Criminal Justice 240

History of Crime and Criminal Justice in America

Professor: Frank Morn
Office: 412 Schroeder
Phone #: 438-7853

Intent: This course surveys the history of crime and

criminal justice institutions in America from colonial to

recent times.

It poses the notion that clear understandings,

strategies and

solutions for current-day problems can occur

only with a knowledge

of their historical development.

Thesis: Crime and criminal justice are mirrors of American


Objectives: At the end of the course the student should be able

to think, discuss and write about modern-day crime

and criminal justice issues from the following perspectives.

The student will be able to see the:

   >. ways religion and religious values have shaped

       criminal justice issues and practices.

  > importance of politics in any consideration of crime

      and criminal justice development.

   > persistence of xenophobia, racism and sexism in

       American culture.

  > general fear and reluctance of expanding governmental

      power, particularly in the area of federal government

      and federal criminal justice.

>  forces that changed the attitudes as set forth above.

> quest for an urban and economic discipline by elites.

> legacy of private people doing criminal justice tasks.

> origins and development of the criminal law and

   court procedures.

> origins and development of criminology as an

    explanation of crime.

> importance of popular culture in forging ideas about

    crime and criminal justice.

> origins and development of policing in America.

> origins and developments of correctional ideas

    and institutions.

> origins and developments of "criminal justice"

     as an academic discipline.

> relevance between the class thesis and the statement

    at the end of this handout.

Attendance: It is required and will have an impact upon your

individual class standing and evaluation.

Texts: Three text books are required and should be read in this


      Frank Morn, Forgotten Reformer

      Joan Jacobs Brumberg, Kansas Charley

      Gerald Posner, Case Closed

In addition, sometime in the last three weeks of class you

should view the film JFK by Oliver Stone

You are required to see this film.

If you cannot see it on your

own please see me.

This is essential because on the final exam

a "large" question will

have to do with a comparison and analysis of

that film and the book Case Closed




There will be several small writing tasks from my Web site.

The address is On this site you

will find an extensive bibliography for further interest

and research, postcard presentation on prisons,

a trial quiz, and the


These are historic cases ("Who done it,"

miscarriages of justice etc).

Ten of these scenarios are required at ten points each

for a total of 100 points. These will be specified in class.

Others might be done for extra credit. In these exercises

the following might be helpful.

1. Summarize the important and relevant information

2. Set forth your interpretation as to guilt or outcome

    as is appropriate

3. Write this up in a college-level typed essay of at

   least three pages.

4. Morn's DOPE analysis scheme might be helpful








       There will be three tests, a mixture of multiple choice

        and essays,

        Each test is worth 100 points.

        A weeks notice will be given before each test.

         The last one will be during final week.

          No make-ups will be offered.



       At the end of the semester all students will be ranked

       according to their point accumulation.

        There are 400 points total (aside from any extra credit

         that will be

         occasionally offered) for this class with which to evaluate.

        Grade structure will look like this:







General Outline of the Course (for a more detailed

outline see "outline of course"  on the Web page)

1. Introductions and Themes

2. Colonial America

         A. Relevant Questions and Issues

                i.  Immigration

               ii. Culture Clash

               iii. Village to towns

               iv.  Economics and crime

                v. Religion and justice

         B. Crime

                i. Village period

                ii. Town period

         C. Criminal Justice

                i. Law

                ii. Police

               iii. Punishment


3. New Nation

           A. Relevant Questions and Issues

                   i. Liberty and license

                  ii. Revolution in ideas

                  iii. Freedom v Control

                  iv. Conspiracy and scapegoats

                   v. New Criminology

           B. Crime

           C. Criminal Justice

                    i. New Law

                   ii. New Punishment


4. Jacksonian America

           A. Relevant Questions and Issues

                   i. Migration and immigration

                   ii. The "Common Man"

                   iii. Vice

                   iv. Boss politics

                   v. Diversity and Xenophobia

                   vi. Urbanization

                   vii. Mobs and Gangs

           B. Crime

           C. Criminal Justice

                    i. New Police

                   ii. Fall of the Penitentiary


5. War: Civil and Uncivil

           A. Relevant Questions and Issues

                      i. War and crime

                      ii. New views on death

                      iii. Business crime

                      iv. "Just War" doctrine

                      v. Terrorism

                      vi. Assassination

             B. Crime

             C. Criminal Justice

                      i. Reformatory Movement

                      ii. Police

                            a. Pinkertons


6. The West

             A. Relevant Questions and Issues

                    i. American Character?

                   ii. Myths and mythmaking

              B. Crime

                    i. Riverboat gambling

                    ii. Transient towns

               C. Criminal Justice in the Frontier

                    i. Law ("west of the Pecos")

                    ii. Police

                            a. Federal Marshals

                            b. Pinkertons

                    iii. Military and the Indian


7. Gilded Age

               A. Relevant Questions and Issues

                        i. Bossism

                       ii. Vice

                       iii. Terrorism

                       iv. Corruption

                B. Crime

                C. Criminal Justice

                          i. Police

                          ii. Prisons


8. Progressive Era

                A. Relevant Questions and Issues

                          i. Race

                         ii. Ethnicity

                         iii. Reform

                          iv. Purity crusade

                 B. Crime

                         i. Business, politics and the muckrakers

                 C. Criminal Justice

                         i. Police

                                a. Feds

                        ii. Prisons


9. Gangster Era

                     A. Relevant Questions and Issues

                               i. Prohibition

                              ii. Radicalism

                              iii. Crime as a national issue

                              iv. Academic Criminology

                      B. Crime

                      C. Criminal Justice

10. War: Hot and Cold

                       A. Relevant Questions and Issues

                                 i. War and crime revisited

                                ii. Radicalism revisited: Communism

                       B. Crime

                       C. Criminal Justice


11. Liberal Era

                        A. Relevant Questions and Issues

                                  i. Politics and criminal justice

                                 ii. Mobs and demonstrations

                                 iii. Increased crime rates

                                 iv. Unpopularity of war

                                  v. Baby Boomers

                                  vi. Civil Rights movement

                           B. Crime

                           C. Criminal Justice


12. Conservative Era

                            A. Relevant Questions and Issues

                                    i. Politics and criminal justice

                                   ii. National war on crime

                             B. Crime

                             C. Criminal Justice


Remember what is etched on your automobile's side view mirror.

"Objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear."