Critical Race Theory and Criminal Justice

Information Introduction

Section 1, Spring 25

Schedule Information

Enrollment: /16
Credits: 3
Days Time Room Start Date End Date




1130-1250 WB162

Course Description

This course examines Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the criminal legal system. In 2021, states began an unprecedented attack on the legal theory and movement of CRT. While critics disparage CRT as harmful and even un-American, public discourse often fails adequately to explain CRT. With CRT facing intense scrutiny and hostility, it is important to engage with CRT to clarify and critique its claims. We will pursue this aim and that of critiquing the criminal legal system by examining that system through the lens of CRT. Our national ethos holds that “justice is blind” and, especially on the political right, that justice requires “color-blindness.” But contemporary criminal justice cannot be understood or improved without reference to race. Racial inequality defines the American experience, and inequalities are experienced most acutely within the criminal-legal system. At all stages of the criminal process – policing, pre-trial detention, prosecution, adjudication, and punishment – Black and Brown people bear the disproportionate brunt of the system’s harm. We will examine these topics by reading a mix of doctrinal and scholarly material. Classes will center on candid and critical discussions.

Course Requirements

Exam Information

Final Type (if any): None

Description: None

Written Work Product

Students will submit short reaction pieces during the course (directly to the instructors, not via EXPO), as well as a final paper due via EXPO by noon on May 8, 2025. The paper is not eligible for the upper-level writing requirement by special request.

Other Course Details

Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None

Exclusive With: None

Laptops Allowed: Yes

First Day Attendance Required: Yes

Course Resources: To be announced.

Course Notes: Attendance at the first session is very important, absent unavoidable extenuating circumstances.

Graduation Requirements

Satisfies Understanding Bias/Racism/Cross-Cultural Competency requirement: Yes

Satisfies Writing Requirement: No

Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No

Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

Additional Course Information

Schedule No.: 125218813

Modified Type: ABA Seminar

Cross Listed: No

Waitlist Count: 0

Concentrations: Criminal Justice , Economics and Social Science , Race and Law

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Sunday, April 13, 12:01 AM

Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Sunday, April 27, 11:59 PM

Information reflected on this page was last refreshed at: Friday, July 19, 2024 - 7:02 AM *

*During open enrollment periods, live enrollment data may be found in SIS.