You are on page 1of 7

Violent crime CJS 4396 Professor Bruce Jacobs bruce.jacobs@utdallas.

edu Required Readings Criminal retaliation (Jacobs) Understanding sexual violence (Scully) Corporate crime, corporate violence (Frank and Lynch) Readings booklet Course Description Violence is pervasive in American society. Rarely does a day go by that violent crime isn’t featured prominently on the local or national airwaves. Violence grabs our attention. It shocks and repulses us. It kindles a desire to understand why it happens and how we can avoid being victimized ourselves. Unlike other forms of criminal behavior, violence typically is thought to be mala in se--bad in and of itself. Though laws prohibiting various violent offenses are socially constructed, there is general consensus that such laws need to exist. Violence and its control are the principal concerns of this course. Requirements Two exams on the material covered during the course will be given. Each will be worth 40% of your grade. The first exam will take place about the eight week of class. The second exam will take place on the last day of class. The second exam will not be cumulative. Each exam will be multiple choice. Oral presentations also will be part of the course requirements. Students will coalesce into groups, divide the research and presentation work equally, and do one of two things (the choice is up to you): 1. Pick a violent offense that led to the formation of a specific law or policy designed to prevent that particular crime from reoccurring. Tell us in detail about the case (what happened, against whom, by whom, why, where, how, etc.) how the case led to the formation of the new law, the structure of the law, the consequences of the law for victims and offenders, and whether you believe the law is beneficial to society (e.g., how does its desired deterrent effect weigh against its costliness and/or infringements on civil liberties, among other things). 2. Pick a specific form of violence in American society that either is hidden, goes largely unreported, is not considered a criminal offense, or that is not punished as severely as the equivalent form of “criminal behavior.” The behavior chosen is at the student’s discretion, subject only to the instructor’s approval. The presentation will offer a detailed and informative analysis of the behavior in question. How is it done, by whom, where (if relevant), and for what reason? What are the consequences of the behavior for victims and society? If the behavior is not criminalized or criminalized enough, why is this the

case? And why is it necessary for the law to intervene. In the case of hidden behaviors, is this realistic and if so, what sanctions should be administered? The presentation will be the major part of your participation grade for the class. Participation is worth 20% of your final grade. Presentations should be about 15 minutes in length. For graduate students, oral presentations will serve as the basis for a comprehensive research paper to be turned in at the end of the semester. This paper will draw from at least 15 academic sources (books, articles, etc. not used in the course) and be 15 pages in length (double-spaced, one-inch margins all around). This paper should be of publishable quality and will be worth 1/4 of the graduate student’s final grade. Undergraduates will not be required to turn in a research paper, but their oral presentations will require a nontrivial amount of research and preparation, and will be evaluated accordingly. This is an advanced seminar and as such, it is intended to be discussion-intensive. Each week, students will be expected to be active participants. Be prepared to identify points of significance in the readings and to discuss them. Test #1 Around the 8th week of class (specific date to be announced). Test #2 Last day of class. Order of readings (chapter numbers provided in class) weeks 1 and 2 Selected readings; will announce specific assignment in class weeks 3 and 4 Selected readings; will announce specific assignment in class weeks 5 and 6 Criminal retaliation (Jacobs) weeks 7 and 8 Understanding sexual violence (Scully) weeks 9 and 10 weeks 11 and 12 weeks 13 and 14 weeks 15 and 16 Understanding sexual violence (Scully) Corporate crime, corporate violence (Frank and Lynch) Corporate crime, corporate violence (Frank and Lynch) tie up above

Possible presentation topics (but feel free to think up your own, with instructor approval)

fight clubs Munchausen by proxy executing the mentally ill hockey fights professional wrestling cannibalism Megan’s Law Amber Alerts Law of Parties Baby Moses Laws three strikes laws shaken baby syndrome murder of viable but unborn child (e.g., Lacy Peterson Law) murder of pregnant woman for child (e.g., Stinnette) homicide/infanticide due to postpartum psychosis “moshing” at rock concerts fraternity hazing road rage cutting (self-mutilation) Brady Bill benchclearing baseball brawls video game violence and its desensitization to real violence public executions in other countries prison riots celebratory violence (e.g., mayhem in the streets after a sports team championship) violent environmental movements violence aimed at abortion clinics celebrity stalking soccer hooliganism mass suicides from cult involvement (e.g., Jim Jones, Heaven’s Gate)

Advanced Criminology CJS 3302 Spring 2006 Prof. Bruce Jacobs Green Hall 2.114 Office Hours: by appointment Required Texts Curran, Daniel and Claire Renzetti, Theories of Crime, 2nd. edition (referred to as Curran and Renzetti in schedule of readings below and on back side of this page). Bohm, Robert M., A Primer on crime and delinquency, 2nd edition (referred to as Bohm in schedule of readings below and on back side of this page). Course Description As specified in the University’s online description of courses and reproduced in this syllabus, CJS 3302 is designed to provide students with an in-depth study of crime, criminals, and the reaction of the criminal justice system to both. It explores the interrelationships among law, policy, and societal conditions. The major focus of the course is theoretical explanations for crime and criminality. Biological, psychological, and sociological theories will be considered to this end. Grading There will be four exams. Each exam will be multiple choice and will constitute one-fourth of your grade. The last exam will not be cumulative. Make-up exams will be granted only in exigent circumstances where students can document (e.g., with a letter from a physician) that they had no choice but to miss the exam date. In general, make-up exams will not be given. The few that are will be essay in nature; essay exams for the material covered in this course tend to be difficult. There are no extra-credit projects currently assigned for this course, though I may add one later in the semester. Students are expected to have read assigned material before each class. See the readings schedule below and on the back side of this page for assignments. It should be noted that the readings schedule is not set in stone; we may vary from it depending on the pace of the course so it is important that students keep abreast of any changes (I will let you know if there are any). Though readings and lectures will overlap to some extent, certain issues will be covered in lecture that do not appear in readings--and vice-versa. Exams will cover material from both lecture and readings. Assigned material is

absolutely essentially for grounding and reinforcing what I discuss in class, so it is critical that students do their reading. Exam Dates test #1: test #2: test #3: test #4 Feb. 6 Mar. 13 April 10 Exam date per university schedule, unless otherwise announced

Schedule of readings Week 1 Introduction to course, Deviance vs. Crime, Requirements of criminal act Week 2 continued above, what is theory; Read pp. 1-6; 229-230; 236-237 in Curran and Renzetti; Bohm, ch.1 Week 3 Classical theory, Read pp. 6-15 in Curran and Renzetti and Bohm ch. 2 Week 4 Positivism and physical characteristics, Read pp. 15-17 and ch. 2 in Curran and Renzetti; Read Bohm, ch. 3; test #1 Week 5 Biological explanations continued, Continue reading chapter 2 Curran and Renzetti; Bohm, ch. 4 Week 6 Psychological explanations, Read ch. 3 and pp. 160-165 of Curran and Renzetti and Bohm, ch.5 Week 7 Psychology continued; same two chapters

Week 8 tie up above; test #2 Week 9 Durkheim and Anomie, Read p. 99, 110-113 in Curran and Renzetti; pp. 65-67 in Bohm Week 10 Merton and Anomie, Read pp. 114-119, 123-132 in Curran and Renzetti; pp. 76-82 in Bohm Week 11 Control theory, Read pp. 147-158 in Curran and Renzetti; pp. 90-94 in Bohm; Labeling theory, Read pp. 172-180 in Curran and Renzetti; pp. 105-109 in Bohm. Week 12 tie up; test #3 Week 13 Radical theory, Read pp. 17-22, 183-185, and 187-197 in Curran and Renzetti; pp. 109119 in Bohm. Week 14 Learning theory and Differential Association, Read pp. 135-146 in Curran and Renzetti; pp. 82-90 in Bohm Week 15 lower class culture theory, drift, social disorganization, Read pp. 120-123, 166-169, and 99-110 in Curran and Renzetti; pp. 79-80, 51-52, and 67-73 in Bohm. ***Incremental grading (the plus/minus system) will be used for this course***