The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. This course examines how the prison industrial complex evolved and how the legacy of slavery and overt and masked racism impact arrests, indictments, and sentencing. We explore why people are wrongly condemned and evaluate the effectiveness of the process for exoneration. We also ask about the training received by law enforcement officers, prison wardens, juries, and judges. The course culminates with a project on how our system can be reformed to reduce crime and improve justice. By the end of this course, students will have a framework for understanding the socio-economics and politics of the United States penal system.
WHAT STUDENTS SAY
WHAT STUDENTS DO
Learning is an active process at One Schoolhouse. Students design, create and apply. And, they engage with classmates and connect with their teachers through discussions, video conferences, and projects. Specifically, in this class students will:
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SECOND SEMESTER?
Students wishing to pursue a criminal justice project may enroll in the course for the full year. For students continuing into Semester II, the course shifts into personalized, project-based work, where students engage in deep, sustained inquiry; authentic and iterative research; critical analysis; and rigorous reflection, revision, and assessment as they journey through a self-designed, long-term activism, design, or research project on the topic of their choosing. Guided by a One Schoolhouse teacher, students pursue individual study/self-assessment or collaborative seminar/peer-review. Pathway options from which students choose include:
Upon completion of their inquiry-driven project, students will have gained academic maturity and expanded their ability to engage in a diverse and changing world. They will be able to draw and defend conclusions from theoretical underpinnings, contextual background, and mathematical analysis or source evaluation. Finally, they will have created and tested something useful of their own design or will be able to defend a position based on their own research.
One Schoolhouse is fully accredited with the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges through December 1, 2025; we are an approved online publisher for the University of California.
BA Providence College
MA Villanova University