Department of Sociology
Crime and Justice in Society (Sociology 261)
Jenny Dillman Marks, MA; MSW
36 Union Avenue - Room 204
Tuesdays & Thursdays before & after class and by appointment.
Please feel free to contact me if problems, concerns or questions arise regarding any aspect of the
course. You are welcome to send me an email message, or leave a voice message on my phone at
This course will focus on the social construction of crime and criminal behavior. Basic crime
theory will be used as an analytical framework for understanding what constrains and motivates
criminal behavior. Primary focus for this course is on the corrections system.
Throughout the course, the complexities and challenges of the corrections system will be
explored using a critical lens toward issues of power, class, race, ethnicity, gender, and
geography, and how these phenomena intersect with corrections, public perception, and each
The history of correctional thought and practice, as well as consideration of the consequences
and effects of modern-day practices will also be discussed. Course content will be introduced
and examined through readings, lectures, discussions, small group work, and a variety of
assignments in and out of the classroom.
Clear, T.R., Cole, G.F., & Reisig, M.D. (2009) American Corrections
Ed.). Belmont, CA:
Agnew, R. (2005) Why Do Criminals Offend: A General Theory of Crime and Delinquency
Los Angeles: Oxford University Press
York: Harper Collins