About this Course
4.8
21 ratings
6 reviews
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 29 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Hours to complete

Approx. 29 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
5 hours to complete

Course Welcome and Introduction

This module introduces the course's focus on mass incarceration in the United States as an ethical challenge. The facts that define the issue reveal a nation in crisis. We begin with an exploration of religious faith as one starting point for our investigation. However, this course is intended for anyone who is concerned with the problem of incarceration. Beyond following the theological call to attend to the least of these, the course is also motivated by the sociological observation that we learn much about ourselves and our society by exploring how we treat those we deem "criminal." The first module describes the elements of mass incarceration in the United States, and begins to investigate the causes and consequences of this reality....
Reading
3 videos (Total 29 min), 7 readings, 2 quizzes
Video3 videos
Mass Incarceration: Introduction10m
Alex Friedmann: "Mass Incarceration, Criminalization, and Recidivism"5m
Reading7 readings
Acknowledgements10m
About this course3m
Recommended Readings10m
About the "Pre-Course Survey"10m
Western Theories of Justice40m
Trends in U.S. Corrections10m
Facts About Prisons10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Pre-Course Survey20m
Week
2
Hours to complete
5 hours to complete

Crime and Punishment

This module takes up the questions of crime and punishment. What is crime and what are the purposes of punishment? What are the cultural resources that inform the way we think about punishment today?...
Reading
9 videos (Total 96 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
Video9 videos
Doug Knight: "Justice and Mercy Applied: Stories from the Bible"17m
Doug Knight: "Stories of Justice and Mercy: Cain and Abel"12m
Doug Knight: "Stories of Justice and Mercy: The Goring of the Ox"5m
Doug Knight: "The Ten Commandments: Law, Order and Sacred Authority"8m
Doug Knight: "Why the Bible Still Matters: Crime and Punishment Today"12m
Social Theories of Punishment8m
Retributive Theories of Punishment8m
Utilitarian Theories of Punishment8m
Reading4 readings
The Bible and Punishment5m
Durkheim, The Functions of Crime30m
Retributive Justice30m
Legal Punishment30m
Week
3
Hours to complete
10 hours to complete

The Rise of the Prison

This module takes up the question of the rise of the prison, and its expressions in contemporary USA. How did the Prison Industrial Complex arise, and why has it taken the form it has? ...
Reading
11 videos (Total 115 min), 7 readings, 1 quiz
Video11 videos
The Rise of the Prison, Part 2: The Colonial Period to Now6m
Alex Friedmann: "What is the prison-industrial complex or PIC?"3m
Lisa Guenther: "How do prisoners end up in solitary confinement, and what happens there?"29m
"Why prisons Started using solitary confinement and why we should end the practice of extreme isolation"22m
Alex Friedmann: "History of the Private, For-Profit Prison: The Convict Lease System"9m
Joe Ingle: "The Convict Lease System"3m
Alex Friedmann: “The Private Prison Business Model”5m
Alex Friedmann: “Why Private Prisons? The Politics of Punishment”6m
Alex Friedmann: “Prisoners as Commodities: Moral and Ethical Objections to Private Prisons”11m
Alex Friedmann: “Private Prison Industry: Ancillary Products & Services”6m
Reading7 readings
History of Prisons35m
Film Viewing Guide: "The Farm: Angola Prison"45m
The “Legacy of Slavery” Comes to the Smithsonian with Angola Prison Guard Tower Donation5m
Angola Museum: History of Angola Prison10m
Viewing Guide and links to PBS "Slavery by Another Name"30m
Mother Jones: "My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard"45m
Banking on Bondage: Private Prisons and Mass Incarceration45m
Week
4
Hours to complete
7 hours to complete

Criminalization: The Experience of Prison

This module looks more closely at the intimate details and experiences of criminalization and incarceration. We explore the experience of being charged with a crime, of going through the court system, and of finding oneself in prison. What is the experience of prison, both on those who find themselves inside and those who are the family and friends of the incarcerated?...
Reading
12 videos (Total 147 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
Video12 videos
Alex Friedmann: "Mass Incarceration, Criminalization and Recidivism"5m
Dawn Deaner: “History and Purpose of Public Defense”6m
Dawn Deaner: “Public Defense: How it Works and Doesn't Work”8m
Dawn Deaner: “The Impact of Poverty on Justice”10m
Dawn Deaner: “Biggest Challenges in Public Defense”8m
Dawn Deaner: “Concluding Thoughts”2m
Chief August Washington: “Challenges to Policing”11m
Roundtable Discussion: The Experience of Prison13m
Roundtable Discussion: The Day-to-Day Reality of Prison17m
Roundtable Discussion: The Hidden Pains of Prison32m
Roundtable Discussion: Painful Truths About Prison in America16m
Reading4 readings
Gideon v. Wainwright 372 U.S. 335 (1963)30m
The Atlantic: "Travesties in Criminal Justice That Are Mostly Ignored"10m
Viewing Guide: PBS "Me Facing Life: Cyntoia's Story"10m
Viewing Guide: "Rikers: An American Jail"30m
4.8
6 ReviewsChevron Right

Top Reviews

By JQJul 9th 2017

Great course. I enjoyed the lectures and readings.

Instructor

Avatar

Graham Reside

Assistant Professor
Vanderbilt University Divinity School

About Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University, located in Nashville, Tenn., is a private research university and medical center offering a full-range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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