The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. In 1980, approximately 500,000 people were behind bars in this country. By 2005, this figure had topped 2.1 million. In this course, we will examine a range of legal and policy issues arising from the incarceration of convicted offenders. In so doing, we will pay particular attention to the efforts of courts and legislatures to deal with the pressures on the system created by the recent dramatic expansion of this nation�s prison population - as well as some of the changes in law and policy that explain this expansion in the first place. The topics to be covered include: prison conditions and prison reform litigation; prisoners� rights; inmate access to the courts; the prison disciplinary process; prison labor; private prisons; and issues relating to the incarceration of women. Throughout the course, attention will be paid to the social and cultural context of the laws and policies under discussion, which have yielded not only record incarceration rates but also the disproportionate incarceration of nonwhites.
Use of laptops is not permitted in this class.