Course D. Crime and Consequences
Thursdays, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
Instructor: Mark Iris, Lecturer, Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences
This course meets on Thursday afternoons beginning on January 14th.
The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, growing support for the Black Lives Matter movement, and greater awareness of the societal toll of mass incarceration by both the public and policy-makers, have all combined to amplify pressure for major reforms of the criminal justice system. We will examine what changes have, and have not, been made, looking at prosecutors’ offices, sentencing reforms, police accountability, and other facets of crime and punishment in the U.S.
Jan. 14 Introduction to the U.S. Legal System
We will look at the organization and operations of state and federal trial and appeals courts. What basic principles do these courts share in common? How does a case reach the U.S. Supreme Court? What coping mechanisms have evolved to enable courts to keep pace with increasing workloads? Learn the secret of Iris’ First Theorem!
Jan. 21 Misdemeanor Crimes: The Invisible Face of the Criminal Justice System
Misdemeanor offenses, such as disorderly conduct, have attracted little attention from scholars and policy researchers, in part because the stakes, for an individual, seem minor. But the consequences are often not at all minor, and the number of people impacted each year is massive. Courts further enhance the invisibility of these cases. Learn how a seemingly trivial charge can have a major impact on a person.
Jan. 28 Police Reform
In the wake of the widely publicized death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, widespread protests against police erupted across the U.S. Calls to defund the police, support for “Black Lives Matter,” and criminal indictments of officers in high profile deaths all pointed to a major transformation of how police in the U.S. are held accountable for their actions. Months later, we shall examine what has – and has not – changed as a result.
Feb. 4 Reforming Criminal Justice: Prosecutors
Traditionally, local prosecutors - headed by elected state’s attorneys or district attorneys – have campaigned for office by promising to be tough on crime. How has that changed, and what impact is that having?
Feb.11 Reforming Criminal Justice: Sentencing and Prisons
The United States has the distinction of having an extraordinarily high rate of incarceration for convicted offenders. How did we reach this status? Calls for reforming the criminal justice system, and mitigating the impact of mass incarceration have become more widespread the past few years. What has actually changed, what remains undone?
Feb. 18 Law on the High Seas
Ah, the dead of winter in Chicago – the most pleasant time of year! Would you rather be soaking up the sun on a Caribbean cruise? Many of you have taken cruises, and had a wonderful time. But when things go wrong, passengers (and the crew members who serve them) have to navigate some very rough legal waters.
Feb. 25 Criminal Defense: the Right to Legal Counsel
The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution affords defendants in criminal cases the right to “assistance of counsel.” What does that mean, how does it work in practice? How do public defenders compare to privately retained representation? What are the gaps in representation for indigent defendants?
Mar. 4 Wrongful Convictions
In recent years, there has been growing realization that the criminal conviction of a person who is actually innocent is more common than previously thought. How do these blatant miscarriages of justice occur? What reforms are evolving to address this problem?
Mar. 11 Chicago Police Reform
The Chicago Police Department is now operating under a U.S. District Court supervised Consent Decree. How did this come about, what exactly is a consent decree? And, most important, what progress is the CPD making to meet the numerous reforms required by this decree?
Information is subject to change. Full course and policy descriptions are available at www.nualumnae.org
• Each 9-week online course is $125.00. Registration pays for access to a live webinar and limited-time access to a recording of each week’s 90-minute session.
• There are no multi-course discounts.
• Per Diem pricing is not available for these courses.
• Registrations can only be purchased online at www.nbo.northwestern.edu. A payment card is required. No other forms of payment can be accepted at this time. Neither the Norris Box Office nor the Alumnae Continuing Education group will process any other type of registration payment. There are no exceptions.
• After registering for a course, you should receive a registration confirmation message from email@example.com. It will be sent to the email address associated with your profile. Though it is not your entry to the ZOOM class, it is important that you locate the confirmation as soon as possible. If you don't receive an email, it could mean that there is a problem with how the email address is listed in our system. A typo in your email address could result in the Zoom link being lost. You can correct your information by logging in at www.nbo.northwestern.edu, clicking on your name in the purple bar at the top, and then on Edit Profile.
• To access the first webinar on January 14, your online registration must be completed by midnight, Thursday, January 7, 2021. If you register on January 8 or later, we cannot guarantee timely entry to the course on January 14, the first day.
• Your registration automatically includes temporary access to a recording of each remaining livestream session in the course. You will be sent a separate link with a passcode to give you access to the recording for six days, ending when the next session begins. If you register late, you may not have access to recordings of livestreamed sessions that took place prior to your registration.
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Linking to Live Sessions
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Limited Access to Recorded Sessions
• If you cannot attend the live-streaming of the session, you may still view the recorded session for a limited time.
• You will be sent a separate link with a pass code to give you access to the recording of the session for six days, ending when the next session begins.
• Your Zoom link and passcode are specific to your email and may not be shared.
• Recordings CANNOT be downloaded.
• If you intend to withdraw from a course, you must purchase a $10.00 cancellation fee by Sunday, January 10, 2021. A full refund will be processed to the payment card used for the initial purchase.
• Registrations purchased after January 10 cannot be refunded.
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• Credits are not given for future classes.
• Contact the NorrisBoxOffice@northwestern.edu if you would like to transfer to another class offered during the same quarter. There is no additional cost. But you will have to wait until the following week to access the new course links.