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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Special Topics- Crime and Public Policy


What should we do about crime? This is an age-old question, inviting keen public interest and passionate debate. In modern times, crime prevention and control have come to be viewed as a central government responsibility, with the pressure mounting on public institutions to "do something" about crime. This course will explore the various ways in which this public pressure has been translated into American public policy. It will explore the organizational, political, economic, and cultural processes that have shaped contemporary criminal justice policy and practices. The course will trace the origins of the "get tough on crime" movement taking shape in the 1980s, leading to unprecedented levels of mass incarceration and public spending on crime control. Using the latest "what works" research, the course will examine the effectiveness of major criminal justice policies and contemplate the broad lessons can that be drawn from their successes and failures.
Course Details

Spring 2021

Base Cost: $1,608 ($402/credit)
Term Fee: $47
Start date: Feb 01, 2021
End date: May 04, 2021
Last day to add: Feb 12, 2021
Last day to drop: Feb 12, 2021
Last day to withdraw: Mar 29, 2021