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CRM 611: The Sociology of Crime & Its Correction (Winter 2001)


A copy of the full syllabus is here. Please hit RELOAD/REFRESH to get the latest version of this page. 

David Simon, Elite Deviance

Elliott Currie, Crime and Punishment in America

David Oshinsky, Worse Than Slavery


Jeffrey Reiman, Rich Get Richer & the Poor Get Prison, 6th edition [companion website for Reiman]

William Adler, Land of Opportunity. 

9 Jan - we discussed briefly the European reaction to the US having the death penalty and to Bush becoming President. The Washington Post had an article, "Many Europeans See Bush as Executioner Extraodinaire" and I just found a Dutch site that was very adamant about Fighting the Death Penalty in the USA

Check out the fascinating article on black Secret Service officers. The Washington Post story describes many of the duties and the training of people who are supposed to take a bullet for the President - and the suit they are filing against the 'Secret Service Family' for discrimination. 


Schedule for Reading and Exercises 

week 1


Introduction & 


Crime, Injustice & Genocide quiz came from Project South: The Institute for the Elimination of Poverty & Genocide

NOTE: some assignments  for future weeks require browser plug-ins like Adobe Acrobat. I advise you to do a test to see if your computer can read .pdf documents, and if not, then take a few minutes to get and install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.
week 2 


OSHINSKY, ch 1-3

Recommended Background: Library of Congress' African American Odyssey or resources on US Slavery from the Yahoo Directory; check out Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America
week 3 


OSHINSKY, ch 4 - 8

I have more information on the prison work songs in the prison history pages of my Corrections class

Assignment #1 from Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics Online

Recommended Background: Oshinsky's Worse Than Slavery gives insight into Southern attitudes toward blacks during the Civil War period and after - a time period and topic touched on by two of President-elect Bush's cabinet nominees who have made comments about the Confederacy that will be issues in their confirmation hearings. There's an interesting article about the importance of state's rights v slavery, and another about South Carolina's capitol flying the Confederate flag. picks up the same theme in Tricky Dixie. A Judge allows Virginia to issue license plates with the Confederate Flag

week 4 


OSHINSKY, finish; start ADLER, p 1 - 90


week 5 


 ADLER, p Assignment #2 from the Uniform Crime Reports
week 6 


ADLER, finish; REIMAN, Intro & Ch 1 What Every American Should Know About the Criminal Justice System  
week 7 


REIMAN ch 2 & 3; SIMON, 1-2

[companion website for Reiman]

Assignment #3 on elite deviance: Go to the Corporate Power site and write a 3 page paper on a topic of your choice. Papers should not review just a single article but should cover a more general topic based on your review of several resources (which need to be cited in your paper)
week 8 


REIMAN ch 4 & Conclusion; SIMON, ch 3-4 Recommended: After a book is released about IBM computers and their role in the Holocaust, IBM "categorically condemns" the Nazis. Osprey helicopter: "Buy First, Then Find Out if it Flies". McSpotlight
week 9 

SPRING BREAK 3/5 - 3/9

week 10


SIMON, ch 5-8 Assignment #4 on elite deviance
week 11 


SIMON, finish due: PAPER 1
week 12 


CURRIE, Introduction, Ch 1-2

week 13 


CURRIE, ch 3-4 Assignment #5 on crime prevention

week 14


CURRIE, ch 5 – conclusion  


This assignment should be about 15 pages and is on the topic of what is (or isn’t) being done about the ‘crime problem’ – and what should be done. The paper should provide an overview of what you see as the crime problem, what legislation is being discussed at the federal and state level, and what legislation you would propose. Please organize your paper along the following lines:

           Introduction: what is America’s ‘crime problem’?

           Review of Federal Legislation

           Review of State Legislation

           Your proposed legislation

These sections should not include an extensive list of bills. Rather, try to summarize various approaches to crime control, then mention the bills and their particulars in this context. Be sure to include an assessment of whether, overall, the legislative bodies are engaged in effective and meaningful law making about crime. 

For Federal Legislation, see Thomas, named after founding father Thomas Jefferson. Navigate your way to the last full session of Congress, and chose the option to review major legislation. Under topics, choose criminal justice and review the list of proposed legislation.

For state legislation, see the Michigan Legislature page.


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