CRIM 125. Introduction to Criminology & Justice Studies

Introduction to field of criminology and social justice conceptual framework; theoretical perspectives and methods; contemporary crime policy issues: individual to societal.

What is crime? How do we measure the extent of crime? Is the image of crime we see in the media accurate? Why do some people engage in criminal activities while others do not? Why do crime rates differ between cities, regions, and countries, as well as over time? What is the most effective way to lower the incidence of crime? What is justice? Does it always have to involve punishment? In this course we will address such questions from a sociological perspective. We will focus on the social context of crime and criminals, especially the causes, consequences, and solutions to behavior that has been labeled as “criminal.”


Beirne, Piers and James W Messerschmidt. 2014. Criminology: A Sociological Approach. 6th ed. Abingdon: Oxford University Press.
Stevenson, Bryan. 2015. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption. New York: Spiegel & Grau.
Mauer, Marc. 2006. Race to Incarcerate. Revised Edition ed. New York: The New Press.

Berger, Ronald J., Marvin D. Free, Jr., Melissa Deller, and Patrick K. O’Brien. 2015, Crime, Justice, and Society: An Introduction to Criminology, 4th Edition