Courses for Fall 2022

Title Instructor Location Time All taxonomy terms Description Section Description Cross Listings Fulfills Registration Notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Syllabus URL
CRIM 1000-401 Criminology Charles E Loeffler MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM This introductory course examines the multi-disciplinary science of law-making, law-breaking, and law-enforcing. It reviews theories and data predicting where, when, by whom and against whom crimes happen. It also addresses the prevention of different offense types by different kinds of offenders against different kinds of people. Police, courts, prisons, and other institutions are critically examined as both preventing and causing crime. This course meets the general distribution requirement. SOCI2920401 Society sector (all classes)
CRIM 1200-001 Statistics for the Social Sciences I Maria Cuellar MW 12:00 PM-1:29 PM Statistical techniques and quantitative reasoning are essential tools for properly examing questions in the social sciences. This course introduces students to the concepts of probability, estimation, confidence intervals, and how to use the statistical concepts and methods to answer social science questions. The course will require the use of R, a free, open source statistical analysis program. This course has been approved for the quantitative data analysis requirement (QDA).
CRIM 2010-001 American Death Penalty in Theory and Practice Thomas W Dolgenos TR 12:00 PM-1:29 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). Students will be assigned readings from differnt kinds of sources. Cases from the Supreme Court will identify key issues and the efforts to address them under the law. More general death penalty history will provide some context. We will also read pieces by advocates (pro and con). Finally, we will focus on a few specific prosecutions and discuss how abstract theories work in a particular case.
CRIM 2040-301 Forensic Analysis Maria Cuellar MW 10:15 AM-11:44 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 2080-401 Neighborhood Dynamics of Crime John M Macdonald MW 3:30 PM-4:59 PM Crime varies in time, space and populations as it reflects ecological structures and the routine social interactions that occur in daily life. Concentrations of crime can be found among locations, with antisocial activities like assaults and theft occurring at higher rates because of the demographic make-up of people (e.g. adolescents) or conflicts (e.g. competing gangs), for reasons examined by ecological criminology. Variation in socio-demographic structures (age, education ratios, and the concentration of poverty) and the physical environment (housing segregation, density of bars, street lighting) predicts variations between neighborhoods in the level of crime and disorder. Both ethnographic and quantitative research methods are used to explore the connections between the social and physical environment of areas and antisocial behavior. URBS2090401
CRIM 4000-301 Research Seminar in Experiments in Crime and Justice Charles E Loeffler W 8:30 AM-11:29 AM This seminar focuses on examining data from experiments in criminology including: randomized controlled trials of criminal justice policies, "natural" experiments in crime, and other quasi-experimental studies. A series of experiments conducted by Penn scholars and elsewhere will be examined. This seminar also guides criminology majors in writing a research proposal for their thesis. Students will learn about how to formulate a research question, develop a review of the literature, and how to apply necessary empirical methods. The final paper for this course will be a research proposal that can serve as the basis for the student's senior thesis and to satisfy the senior capstone requirement. Readings will come from the disciplines of criminology, sociology, psychology, economics, and urban planning.
CRIM 4002-401 Criminal Justice Data Analytics Greg Ridgeway TR 1:45 PM-3:14 PM This course covers the tools and techniques to acquire, organize, link and visualize complex data in order to answer questions about crime and the criminal justice system. The course is organized around key questions about police shootings, victimization rates, identifying crime hotspots, calculating the cost of crime, and finding out what happens to crime when it rains. On the way to answer these questions, the course will cover topics including data sources, basic programming techniques, SQL, regular expressions, webscraping, and working with geographic data. The course will use R, an open-source, object oriented scripting language with a large set of available add-on packages. CRIM6002401
CRIM 5350-401 Quantitative Methods for Public Policy Aaron J Chalfin T 10:15 AM-1:14 PM This course provides an introduction to applied statistical techniques in the social sciences and is tailored, in particular, to students pursuing the master of science degree in the Department of Criminology. It is taught as a basic course in statistics and presumes minimal mathematical or statistical background. We’ll begin with a brief introduction to the research process. We’ll then cover the computation, interpretation and understanding of basic descriptive statistics, distributions, hypothesis testing, measures of association and finally regression analysis. Depending on how much time we have, I will cover several more advanced topics in regression analysis at the end of the semester.
CRIM 6000-001 Pro-Seminar in Criminology John M Macdonald M 8:30 AM-11:29 AM This course provides an overview of the leading criminological theories of crime. The central focus is on the major theories of crime developed over the past century from the disciplines of economics, psychology, and sociology. The course will focus on the application of social science research as a way to evaluate theories of crime. Special attention is devoted to the issues of measurement of crime and what is known from the available empirical data. In addition, the course will focus on how these theoretical perspectives relate to public policy responses to crime.
CRIM 6002-401 Criminal Justice Data Analytics Greg Ridgeway TR 1:45 PM-3:14 PM This course covers the tools and techniques to acquire, organize, link and visualize complex data in order to answer questions about crime and the criminal justice system. The course is organized around key questions about police shootings, victimization rates, identifying crime hotspots, calculating the cost of crime, and finding out what happens to crime when it rains. On the way to answer these questions, the course will cover topics including data sources, basic programming techniques, SQL, regular expressions, webscraping, and working with geographic data. The course will use R, an open-source, object oriented scripting language with a large set of available add-on packages. CRIM4002401
CRIM 6005-001 Evidence-Based Crime Prevention Aaron J Chalfin R 10:15 AM-1:14 PM This course considers the use of evidence to identify effective crime prevention policies. The course will teach students to think critically about what constitutes convincing evidence, use benefit-cost analysis in comparing policy alternatives, and write effective policy memos that can translate research into practice. We will develop these skills by studying the effects of different policy approaches to crime prevention including incarceration, policing, gun control, drug regulation, and place-based interventions, as well as education, social programs, and labor market policies. Emphasis will be on the methodological challenges to identifying "what works" and the empirical methods to overcome those challenges.