Metropolitan State University

ETHS 315 : Color of Incarceration

A. Course Description
Credits: 4
Lab Hours/ Weeks: Corequisites: None
Lecture Hours/ Week :  
MnTC Goals: Goal LS - Upper Division Liberal Studies , Goal 07 - Human Diversity
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?
B. Course Effective Dates: 08/24/2002 - Present
C. Outline of Major Content Areas:
See Course Description for major content areas.
D. Learning Outcomes (General)
  1. Analyze cultural phenomena and current events that reflect a complex interplay of racial-thinking and policies which are within the U. S. penal institutions.
  2. Comparatively examine the effects of the criminal justice system on African Americans and other racial/ethnic groups in the United States.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of public policy trends that have an effect on the criminalization of disenfranchised communities of color.
  4. Explain the social, political and cultural implications of racial-thinking that informs the practices of law enforcement agencies and the U. S. court system.
  5. 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.
E. Learning Outcomes (MN Transfer Curriculum)
Goal LS - Upper Division Liberal Studies
Goal 07 - Human Diversity
  1. Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
  2. Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
  3. Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
  4. 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.
G. Special Information
Racial Issues Graduation Requirement