Rethinking Criminal Justice

Section 1, Spring 23

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 16/16
Credits: 3
Days* Time Room Start Date End Date
  • W
  • 1540-1740
  • WB119
01/25/2023 04/26/2023
*“R” means Thursday

Course Description

In this class, students will engage with the work of both scholars and activists to rethink the criminal justice system. We will begin by taking a wide lens on the current system: its history, its goals, and its reality. We will examine frameworks for change, ranging from abolition to the “smart on crime” movement. Then we will focus in on several areas of active reform, such as bail, algorithmic risk assessments, fines & fees, and policing. In each area, we will do a detailed analysis of current practice in different jurisdictions. We will read academic critiques and proposals for change. We will look at the work that activists are doing. We will listen to what those with first-hand experience have to say. We will discuss the various ways these different voices align with, complement, or disagree with one another. Students should be prepared to engage in active class discussion. We will have guest speakers and, if the current health situation allows, class field trips. We will read widely, including empirical literature. Students will be asked to write short papers in response to the readings, as well as to develop their own proposals for change.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Final Type (if any): None
Description: None

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will be expected to write short but frequent responses to the assigned reading submitted directly to instructor, not via EXPO. Students will also submit a short final paper via EXPO due by noon on the last day of the finals period.

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Resources: To be announced.
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*If “Yes,” then students are required to submit a substantial research paper in this course, which means students do not need to submit any form to SRO for this paper to meet their upper-level writing requirement. If “No,” then students must submit a “special request” e-form to SRO (available via LawWeb) no later than five weeks after the start of the term for a paper in this class to be counted toward the upper-level writing requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Concentrations: Criminal Justice
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Friday, April 21, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Sunday, April 30, 11:59 PM