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ETHS 315 Color of Incarceration

This course examines the U.S. prison population and system. Important questions to be explored are: Why are communities of color over represented in U.S. prisons? Is there an inherent racial bias of law enforcement agencies which result in greater arrest and incarceration of African Americans and other racial and ethnic groups? How does the criminalization of political acts effect various movements of social change?
4 Undergraduate credits

Effective August 24, 2002 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Analyze cultural phenomena and current events that reflect a complex interplay of racial-thinking and policies which are within the U. S. penal institutions.
  • Comparatively examine the effects of the criminal justice system on African Americans and other racial/ethnic groups in the United States.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of public policy trends that have an effect on the criminalization of disenfranchised communities of color.
  • Explain the social, political and cultural implications of racial-thinking that informs the practices of law enforcement agencies and the U. S. court system.
  • Understand and explain why African Americans and other racial/ethnic groups are over-represented in the United States prison system, while under-represented in society as well as in political representation.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 7: Human Diversity

  • Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
  • Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
  • Describe and discuss the experience and contributions (political, social, economic, etc.) of the many groups that shape American society and culture, in particular those groups that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
  • Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.

Fall 2024

Section Title Instructor books eservices
50 Color of Incarceration Padilla, Kiara Books for ETHS-315-50 Fall 2024 Course details for ETHS-315-50 Fall 2024