Race, Crime, and Justice Professor: Dr. Robert J. Durán

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Race, Crime, and Justice
Professor: Dr. Robert J. Durán

Email: rjduran@nmsu.edu

Class Hours: M 6:00 – 8:30

Class Room: Garcia Residence Hall 235B

Office: Breland Hall Room 141 Office Hours: MWF: 9:30 – 10:20; TTR: 9:30 – 10:00

Office Phone: 505-646-2371 M: 5:10 - 5:45; TR: 2:45 – 5:00

Course overview

I consider this course the most important class within the Criminal Justice department. Race, Crime, and Justice is designed to provide you with an overview of the contemporary response to race and crime in the United States. The study of race and crime must be grounded in a critical, reflexive framework that allows for—and encourages—rigorous debate, particularly about social inequality, its origins, and its consequences. This area of study must also be inclusive of a variety of other dimensions of social inequality (including inequalities by gender and class). Such a class encompasses a politically guided desire toward eradicating racism.

WebCT will contain all course information, lectures, discussions, and communication tools.

http://salsa.nmsu.edu/ You can also access this link on your my.nmsu.edu
Required Readings:

Haney López, Ian F. 2003. Racism on Trial: The Chicano Fight for Justice. Cambridge,

MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Russell-Brown, Kathryn. 2004. Underground Codes: Race, Crime and Related Fires.

New York, NY: NYU Press.
Walker, Samuel, Cassie Spohn, Miriam DeLone. 2007. The Color of Justice: Race,

Ethnicity, and Crime in America. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadwsorth.
Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. 2006. Racism without Racists: Color Blind Racism and the

Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States. Lanham, MD: Rowman and

Littlefield. The Bonilla-Silva book is required for Graduate Students and recommended but optional for undergraduates.

Course Requirements

Attendance: Attendance at all class meetings is expected. We only meet once a week and therefore any absence past one will result in a 50 point reduction, per absence, in your overall grade. Moreover, lack of attendance decreases your ability to participate in class.
Readings: To ensure that you have the background information necessary for class discussions, all assigned readings need to be completed before class. Reading is essential for this class.
Presentation: You will be required to present information related to race and crime. I will hand out a sign-up sheet. We will have one to two presenters a week. You will be given 15 minutes to present your information. You can use PowerPoint or media if you desire, but it is not necessary. Choose a theme that relates to Race, Crime, and Justice. There are wide number of topics possible for a presentation. For example Hurricane Katrina, Jena 6, Sleepy Lagoon Case, Zoot Suit Riots, O.J. Simpson, Timothy McVeigh etc.
Test Your Knowledge Forms: Six times during the semester you will complete a TYK form for one of the two weekly readings. You can combine the different readings onto one TYK (make sure you distinguish the different readings) or you can complete a separate form for each set of readings. These will be typed, 12 point font, and single space. Using this form, state the thesis or main idea of the reading, outline the main points, analyze and critique the author’s arguments, and share your thoughts. You will be combining two weeks of readings on each TYK. These forms are available on WebCT. I consider these your tests to help make sure you are reading and understanding the material assigned.
Class participation: Your presence in class and active participation in discussion is mandatory. I strongly emphasize the knowledge building that occurs in the classroom. This is our arena to speak how we feel and engage with people who have different opinions. I want to hear from every student in the class about what they think and why. In addition to class participation, I will utilize WebCT to encourage weekly discussions beyond the classroom. You will be required to make one post each week. I will look for comprehension of the class material and knowledge accumulated during your educational and life experiences. I expect well thought out and explained answers. If you write something, be aware of whether you can empirical prove your statements. I grade these posts by the quality of participation. Cite your sources, if any, and minimize your usage of quotes. At a minimum these should be no less than one paragraph in length.
Negative Participation: There is no reason for rude or disrespectful comments. I will not tolerate sexist, racist, or demeaning language in class or on WebCT. If you feel like a nap, want to play on your cell phone, hold side conversations, fail to read, or engage in some other activity that wastes our time don’t bother coming to class! I document negative participation into your overall grade. Disruptive behavior that conflicts with the course will result in a warning to change the behavior. If this behavior cannot be corrected by the third warning you will be administratively dropped from the course.
Small Research Paper: Racial Genealogical Demographic Project

DUE DATE: March 10

The written portion of the paper should be twelve pages in length separate from the 2 appendixes. Use 12 point font, half inch margins, and set page to double spaced. The first four pages of this paper will be genealogical/historical, and the second four pages demographic. You can include personal thoughts either at the end or within each section. I consider your personal thoughts in conjunction with reading material concepts as analysis. The analysis is an essential part of your paper and the most heavily graded. The first appendix will be your family tree, and the second appendix your demographic printout.

1. Your Family

The purpose of this section is to learn about your family history and their racial and ethnic experiences. Interview five family members and ask them questions regarding ancestry, crime, law, immigration, and personal experiences with race in the United States. Document your interview on a piece of a paper during the interview. Use your family information to create a pedigree chart which will allow you to visualize your family. You can print out a pedigree chart from www.familysearch.org and fill in the necessary information. You can describe things such as how long your family has been in the United States, how it was growing up, what they were involved with, and/or how race/ethnicity has impacted their life. You can include how your family ancestry and oral histories have impacted your perception of self and identity.

2. Demographic

The purpose of this section is to learn about the social environment in which you have lived. Choose an address that has impacted your life the most (i.e., length of time, formative period in life) and Google American Factfinder (http://factfinder.census.gov/home/saff/main.html?_lang=en). Once you arrive at this website, enter your address information on the bottom left hand corner under Address Search. Use 2000 Census data. Once the address is found click on Census Tract. Click Ok.

Scroll Down to Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100 Percent Data. Click on Profile of

General Demographic Characteristics. Print this sheet.

Under Summary File 3 (SF 3) Sample Data click on Profile of Selected Social

Characteristics. Print this sheet.

Under Sample File 3 click on Selected Economic Characteristics. Print this sheet.
You now have the data to compare with your personal experiences. Please verify census tract information with professor. Use this combined information to describe your personal thoughts and experiences living in the neighborhoods which you outlined. Describe racial and ethnic integration into your neighborhood. Was there a lot of crime? Was race a factor while living in your community?
Final Research Paper: For your final assignment, you will be required to write a 10-20-page (body of paper) research paper that deals with some aspect of Race, Crime, and Justice. This format is designed to allow a great deal of latitude and encourage serious thinking about the subject matter in relation to you own interests and or research. The completed paper is due by 1 p.m. on May 8th. I recommend graduate students to have their papers closer to 20 pages. Everyone will need to gather several additional research articles and data to complete this assignment. I expect you to incorporate the knowledge you have acquired from lecture and the required readings.
A 1-2 page description of your preliminary thoughts about your paper topic is due the eighth week of the semester (March 17). This is an ungraded assignment, but will serve as an opportunity for you to get early feedback from me about your paper ideas (and for you to get started on you paper). You cannot change your paper topic without prior approval from instructor.
Late policy for writing assignments: Work turned in late is an inconvenience to me, as it requires me to adjust my grading schedule. I will deduct 2% for each day late.
Final Paper presentations (Graduate Students Only): The final day of class, May 5th, will be devoted to paper presentations; each of you will have 15 minutes in which to orally present your paper to the class. You should treat these presentations as you would a conference presentation. While the presentations themselves will not be graded, failure to take this assignment seriously (that is, failure to come to class organized and prepared to discuss your paper) will negatively affect your final paper grade.
Plagiarism on an assignment, paper, or any written work is UNACCEPTABLE and will result in a zero grade for that assignment. Please consult the student handbook: http://www.nmsu.edu/~vpss/SCOC/student_hand_book.html

Moreover, even with citation, failure to put quotation marks around direct quotations also constitutes plagiarism, because it implies that the writing is your own. Material should either be paraphrased or clearly designated as quotation. Note that replacing words with synonyms, changing verb tense or other minor alterations do not qualify as paraphrasing.

Feel free to call Jerry Nevarez, Director of Institutional Equity, at 505-646-3635 with any questions you may have about NMSU’s Non-Discrimination Policy and complaints of discrimination, including sexual harassment.
Feel free to call Michael Armendariz, Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities, at 505-546-6840 with any questions you may have on student issues related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. All medical information will be treated confidentially.
As the professor, I reserve the right to change any part of the class.

Please keep all returned exams (and other returned work) in the event that you have a grade dispute at the end of the semester. 

Official communication to you will often come through your NMSU e-mail box or WebCT.  Please access it regularly, or forward it to your current use address, as your success in college may ride on your ability to respond quickly.

Presentation 100 points

6 Test Your Knowledge Forms (50 points each) 300 points

Small Paper 200 points

Discussion 200 points

Research Paper 200 points

Extra Credit

There are several movies which highlight the impact of race and crime upon United States society. I will be recommending you watch movies throughout the semester. Please complete a Test Your Knowledge form for each movie you watch. These forms are available on WebCT. You will be given up to 5 points extra credit for each movie you watch and the proper completion of the Test Your Knowledge form. There are a total of 11 movies possible for extra credit, but they need to be turned in the Monday after the class period assigned.

Spring Schedule

Week 1 Theme: Introduction to the Course and Race in the United

January 28 States

Walker et al., Chapter 1: Race, Ethnicity & Crime: The Present Crisis

Russell-Brown, Chapter 1: “Petit Apartheid” in the Justice System

Bonilla-Silva, Chapter 1: The Strange Enigma of Race in

Contemporary America

Recommended Movie:

American History X (1998)
Week 2 Theme: Victimization and Offending Data

February 4 Walker et al., Chapter 2: Victims and Offenders: Myths and Realities

about Crime.

Russell-Brown, Chapter 2: American Indians and Crime

Bonilla-Silva, Chapter 2: The Central Frames of Color-Blind Racism

Bonilla-Silva, Chapter 3: The Style of Color Blindness


Recommended Movie:

Navajo a Clash of Cultures: Series of how the West was Lost (1994)
Week 3 Theme: Two Societies

February 11 Walker et al., Chapter 3: Race, Ethnicity, Social Structure, and Crime (pp.


Bonilla-Silva, Chapter 4: I Didn’t Get That Job Because of a Black Man

Bonilla-Silva, Chapter 5: Peeking Inside the (White) House of Color


Recommended Movie:

White Man’s Burden (1995)

Week 4 Theme: Civil Rights Movement

February 18 Walker et al., Chapter 3: Race, Ethnicity, Social Structure, and Crime (pp.

Bonilla-Silva, Chapter 6: Are All Whites Refined Archie Bunkers?

Bonilla-Silva, Chapter 7: Are Blacks Color Blind, Too?

Bonilla-Silva, Chapter 8: Same Perfume in a New Bottle?


Recommended Movie:

Bamboozled (2000)
Week 5 Theme: Occupied & Neglected Zones

February 25 Walker et al., Chapter 4: Justice on the Street? The Police and Racial and

Ethnic Minorities

Russell-Brown, Chapter 4: Policing Communities, Policing Race

Russell-Brown, Chapter 6: Racial Profiling and Living While Black
Recommended Movie:

Mississippi Burning (1988)
Week 6 Theme: Prosecutorial Power

March 3 Walker et al., Chapter 5: The Courts: A Quest for Justice During the

Pretrial Process

Haney-López, Chapter 1: The Chicano Movement Cases

Haney-López, Chapter 2: Proving Mexicans Exist

Haney-López, Chapter 3: The Mexican Race in East L.A.

Week 7 Theme: Small Research Paper Due

March 10 Walker et al., Chapter 6: Justice on the Bench? Trial and

Adjudication in Criminal Court

Haney-López, Chapter 4: Judges and Intentional Racism

Haney-López, Chapter 5: Race and Racism as Common Sense

Recommended Movie:

Walkout (2006)
Week 8 Theme: Resistance Movement

March 17 Haney-López, Chapter 6: Law Enforcement and Legal Violence

Haney-López, Chapter 7: The Chicano Movement and East L.A. Thirteen

Haney-López, Chapter 8: From Citizens to Brown Berets

Haney-López, Chapter 9: Inventing Chicanos


Recommended Movie:

Mi Familia- My Family (1995)

Week 9

Spring Break
Week 10 Theme: In Search of Justice

March 31 Walker et al., Chapter 7: Race and Sentencing: In Search of Fairness

and Justice
Recommended Movie:

Time to Kill (1996)
Week 11 Theme: McCleskey v. Kemp

April 7 Walker et al., Chapter 8: The Color of Death: Race & the Death Penalty


Recommended Movie:

Dead Man Walking (1995)
Week 12 Theme: The Chosen Criminal Justice Solution

April 14 Walker et al., Chapter 9: Corrections in America: A Colorful

Portrait: Corrections vs. College: Minorities in Society

Russell-Brown, Chapter 7: Black Women and the Justice System

Recommended Movie:

Higher Learning (1995)
Week 13 Theme: Institutionalizing Future Leaders

April 21 Walker et al., Chapter 10: Minority Youth and Crime: Minority



Recommended Movie:

Bowling for Columbine (2002)
Week 14 Theme: Conclusion

April 28 Walker et al., Chapter 11: The Color of Justice

Russell-Brown, Chapter 8: Race Facts:
Bonilla-Silva, Chapter 9: The (Color-Blind) Emperor Has No Clothes

Bonilla-Silva, Chapter 10: Queries: Answers to Questions

Week 15

May 5 Graduate Student Presentations

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