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Fall 2012
5397 The Wire: Crime, Law, and Social Policy - HAMILTON- 34465
prof. change 3-20-12

Professor(s): Melissa Hamilton (VISITING SCHOLAR)

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Constitutional and Criminal Law 

Time: 7:30p-9:00p  MW  Location: 213  BLB

Course Outline: This course addresses various criminal justice issues dramatically illustrated in David Simon’s critically acclaimed HBO series “The Wire.” The topics explored include the following: policies underlying the war on drugs; the practicality and constitutionality of police procedures regarding searches, seizures, and confessions in dealing with street crime; institutional manipulation of crime statistics; race, gender, and class issues in the criminal justice system; prosecutorial bargaining and potential misconduct claims; and the politicization of criminal justice resources. Grades will be based on class participation, student presentations, and short papers concerning the legal and/or policy ramifications of certain scenes or themes presented in the series that may have broader criminal justice relevance. The prerequisite of having attentively watched the first season is necessary for a proper exploration of the issues previously outlined.

Course Syllabus:

Course Notes: New Visiting Professor, Melissa Hamilton, will teach this course.  

Prerequisites: Yes  Viewing of the first season of the show is required prior to the start of the class.

First Day Assignments: Per professor, students must view the first season before the first class.

The Wire: Crime, Law, and Social Policy
Monday, August 27: Watch the first season of The Wire (episodes 1-13). Be prepared to discuss major issues presented in the series that are relevant to considering contemporary criminal justice and public policy issues.

Wednesday, August 29: Watch episodes 14 and 15 of The Wire. Read chapter 21, titled "Crime and Public Policy" of the textbook.

Sign up for this course on TWEN. The Caselaw Supplement and the Syllabus will be posted on the TWEN course site.

Final Exam Schedule:    

This course will have:

Satisfies Skills Course Requirement: No
Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No

Experiential Course Type:

Bar Course: