Michael Welch, Ph.D.
Secretary's telephone: (732)445-7215
Office: Lucy Stone Hall B-259, Livingston Campus
Office Hours: Tuesday & Thursday 3:30pm to 4:30pm
PURPOSE OF THE COURSE:
The scholarly field of criminal justice indeed goes beyond crimes committed in the streets to those in the suites where the rich and powerful engage in significant lawlessness, often with impunity. This course intends to examine an array of state and corporate crimes while also exploring in-depth the conceptual and theoretical implications to power. Part I of the course begins with the book State-Corporate Crime, a collection of readings focusing wrongdoing at the intersection of business and government. Among the lecture topics to be discussed in the first half of the semester are the following: recent financial scandals, bailout profiteers, "pump and dump" scams, regulatory troubles, and "disaster capitalism." Part II of the term investigates more closely state and corporate crime in the post-9/11 world, beginning with the book Crimes of Power & States of Impunity: The US Response to Terror. Correspondingly, the subjects of lecture and discussion include: the economics of militarism, the legality of war, neocolonial occupation, private military firms, torture, and the prosecutions of Bush and Rumsfeld as put forth by attorneys Vincent Bugliosi and Philippe Sands. The overall purpose of the course is to foster a sophisticated and critical perspective of state and corporate crime, particularly as they unfold within a larger context of globalization (see also Learning Goals listed below).
Michalowski, Raymond J. and Ronald Kramer (2006) State-Corporate Crime: Wrongdoing at the Intersection of Business and Government. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Welch, Michael (2009) Crimes of Power & States of Impunity: The US Response to Terror. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Please note that Professor Welch does not profit financially from the sales of his books purchased by Rutgers students. All royalties are donated to a Rutgers University educational fund. Moreover, students are encouraged to purchase used copies of the books which have ordered at the Livingston Bookstore. Cheers.
EVALUATION OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE:
Two Exams: 100 points each
Two Written Reports: 50 points each
Total Semester Points: 300
Exams consist of 50 multiple-guess items (2 points each), covering both lecture (50% of test) and reading assignments (50% of test). The first exam covers the entire book State-Corporate Crime and all lecture material. The second exam covers the entire book Crimes of Power and all lecture material since the mid-term.
The first exam covers the entire book State-Corporate Crime and all lecture material. The second exam covers the entire book Crimes of Power and all lecture material since the mid-term.
Exam dates: TBA
Both written reports involve an analysis of concepts as conveyed in films.
In the first assignment, students are instructed to view two films on reserve at the Media Center at the Kilmer Library: (1) The Boiler Room and (2) Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Prepare a three page single-spaced commentary in which you select at least two ideas (or concepts) from the lectures or the required reading (State-Corporate Crime) and discuss them in the context of the films. Bring your papers to class (do NOT email them to me) by TBA.
In the second assignment, students are instructed to view two films on reserve at the Media Center at the Kilmer Library: (1) Why We Fight and (2) The Trial of Henry Kissinger. Prepare a three page single-spaced commentary in which you select at least two ideas (or concepts) from the lectures or the required reading (Crimes of Power) and discuss them in the context of the films. Bring your papers to class (do NOT email them to me) by TBA.
There are NO extra-credit assignments.
90 - 100% A
87 - 89% B+
80 - 86% B
77 - 79% C+
70 - 76% C
60 - 69% D
00 - 59% F
Nota Bene: Tape recording lectures are strictly prohibited, along with note taking for commercial purposes.
IS THIS COURSE RIGHT FOR ME?
Students often enroll in a class without the benefit of knowing much about the course, the professor, and what is expected of them. In deciding whether this course suits your personal needs, interests, and lifestyle, the following checklist may be of assistance. Should you have difficulty with any of these items, this course is probably not suited for you.
Program in Criminal Justice, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, March 2008
Learning Goals: A Statement of Principles
The Program Committee for the Program in Criminal Justice at Rutgers University in New Brunswick has adopted a series of learning goals for students who complete the major. These goals represent the consensus of the faculty regarding the concepts a student should grasp and the skills a student should acquire in the course of completing the major. These goals guide the choices faculty make about the structure of the curriculum and the requirements for our majors. Moreover, they guide faculty and instructors preparing course material and teaching courses.
The Program in Criminal Justice will provide students with a rich understanding of crime and criminal justice in the United States and abroad through an interdisciplinary approach that blends a strong liberal arts educational experience with pre-professional instruction in the field of criminal justice. Graduates of the program will be well-informed citizens on the topic of crime and justice, and qualified for graduate study or for employment as practitioners in a variety of legal, policymaking, and law enforcement fields.
Criminal justice majors graduating from a research university should be able to use critical thinking, factual inquiry, and the scientific approach to solve problems related to individual and group behavior. In addition, students should have an understanding of the legal, political and policymaking processes that affect criminal justice systems in the United States and elsewhere in the world. Finally, students should be familiar with the institutional structures and latest developments in the field in order to engage in meaningful debate about current public policy issues.
Learning Goals for Criminal Justice Majors
Theory. Students who complete the major in criminal justice should understand and be able to articulate, both orally and in writing, the core theoretical concepts that form the foundation of analysis and research in criminology and criminal justice today. Core concepts are derived from explanations of crime from a variety of perspectives, including biogenic, psychological, and sociological approaches. There are myriad theories of crime that are informed by these perspectives, including, classical, control, critical, ecology, labeling, learning, strain, and trait-based approaches. Theoretical literacy should extend to multicultural and international understanding.
Institutions. Students who complete the major in criminal justice should understand the special role of three types of institutions: Police, Corrections, and Courts. In addition, students should know how institutional forms vary across jurisdictions and how these institutions interact with and influence each other.
Research Methods. Students who complete the criminal justice major should be familiar with the tools, techniques, and data sources necessary for empirical analysis. Students should understand the various ways that empirical analysis is used in the scientific approach: for description, for developing, and for testing theories. They should be able to analyze data using computer applications and should be familiar with basic statistical techniques and regression analysis. They should be able to read and assess research from a wide range of sources, including general interest, academic, and government publications.
Critical Thinking: Upon completion of the major students should be able to apply their understanding of core concepts and quantitative tools to analyze and research real world problems, and evaluate alternative policy proposals on a range of criminal justice issues, from micro-level analyses relevant to particular cases to management concerns to macro-level analyses of legislative and other broad-scale policies. Accomplishment of this goal will require that students can apply their literacy and numeracy skills to different institutional structures, within the U.S. and across countries.
Scholarship: Qualified majors should have an opportunity through such avenues as advanced coursework, internships, and faculty interactions to conduct independent research on matters of central relevance to the field of criminal justice.