Criminal Justice Policy Program

Criminal Justice Policy Program

Professor Carol Steiker, Professor Alex Whiting
Fall 2017 - Spring 2018 seminar
W 3:00pm - 5:00pm; W 3:00pm - 5:00pm in WCC Room 4059
2 classroom credits

Students who enroll in this offering may count the credits towards the JD experiential learning requirement.

Prerequisites: The seminar is by permission of the instructors. To apply, students should submit a brief statement of their interest and relevant background (courses, internships, and work/life experience) in criminal justice issues to The deadline for JD applications has been extended to July 15, 2017. The deadline for LLM applications is August 1, 2017.

Exam Type: No Exam

This full-year seminar immerses students in the work of criminal justice policy reform. The centerpiece of the seminar is sustained, substantive work on criminal justice policy initiatives led by the Criminal Justice Policy Program (CJPP), a research and advocacy center based at HLS. Students work on policy projects geared toward real-world reform under the supervision of the Program’s Executive Director (Larry Schwartztol) and faculty Co-Directors (Professors Carol Steiker & Alex Whiting), typically in partnership with outside organizations and government agencies. Prior CJPP policy initiatives that seminar students have worked on focused on the criminalization of poverty, body cameras and other transformative policy technologies, the evolving role of the prosecutor as an agent of progressive criminal justice policy, and the use of potentially faulty forensic science evidence in criminal cases. In addition to the policy projects, the seminar engages students in an ongoing discussion of modes and strategies for achieving criminal justice reform as well as fundamental normative questions about the operation of the criminal justice system, including its interaction with questions of social and racial justice. The seminar hosts prominent practitioners and policymakers as visiting lecturers to discuss strategies for reform and to provide background and guidance on the seminar's policy projects. Students are invited to all of the public events sponsored by CJPP and may be involved in choosing topics and planning such events. Although there is no final exam or final paper, students will be expected to do substantial writing over the course of the seminar and to present their policy reform projects to the other seminar participants.

Note: This seminar will meet every other week over the entire year.

The credit breakdown for this seminar is as follows: 4 credits total with 1 classroom credit and 1 writing credit being awarded per term.

Subject Areas: Criminal Law & Procedure