Crime, Law and Society in The Wire

Course Catalog Number:
Course Credits:
Course Type:
Course Priority:
Seminar - 3rd Year Priority
Graduation Requirements:
Upper-Level Writing
"W" Writing
Full Year Course:

Course Description

Few contemporary works of fiction have captured contemporary issues in the criminal justice system in as realistic a fashion as the HBO series The Wire. Written by a former police reporter for the Baltimore Sun and a former commanding officer for the Baltimore Police Department, The Wire presented viewers with a complex, detailed and highly nuanced view of the many problems faced by the criminal justice system in a large urban environment (Baltimore). This course will use The Wire as a text to study many of the most important and intractable problems in the criminal justice system in America today, including drug enforcement, race, confessions, police manipulation of crime statistics, mass incarceration, use of force, gender, criminal organizations, gun violence, and honesty and accountability in law enforcement.