and Alpert, there is a large percentage of lower class male African Americans. In theory, those who are inprisoned shouldn't matter on thier race, color, ethnicity, gender, or class status. If this theory was being practiced correctly, there would be more white females in prisons.

    krista -- how do we "fix" what's wrong with corrections, then? why.

    On Thursday, February 13th, Chrissy Knox wrote:
    On Who Doesn't Belong in Prison?

    When talking about who belongs in prison in class the other day, I decided to ask my self the question "Who doesn't belong in prison?". I think that the minor offenders, drug addicts, and the mentally ill do not belong in prison.

    krissy -- Why?

    On Thursday, February 13, 2003, Lindsay Weinstein wrote:
    On Hassine

    I find the Hassine book very interesting. In general, the theory is that those incarcerated are there to pay their dues and are seen as a threat to the outside world. Some of these inmates are sent to prison with the assumption that time will rid them of their bad habits or wrongdoings. In the meantime though, they are torturing or being tortured and raped by other inmates, while guards just sit and watch, clearly afraid of intervening. How can this ever help them to be ready for the outside world once they are free? I find this to be both shocking and sad.

    lindsay -- what can be done about a correctional institution that doesn't seem to "correct" (rehabilitate) at all? want to research this topic?

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    From CRMJ/SOCA 365: Race, Crime and Law

    Nick Fucile wrote on Sunday, February 9th:
    On War

    It seems that there is no one that wants to go to war. I think if we dont though, we are going to get hit again. People said we have no right to start a war with Iraq. The only thing is that we aren't the ones running planes into other buildings.

    nick -- you might want to research U.S. involvement in military coups, terrorism, wars, etc. that might make for a fascinating creative measure. also, what does fellman say about war? why.

    Heidi Schneider wrote on Sunday, February 9th:
    On War

    In response to the commentary on the web-page I think Nick's(?) statement is completely based on assumptions. We don't know for sure what he has in iraq, and we don't know if he'll use them, we have no way of telling how the war will end up and we are assuming that by us invading things will work out for the better. I do not feel comfortable sending my loved ones to war simple based on assumptions.

    heidi -- i read a newspaper article how college students are much more ambivalent about war than past generations. there's not a whole lot of information beyond mainstream stuff although the Dear Habermas site is trying to offer alternative perspectives.

    Erin Matsunaga wrote on Monday, February 10th:
    On race

    -- Just wanted to comment about class today. I think that the reason why race is still an issue is because people talk about it so much and how it's such a problem. It's almost impossible, but if people would talk about individuals instead of categorizing people into races, it might disappear!

    erin -- if you're interested in the concept of race, you might want to read Robert Blauner's Still the Big News: Racial Oppression in America and/or Cornel West's Race Matters.

    Ryan Fornal wrote on Monday, February 10th:
    On race

    After reading over the commentaries this afternoon, I would have to agree with what Erin had to say. Race is still an issue because people seem to refuse to drop it and let it go! Rather then seeing an individual for who he/she is on the inside, we tend to judge people more so based on the outside color and overall appearance. Is there a way to fix this issue? My answer to that would be to put an end to the categorization of race in general.

    ryan -- good question -- how do we quit categorizing by race/ethnicity?

    On Monday, February 10th, Brad Gietzel wrote:
    On race

    To elaborate on what the issue of religion and race, the movie my big fat greek wedding is a good example. Only in that case the guy was of the same color, only a different ethnic backround. He really had to work had to get the family to except him for who he was.

    brad -- a good example especially with its release on dvd/vhs on tuesday.

    Wayne Berry wrote on Tuesday, February 11th:
    On race

    i would like to comment briefly on why race seems to exist.I think it goes back to one of our discussion questions on whether American society is competitve or cooperative. Race exists for the distribution of goods and service by good ol Uncle Sam. It is the policy that needs fixing. Who cares what race you are if the good and services are for Americans. The power to control!!! Competitive, yes!!

    wayne -- why is this this way? does it have to be this way? what does fellman say? why.

    Lindsay Weinstein wrote on Thursday, February 13th:
    On race

    In reference to our class discussion on the concept that "races" don't really exist, I found a very interesting website,, that includes an article by Natalie Angier from the New York Times. Angier discusses the concept of "race", how it is social, not scientific and that there is only one race-the human race. A couple things I found particularly interesting where that physical traits such as skin color and the width of the nose are all resulted from environmental pressures. According to Dr. Harold Freeman, the chief executive, president and director of surgery at North General Hospital in NYC, "science got us into this problem (of creating different races), with its meaurements of skulls and emphasis on racial differences and classifications. Scientists should now get us out of it."

    lindsay -- want to do a website review? what would fellman and kennedy say about this article? why

    Erica Gavins wrote on Thursday, February 13th:
    On race

    I know that I am not in your race crime and law class but I read the student's comments. Ironically, I had a conversation with a white male and female yesterday and they felt like it is wrong to bring up race. I think that it is terrible that people don't like to acknowlege race. It is apart of what a makes an individual who he or she is. People shouldn't confuse acknowledging and respecting difference verses judging and treating someone based upon their difference.

    erica -- that's okay if you're in my corrections class. one of the reasons why all three classes are in the same file is so that others can read what's going on in all my classes. you and others are welcome to comment on issues that my other classes are discussing.

    On Tuesday, February 11th, Tony Ciardo wrote:
    On "The Powerful Drop"

    in response to the "that powerful drop," why is it that people catageorized groups unequally. we are one nation of one and we shouldn't be jugding everyone by skin color, background or anything. Why is it that if you do have one drop of african american blood in you, that you are considered a african american and not partially black. there's no way that everyone is 100% pure something like you said in class on monday.

    tony -- would you believe that for some, this is still the standard? want to research this issue as a creative measure?

    On Wednesday, February 12th, Heidi Schneider wrote:
    On "The Powerful Drop"

    Just a comment about the drop of color article we read for RCL. I think that now we are focussed less on what our actual "blood" is and focussed more on our skin color. I don't think anyone would care if i had black blood in me but if my skin color is black it's a differnt story. WE are visual creatures so we have prejudice based on what we see.

    heidi -- an interesting point on how we categorize people.

    On Wednesday, February 11th, Krista Lindemann wrote:
    On "IQ test"

    After completing the IQ test we took in class, I was frustrated. I felt that the test was focussed on upper and lower class knowledge. Everyone comes from different backgrounds, so no one test can determine a person's IQ. It all depends on who writes the tests. Krista Lindemann

    krista -- what does that tell us about the validity of such test and testing?

    On Wednesday, February 12th, Luke Braun wrote:
    On "IQ test"

    Hi, susan my name is Luke Braun and I am in your Race,Crime,And Law/370 class on M,W,F. I just wanted to comment on the Lowen-Bient High-IQ Test that we took in class on Wed. I scored a 75. I think that this test doesn't have any merit on how smart I am or what skills I have. The only think this test does is give each indivdual a number, which only creates competion, everyone wants a higher number than the other person. Or that's what society teachs us to do.

    luke -- it does raise a lot of questions -- what do tests tell us? if tests create competition, then what would fellman say? why

    On Thursday, February 13th, Ericka Owens wrote:
    On the symbolism of color

    i though a lot about what you said in monday's class and i was amazed that how true what you saying was. we do associated color with people and stereotypes. it seems like everything good and happy is associated with the color white which is the view that society has now. that white is right. and we associat everything bad and evil with the color black and that is the view that society has now. that black is wrong. a lot of black people is judged on these bases. that why we have racial profiling because of the concept just because we are black we are going to commit a crime and just because we are black that our lives are meaningless and so when we are convicted and sentenced our sentences generally harsher and longer than that of our white counterpart. color has a lot to do with everything that happens in this society. if you skin is white your in with no problem , if your skin is yellow your in too , but if your sking is black get back your in for a up hill fight.

    ericka -- would you like to research the symbolism of color as a creative measure?

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    From CRMJ/SOCA 352: Law and Social Change

    On Sunday, February 9th, Kim Dexter wrote:
    On "The Sneetches"

    I like these Dr. Seuss movies you show us. The messages are made quite clear in such a simple way. Something I noticed about the Sneetches was that they could only tell each other apart by the star (or no star) on their bellies. They couldn't differentiate otherwise. It wasn't until they all got mixed up that they decided they were all the same - or just as good. It is such a simple concept and yet people make it so complicated. Republican - Democrat. Black - White. American - MIddle Eastern. Where does it end?

    kim --- good question!

    On Monday, February 10th , Caroline Zires wrote:
    On Six Circles

    In class today the circle worksheet was great. It was a simple way of getting a big point across. I quickly divided up the circles without trying to think of different ways of doing it, so when classmates came up with all these other ways I was like "oh ya, that makes sense too" I think of myself as a very open-minded type of person and this assignment showed me that we all have potential to be a little close minded.

    caroline -- there are so many different viewpoints and perspectives.

    On Tuesday, February 11h, Veronica Ramirez wrote:
    On "Between Facts and Norms"

    You asked us in L&SC what of the law we did not agree with or like. I would have to say that I think it's ridiculous to try and cure an insane person for the sole purpose of putting them to death.

    veronica -- did you catch the latest article on this issue? why is this "ridiculous?" what is the tension between facts and norms here? why?

    On Thursday, February 13th, Heidi Schneider wrote:
    On Marxist Criminology

    In class we talked about the Marx criminologist being optimistic. I think that the thought of getting rid of class and race and gender stratus is an awesome idea but i think that it is far beyond optimistic and is borderline unrealistic. I wonder how this can be seen as a great theory if it will never be put into action and doesn't have the capasity to work given our current situations.

    heidi -- maybe Marxists have to optimistic because the task is so huge. maybe it won't take a massive revolution for things to change. maybe little revolutions and changes are taking place and their collective efforts will improve things for the have nots. what do you think?

    On xxxday, January xx, 2003, xxx wrote:
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