I teach courses that focus on the intersections of criminology and criminal justice theory, research, and policy. I work to emphasize in my courses at all levels the importance of assessing the theoretical and empirical foundations of policies (or lack thereof) and using theory and strong empirical designs to develop research ideas that have implications for theory and policy development.
Correctional Theory and Policy (CJ7060)
This is a graduate-level course focused on the intersection of punishment theory, research, and policy. The semester will include examining the history of punishment and correctional policies in the United States, the shifting theories and philosophies that inform them, and key empirical studies by leading criminologists and sociologists.
Criminal Justice Theory (CJ8010)
This is a seminar-style graduate course designed to foster students’ general knowledge about criminal justice theory and the diverse range of theories that exist. We will, for example, explore theories about policing, courts, sanctions, punishments, and more. Students are required to read a core set of readings from different fields and to examine both formal theories and informal arguments aimed at explaining and understanding why our institutions of social control might look and behave like they do or like they have done. Our in-class discussions will be used to explore themes and critical questions raised in the readings for that week, as well as to contemplate relevant theory, research, and policy dilemmas identified by the group. Students will “practice” their own critical analysis of the literature in both verbal (e.g., in-class discussions) and written form (e.g., reaction essays, research paper, exam).
Corrections in America (CJ2030)
This course is designed to familiarize undergraduate students with the field of criminal corrections in the United States. Students will learn about a range of topics including the history of corrections, theories that inform corrections, trends in criminal punishments and their use, and individuals’ and communities’ experiences with the corrections system. Parts of the course will also include a focus on critically evaluating the logic and evidence behind the application of correctional practices. The course will be broken down into four units with an exam at the end of each unit.