California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: July 27, 2003
Latest Update: October 23, 2003
You will be held accountable for purposes of grading for the readings and exercises listed here. There will be no "testing." That means that you will not have to live in anxious anticipation of what we will ask and how much you will have to know. Instead, we will provide weekly discussion questions, lectures, essays, and concepts we feel that you should know as a result of having taken this course. You will assure us of that learning and receive your grade for the questions and concepts about which you choose to write and talk with us. In addition you will find detailed explanations and examples on our grading policies in the first week's reading.
* * * * * Week 10: Week of November 2, 2003
Topic: Media and Prison/Punishment
- Merlo and Benekos. What's wrong with the criminal justice system: Ideology, Politics and the Media. -- Chapter 4.
- Surette. Media, crime, and criminal justice. -- no chapter readings this week.
- Potter and Kappeler. Constructing crime. -- no chapter readings this week.
Lecture related links:
--- Sociology of Knowledge Files . --- Check out this link -- Ray Surette's website ( found by Bettie Poole).
Concepts to be covered:
- prisons and jails
- probation and parole
- prison overcrowding
- the imprisonment binge
- alternatives to incarceration
- How would you describe correctional policy and the current situation in the United States prison system to a visitor from another nation? Are there certain characteristics that are particularly unique to the United States? (M&B:112)
- Explain some of the consequences of a correctional strategy that emphasizes long-term incarceration (like three-strikes legislation). (M&B:112)
- Discuss the post-modern penology. What are its human costs? Defend the "no-frills prison" concept. Do you think that these kinds of prisons are more likely to deter crime? Why. (M&B:112)
- Elaborate on the politicization of crime as it affects correctional policy. (M&B: 112)
- Illustrate the media's effect on correctional policy. How can the media and politicians become better informed about the realities of crime? What role should you play? (M&B:112)
- Provide a rationale for moving away from our heavy reliance on incarceration. Create a correctional policy that will incorporate community-based correctional alternatives along with incarceration. How will it improve the status quo?
Suggested Creative Activities:
Left/Right Perspectives - Cursor - New York Times
Arts and Letters Daily - The Economist - The Guardian
Wall Street Journal -The Weekly Standard - The Nation
Los Angeles Times - Chicago Tribune - The Washington Post
Cursor's Al Jazeera Archive - Ha'aretz - Palestine Monitor
Indymedia - BBC News - New Profile - Progressive Sociologists Network
Minimum Requirements for Week 10: