Link to What's New This Week UWP Commentary on Recent Lectures:Week of September 8, 2002

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UWP Commentary from Lectures - Week of September 8, 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 17a, 2002

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Site Teaching Modules UWP Commentary on Recent Lectures: Week of September 8, 2002.

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

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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 Monday, September 9, 2002, Emily Klug wrote:
    On gold stars and Alfie Kohn

    I just wanted to comment on something you said in class. You asked the question "Are we teaching children to think for themselves or are we teaching them to only follow the rules?"

    I just wanted to say that I think we are doing it both ways, but I am leaning more towards the fact that I think we are just teaching them to follow the rules, because for example my little sister who is 6, hated her kindergarten teacher because she always was telling the kids "no don't do that, an no don't do this". "You must do it this way." I guess I just feel that they don't have any way to express there creativity when the teachers are like that. It is like they feel afraid, which my sister did at times.

    On Friday, September 13, 2002, Amy Middleton wrote:
    On gold stars and Alfie Kohn

    The theory that learning can only be evaluated by tests, and that teaching can only be done by rote memorization is disturbing to me. I am one who learns by listening, (auditory learning), and I am lucky that I have the ability to regurgitate information back to the teacher. They like that. But.... is that learning? Is that comprehending? Not always.

    Yes, Emily and Amy -- Good points made by both of you! Education is not "one size fits all."Alfie Kohn does make us think about what's going on inside our schools and what is it we are teaching our children. Refer to Alfie Kohn's "The Case Against Gold Stars" .

    From CRMJ/SOCA 233: Criminology

    On Monday, September 9, 2002, Jessie Du Bois wrote:
    On defining crime

    Today in class we talked in class about different definitions of crime. I think that the labeling theory and the Marxist theory both factor into the criminal justice process, but the theory that could be best used as a definition is the consensus theory. You have committed a crime when you have broken the law. Just because you didn't get caught doesn't mean that you didn't break the law. Someone in class agreed with the labeling theory, saying that it really has to do with whether you get caught or not, or whether someone thinks your guilty. That is not necessarily the case. An example would be the survey we took. People in the class still said they committed a crime when they didn't get caught or weren't even accused. I think the other two theories effect the criminal justice system but don't do the best job of defining "crime".

    There is no "right" or "wrong" answer on which definition of crime makes the most sense. For a brief outline of this lecture , go to "The definition of crime" .

    On Wednesday, September 11, 2002, Michelle Sims wrote:
    On defining crime

    My scheme works the same way. The only thing that doesn't happen is the behavior. You still would be given a label from the police and jury. The label you get is based on how much money you have.

    michelle -- then what you are saying is that the label is more important than the act itself? Why is that?

    On Tuesday, September 10, Chelsey Kis wrote:
    On reactions to Pollock's Criminal Women

    I was reading the first chapter in our textbook and decided to go on the internet and see what i could find about women and crime. I found a website called life in the USA about crimes against women. The website seemed geared to helpless women and about the most committed crime against women is purse snatching. the book was talking about women who do wrong and how other factors caused them to do it. I couldnt find much about women committing crimes on the internet but im sure i will eventually find something. It is weird how women are viewed so helpless by our society.

    We ran out of time in class to discuss Pollock. If you think this website is relevant to this course, do a website review of it. Why do you think women are viewed as "helpless?"

    On Thursday, September 12, Sheila Simonsen wrote:
    On theories applied

    I believe the theory that my neighbors and mine working together to take back are neighborhood would be structural functionalism. Durkhiem believed that mechanical solidarity will win over the individuals who act out against society. If the solidarity among my neighbor and my self we should be able to prevail over those that are disrupting our neighborhood. Although I do realize that there is a lot of labeling going on as well. . .

    sheila -- sounds like you've had some sociological theory classes before. good application of theories. as we go through other criminological theories in this course, think about what other theories might apply to your situation.

    On Friday, September 13, Lashay Holley wrote:
    On D.A.R.E. and other anti-drug programs

    . . . I would like to know what you think about the DARE program if they work or not. I think that they dont work because they have the dare program in the 5th grade and never again have the dare program, and you need the program in middle school becasue this is when teenagers get introduced.

    lashay -- as I mentioned in class, the national evaluations of the DARE program claim that the DARE is an ineffective anti-durg program. It doesn't work.

    On Friday, September 13, Jenny Kruesel wrote:
    On D.A.R.E. and other anti-drug programs

    I know that dare is suppose to help kids not to do drugs, but does it really work? THe article that you told us about today I understood. I do think that a lot of kids do take drugs to school and don't think that they will get caught. I think that schools should do something about this. THe high school that I went to always brought drug dogs into the school. THis really scared the kids. The kids that did get caught got expelled or very harish punishment. I am only from a town of 20,000. I think that they should do it in the bigger cities a lot more often. THis is a start.

    is scaring kids with drug sniffing the dogs an effective measure? why. are there effective anti drug programs out there? if so which ones? is this something you might want to research?

    On Saturday, September 14, Krista Lindermann wrote:
    On D.A.R.E. and other anti-drug programs

    I think one way to mesh theory, policy, practice, is simply by trial and error. if something isn't working, then it is time for a change. Either change the policy or the practice. The example I used earlier, D.A.R.E, if it isn't being effective, then someone needs to look at the policy and/or or practice and see where it can be improved or made more effective. If children aren't getting the drift about staying away from drugs and violence, then it is time to rethink--come up with new and fresh ideas, something that will work.

    i think it is this constantly changing idea that will continue or try to continue to make the policy and practice more effective.

    krista -- great! you're connecting "theory, policy, practice" to the discussions on DARE!. what programs do work? and why?

    From CRMJ/SOCA 363: Corrections

    Mohammad Farhan wrote on Monday, September 9, 2002:
    On Hassine's Life Without Parole

    I found it very interesting when he said fights would always break out, everyone had a weapon, and everyone had drugs. It is hard to believe that all this went on in a prison.

    I'm glad you find the book interesting. You might want research weapons and/or drugs inside the prisons.

    Veronica Ramirez wrote on Thursday, September 12, 2002:
    Connecting class lecture and Hassine's Life Without Parole

    You raised a question in class that I thought related to the book. You asked if corrections really "corrects?" I am only up to chapter 6, but from what I have read, I believe that the institutions and the people who work in them themselves have to be in a sense corrected. How do they plan on these inmates to succeed in the outside world and live in a "civilized" manner if their only connection to it is corrupt itself?

    interesting point and a good idea to relate your answer to the readings. why do you think the correctional system is the way it is? what kinds of corrections need to be made? why. (maybe this is something you can research?)

    Tony Ciardo wrote on Tuesday, September 10, 2002:
    Comparing Haas & Alpert's Dilemmas of Corrections with Hassine's Life Without Parole

    when reading in chapter one of dilemmas of corrections. I thought that the prisons back then where well controlled compared to the readings in Life without Parole. People didn't steal from cells like they do in the book about Victor Hassine. Victor talks about how you have to keep a lookout of your stuff in the cell, but you don't want to catch the person at hand because your facing the dilemma of fighting him. It's either fight him or he will tell his friends that your vulnerable to other people. Now in the book of correction. It talks about how no one could talk to anyone. they would have punishments severely. I think that today's prisons should have inmates controlled more because reading the life without parole makes you think if the prison system really works or not. It seems that the prisons today have more criminal activity and riots is because of the freedom given to them in prison. they all should be locked up only until they have work and have to eat food. some recreational things are good once in awhile.

    Good idea to compare the two books! Why do you think there was more control in the past when compared to today?

    Julia Starr wrote on Tuesday, September 10, 2002:
    Correctional Policies

    just a ? for you- the govt. complains about overcrowding in prisons/jails, complains about $$- yet they have passed the truth in sentencing law which contributes tremendously to both of these problems. and there are no exceptions to the law, that i am aware of, like 1st time offenders or severity of crime, rehabilation...what do you think?

    good observation, julia! truth-in-sentencing laws seem to run counter to the funding problems and overcrowded conditions. is this something you'd like to research further?

    Erin Arneson wrote on Tuesday, September 10, 2002:
    Follow-up to class discussion on sex offender community notifications

    . . . I also was bopping around on the WDC site and found that there are 152 sex offenders living in the zip code 53140. . . .

    A good way to follow-up today's discussion by checking out the DOC website!. What do you think of the 152 registered sex offenders in your zipcode?

    Anel Garza wrote on Friday, September 13, 2002:
    Follow-up to class discussion on sex offender community notifications

    Today in class we spoke about sex offenders and how their information is on the internet and should it be told to the neighborhood to which they are returning to that they will be returning. I don't think they should have the sex offenders address and workplace on the internet, I've seen it and I think it's already enough that they have their picture as well as their name and also what they did. I just wonder if those who believe that it is necessary to have this information be public, would they still believe that it's correct if it was their brother or cousin?

    anel -- good point. so how much information would be considered "enough?" why

    Michael Miller wrote on Saturday, September 14, 2002:
    Follow-up to class discussion on sex offender community notifications

    Wow, I found on the lake county web site that I have 73 sex offenders living in Grayslake. I have one that lives three houses down...WOW

    michael -- why WOW?

    April Puryear wrote on Saturday, September 14, 2002:
    Follow-up to class discussion on sex offender community notifications

    Our discussion on sex offenders in Corrections today was very interesting. I had honestly never heard of chemical castration. So I pulled up a few websights on this issue. Many of the articles agreed that chemical castration works, especially for repeated offenders. It was also interesting to see that the same drug "Depo Provera" is used to lower the offenders sex drive and is also used for birth control in women.

    april -- good idea to take the initiative to follow-up a class discussion and research a topic further!

    From CRMJ/SOCA 365: Race, Crime and Law

    On Monday, September 9, 2002, Carrie Harmann wrote:
    Musical Chairs and Fellman's Rambo and the Dalai Lama

    I've never played musicaI chairs like that. It was an interesting way to find out if we could work together to have the correct outcome. It was uncomfortable at first but everyone was in the same boat.

    Good observation, Carrie. Can you connect how musical chairs relates to Fellman's Rambo and the Dalai Lama?

    On Tuesday, September 10, 2002, Sarah Serpe wrote:
    Musical Chairs and Fellman's Rambo and the Dalai Lama

    i joyed the second game better. it was nice to have everyone win. unfortunately, i do not think we are capable of living in a world where we all win. i feel that if we were all equal people would lose their identity. we would have nothing to strive for if we were always going to remain at the same level.

    if you liked the 2nd game better, then why can't more games be like the second game? why do you think if we're all equal that we'd lose our identity? why would have nothing to strive for? what does fellman say?

    On Tuesday, September 10, 2002, Julia Starr wrote:
    Competition and Cooperation

    hi again. maybe i think im being open-minded but am not at all, but im still having a hard time thinking that this world might be a better place if no one ever lost at anything. i am a dedicated competitor and have been since was a child. i think that it has done me a lot of good in terms of character and self-confidence. fellman isnt helping me think otherwise.

    remember what i emphasized in class yesterday -- fellman says you need a balance of both; not that one is better than the other. although i can think of many situations where "win/win" would be a lot better. can you think of any situations where win/win would be better?

    On Tuesday, September 10, 2002, Ellen Skora wrote:
    Competition and Cooperation

    i agree with the article "deconstruct this winners and losers". life is a combination of competition and cooperation. too much of either will lead to a person loosing site of what really matters or what the true goal is. jerry r. may has a good idea of cooperative competitiveness. people need to learn how to strive for what they want but not lose site of those around them, those that could ultimatly help them in getting what they want.

    On Wednesday, September 11, 2002, Phil Kopier wrote:
    Competition and Cooperation

    Susan, I wanted to respond to Monday's class discussion. I just have to say that this is a new way of thinking fo rme. I have lived my entire life, to this point, striving to be the winner. I feel that this competitive way of thought has helped me to achieve certain goals in life and I am unable to abandon it. I do agree with Fellman that a healthy mix of adversarialism and mutuality is best for society, but I need competition I am addicted to it.

    On Wednesday, September 11, 2002, Robert Duffey wrote:
    Competition and Cooperation

    This is Robert Duffey in your Race,Crime,Law class. After reading the survivor article and the class lecture this past Monday on competition my interest in this topic was sparked. This topic hit me especially hard because competing is something that I take very important. . . . Competing pretty much effects everything I do, just so that I can train harder and better then my opponents.

    ellen, phil and robert -- how can we maintain a healthy balance of both?

    On Thursday, September 12, 2002, Shawna Lehmann wrote:
    On cooperation over competition

    In response to your question, why do we tend to discount opinions/perspectives which are different from our own? The reason we may discount these perspectives is they are not common to others daily routine, or may see out of the ordinary.

    "common" by what or which measuring rod, though? who is to define what is common and what is not? what is ordinary and what is not?

    On Thursday, September 12, 2002, Veronica Ramirez wrote:
    Cooperation, Competition and thinking about class discussions

    I've been thinking about the class game, the discussions in class, and the Fellman book. I believe that there has to be a balance between competition and helping one another. Uniting is very important when wanting to hold something togerther so that it can work, but competition is also needed in life, because then we would not have the advances that we have in this day and age. Because if new ideas did not arise we would probably still be typing on type-writers or having to write things to you on paper instead of sending e-mails. I believe that competition sometimes brings forth great things, so a balance is needed in life. I don't believe you can fully live if you're not striving to achieve something.

    i guess i'm wondering why can't cooperation and mutuality spawn creative ideas as well? what do you think?

    On Saturday, September 14, 2002, Jason Hagensick wrote:
    Fellman and "The Butter Battle Book"

    After watching that Dr. Suess video, I could see why Fellman would refer to that video to get a point across about our society being a competitive, "winner/loser" society and how that could lead to a lot of disaster. That video reminded me of the competitiveness between the United States and Russia and the manufacturing of nuclear missiles. If we had intelligence saying that Russia was building nuclear weapons, then we had to build more nuclear weapons than they did and vise- versa. Before anyone knew it, just between our two countries we had enough nuclear weapons to blow up the planet something like 10 times over, but that might be putting it a little mildly. That's just like the two sides in the video always trying to out do the other to the point of destroying eachother just because they didn't like each other and were so emeshed in competition. Competition is a nessessity in life. It's programmed into us with evolution and all that but competition isn't always nessessary.

    jason -- you're the first to email me a reaction to the dr. seuss video. a good review! how do you think this video relates to current events? What would Fellman say about this video and recent global events? Why. This video also reminds me a book I read many years ago which still is quite relevant -- Sidney Lens' The Day Before Doomsday where he talks about the nucelar arms race as a modern-day game of "chicken." Do you agree with Lens' assessment? Why

    On Tuesday, September 10, 2002, Amy Middleton wrote:
    Reaction to Randall Kennedy's Race, Crime and the Law

    . . . i feel that the book by Kennedy is extremely hard to understand. i wish that there was a different type of writer to read from instead. i find it difficult to read with all of the "big" words. thanks for your time.

    amy -- yes, some books are more difficuilt than others. we will be discussing the readings in detail. you might want to do dictionary records (look up words you don't know), which is a measure of learning!