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Course Catalog

Crime Rates, Public Policy and Manipulation Through Fear   

Greg Woods, J.D. In this course we will examine the identification and prevention of crime in the United States, focusing on the history of legislative responses and public policy. Using lecture, discussion & expert guest speakers, we will explore the impact and history of crime and the strategies employed by government and private parties calculated to identify, respond and prevent proliferation in the United States. We will look at how political, corporate, and media sources make people afraid of personal injury, property damage, and economic instability; and how this impacts the justice system and influences public policy in the United States. We will explore historical instances of mass hysteria, build awareness through examples in which fear has been calculated or exploited to influence public policy, and develop analytical skills to identify factors impacting relationships with the United States justice system in an examination of the following (more details available in the syllabus once enrolled): January 20 Introductions, Course overview, Fear of the Undocumented (1798 to current); Foreign Nationals, Immigration, Loyalty Oaths & Building walls because good fences make good neighbors; and much more... January 27 Fear of Guns, Crime & Police; Lock them up, Hide Your Guns! Editorial and Enforcement Discretion; Crime statistics, legislative intent and public policy; and much more... February 3 Fear of Drugs & Subjugation (from 1927 to current); Political, Corporate, and Media Portrayal in Popular Culture; Impact and perspective: Substance abuse and the recidivist offender; and much more... February 10 Fear of Terrorism & Unemployment; Recessions and Depressions; Timothy McVeigh and the U.S. Patriot Act; National Security, Public Safety and Personal Liberty Contradicted by the Necessities of the State; and much more... February 17 Fear of War & Climate Change; Tension between expectations of liberty and the national security interest; Nuclear Warfare and World War Three; The Military Industrial Complex and Coming Ice Age; and much more... February 24 Fear of Subversive Politics & Corruption; No Justice, No Peace without increased access to Justice; Social Media and the Arab Spring; An examination of contemporary policy demands by Anarchists, Communists, Socialists, Fascists, Nationalists and the Alt Right...and more... Greg Woods, J.D. is a Lecturer with the Department of Justice Studies at San Jose State, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies at Sonoma State, and has taught with the Department of Criminal Justice Studies at SF State University. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from San Francisco Law School.

This class is not available at this time.