Courses for Spring 2022

Title Instructor Location Time All taxonomy terms Description Section Description Cross Listings Fulfills Registration Notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Syllabus URL
CRIM 200-401 Criminal Justice Maria Cuellar MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM This course examines how the criminal justice system responds to crime in society. The course reviews the historical development of criminal justice agencies in the United States and Europe and the available scientific evidence on the effect these agencies have on controlling crime. The course places an emphasis on the functional creation of criminal justice agencies and the discretionary role decision makers in these agencies have in deciding how to enforce criminal laws and whom to punish. Evidence on how society measures crime and the role that each major criminal justice agency plays in controlling crime is examined from the perspective of crime victims, police, prosecutors, jurors, judges, prison officials, probation officers and parole board members. Using the model of social policy evaluation, the course asks students to consider how the results of criminal justice could be more effectively delivered to reduce the social and economic costs of crime. SOCI200401 Society sector (all classes)
CRIM 240-301 Forensic Analysis Maria Cuellar MW 10:15 AM-11:45 AM This course discusses the need for stronger scientific foundations in the analysis of forensic evidence from a scientific and a policy perspective. Forensic evidence, such as fingerprints, firearms, and hair, has been analyzed for hundreds of years to inform crime investigations and prosecutions. However, recent advances, especially the use of DNA technology, have revealed that a faulty forensic analyses may have contributed to wrongful convictions. These advances have demonstrated the potential danger of information and testimony derived from imperfect analysis, which can result not just in wrongful convictions but also in errors of impunity. In this course, students learn about the history of forensics, as well as about the recent advances that aim to improve current practices. It is an interdisciplinary course, but it focuses mostly on the statistical and scientific aspects of testing in forensics. Students discuss recent solutions that quantify the uncertainty, limitations, and errors associated with human factors, pattern evidence, and digital evidence. No prior statistical or forensic knowledge is expected. The course will be useful for students who wish to become forensic practitioners, law enforcement officers, lawyers, judges, researchers, or simply informed citizens.
CRIM 260-001 Crime & Human Developmnt Charles E Loeffler F 10:15 AM-01:15 PM One of the central research problems in criminology is the relationship between human development and the likelihood of committing crime. This course will examine the tools for measuring the onset of crime, its persistence, intermittency, and desistence. These tools include the study of birth cohorts of everyone born in a certain time and place, life course studies of juvenile delinquents and non-delinquents, trajectory analysis of people studied from pre-school through middle age, and interviews with 70 year old former delinquents who reflect on how their life-course affected the crimes they committed. This course will also examine the research findings that have been produced using these tools. Students will be asked to consider what these findings imply for major theories of crime causation as well as policies for crime prevention.
CRIM 270-001 Biopsychosocial Crim Adrian Raine TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM Is there a "natural-born killer"? Why don't psychopaths have a conscience? And is it morally wrong for us to punish those who are biologically-wired for a life of crime? This interdisciplinary biosocial course argues that answers to these inscrutable questions can be found in the fledging field of "neurocriminology". This new sub-discipline brings together the social, clinical, and neurosciences to help us better understand, predict, and prevent future crime. We will explore the biosocial bases to crime and violence, analyze controversial neuroethical, legal and philosophical issues surrounding neurocriminology, and take a field trip to prison. This interdisciplinary course presents perspectives from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, criminology, sociology, law, business, public health, psychiatry, anthropology, neuroimaging, neuroendocrinology, forensics, nutrition, and pediatrics. It is suitable for those without a background in biology or criminology. It is particularly relevant for majors in Criminology, Psychology, Nursing, and Biological Basis of Behavior.
CRIM 290-301 Wrongful Convictions Charles E Loeffler R 03:30 PM-06:30 PM This course explores wrongful convictions from an interdisciplinary perspective. Using research from the disciplines of law, criminology, psychology and sociology, this course explores how legal errors occur and how they might be prevented in the future. Connections to quality control research and practice in other industries will also be examined. No prerequisites are required.
CRIM 315-001 Am Death Pen. Thry & Pra Thomas W Dolgenos TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM Over the past forty years, in response to controversy over the American death penalty, the Supreme Court has created a framework of rules designed to make the death penalty conform to current societal standards. In this course, we will identify the critical issues identified by the courts (and the critics) in light of the practical realities of capital litigation, and we will ask whether the efforts to address these issues have been successful. The class will use specific case examples to identify the critical points in a death penalty case- for example, the decision to designate a prosecution as "capital", the performance of defense counsel, the penalty decision, and the method of execution. These critical stages will provide a platform for discussing critical issues like the proper limits of discretion; bias; cruelty; and the decision to disqualify certain groups of people from capital punishment (the mentally disabled, minors).
CRIM 601-301 Pro-Sem in Crim Justice Aaron J Chalfin W 10:15 AM-01:15 PM This course provides and overview of what we know about the criminal justice system in the United States and other developed nations. The central purpose of the course is to increas your knowledge about how the U.S. criminal justice system works but we will also spend a great deal of time thinking about the quality of the available evidence and how we know what we know. Topics covered will vary from year to year; recent topics have included police use of force, capital punishment, pre-trial detention, the use of predictive algorithms in the criminal justice system and the relationship between immigration and crime in the United States.
CRIM 603-301 Res Meth/Crime Analysis Aaron J Chalfin W 03:30 PM-06:30 PM This course provides an overview of the application of social science research methods and data analysis to criminology. Students will learn research design principles and statistical techiques for the analysis of social science data, including how to interpret results as part of the rigorous practice of evidence-based criminology. M.S. students will conduct a semester-long, data-intensive crime analysis project using quantitative methods to address a specific research question. Student projects culminate with a poster presentation, an oral defense, and the submission of a written research paper. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Majors Only</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Laboratory (see below)</span>
CRIM 604-301 Criminology in Practice Greg Ridgeway T 03:30 PM-05:30 PM In this capstone course, students will meet weekly with guests who work on or close to the front line of the criminal justice system. Past guests have included police chiefs, forensic scientists, lobbyists for gun rights and lobbyist for gun control, formerly incarcerated individuals, crime analysts, directors of sentencing commissions, prosecutors and defenders, politicians, and researchers at research organizations working closely with criminal justice agencies. Guests share their career paths, the roles of their organizations in the justice system, and key justice system challenges. Students interact with all guest speakers. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Year Long Course</span>
CRIM 701-301 Adv Prosem in Crim II Anthony Braga T 12:00 PM-03:00 PM This second year doctoral course is a weekly discussion group designed to help students integrate their coursework from different disciplines around the behavior and operation of criminal law systems. It focuses on preparation for the doctoral comprehensive examination, detailed critiques of published and unpublished research reports, and colloquia by leading guest lecturers presenting new research results. Students preparing for dissertation research on the behavior of criminal law will report on their developing research ideas. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Permission Needed From Department</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Majors Only</span>