CASPER, Wyo — In response to nationwide protests related to policing, racial discrimination and criminal justice reform, the University of Wyoming’s Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology will offer a summer short course covering those topics.
The university today released notice that “Current Issues in Criminal Justice and Policing” will be taught by several department faculty members, and will take place online over three weeks (July 6-24). It’s an addition to the university’s lineup of summer courses created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The course is offered for credit for UW students and as a professional development course for people who would just like to participate.
“There are a variety of issues that are contributing to this protest movement, and it can be difficult to make sense of what it all means for our country,” said department head and professor Adrienne Freng. “This course will expose individuals to valid, evidence-based information to gain a better understanding of the criminal justice system in the United States, including readings, videos, invited experts in the field and discussion panels.”
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Among the specific topics to be covered are:
- Crime and the criminal justice system
- Crime rate discrepancies
- Arrest and entering the criminal justice system
- The role of police
- Defining police use of excessive force and killings
- Institutional racism
- Police legitimacy and procedural justice
- Criminal justice reform; courts and sentencing
- Incarceration and reentry.
“The recent events have highlighted a difficult but all-too-well-known reality of our criminal justice system, and that is the racial and ethnic biases that exist not only in our criminal justice system, but our society as a whole,” Freng said. “Research has consistently revealed that the experiences and perceptions of the justice system by people of color are often very different from that of whites.
“Despite the shortcomings of our criminal justice system, we believe it also is important that we recognize the difficult and often thankless job undertaken by law enforcement officers and other criminal justice professionals across the country,” she added. “It should be highlighted that we can be critical of the shortcomings of our justice system while, at the same time, supporting those women and men who risk their lives on a daily basis to make their communities a better place for all.”
Registration fee for non-credit-seeking individuals is $50. Those seeking credit should email Freng at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on all UW summer short courses and to register, click here.