Skip to content

Fall 2022 Course

Race, Class, Policing, and Punishment

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

The virtually unprecedented overall rate at which we lock people up in this country, combined with the extreme concentration of imprisonment among the least well-off, are the twin features of Mass Incarceration. Mass Incarceration has been called the “civil rights struggle of our time” the “social justice problem of our century,” and a “moral outrage.” 

But what, exactly, is wrong with Mass Incarceration? And what should be done about it? This course examines a range of answers to these questions using both the empirical tools of the social sciences and the normative and conceptual tools of moral and political philosophy. We will think carefully about the relationship between facts and values in debates about race, class, crime, and punishment. Students will be pushed to develop the strongest possible arguments for positions they may not endorse, and to argue against the perspective of the instructor.

Note: This course is cross-listed with FAS as Soc 1185.