Sociology- Crime and Criminals

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  • Caution:  Please read all the instructions before doing this assignment–it is a 2 step process.

    The words “crime” and “criminal” are weighted with a lot of meaning, and most Americans have very strong views about criminals and how they should be punished.  Before you learn more about our criminal justice system, and the criminals in it, from your textbook, I’d like you to spend some time exploring your own views on the topic. 

    – Please begin this assignment by writing a half page or more (typed, double spaced) that answers the following questions:

    • When you think of “criminals,” what kinds of people do you normally think of, and what kinds of crimes do you think they committed?
    • How do you think most criminals feel about the crimes they committed and the victims of their crimes?
    • How do you think criminals generally respond to their time spent in prison?

    Label this part of your writing “Before the film.”  After you have written this response, please set the assignment aside; you’ll write more later this week before submitting it for grading.

  • Film: What I Want My Words To Do To You

     Next, I’d like you to watch a film about a particular group of criminals and their experiences in prison.

    You will access the film “What I Want My Words To Do To You,” from the NOVA Video On-Demand service, which is available from your Blackboard home page where you access your Blackboard courses. To watch the one-hour twenty minute film, click the link below:

    As you watch the film, think about what you wrote before you watched.  How were your ideas before the film confirmed what you see in the film, and how were they challenged?

  • Reflection on Crime and Criminals

    Now that you’ve watched the film (I hope you enjoyed it!), go back to the assignment you started before the film.  Start a new section of your assignment, labeled “After the Film,” and write one page or more (typed, double-spaced) in response to the film.  Your response should address questions like: 

    • Did what you saw in the film challenge your ideas about crime, criminals, and/or prison?  How?  How did what you saw compare to what you wrote about before watching the film?
    • Do you think that the criminals and prison environment you saw in the film are typical?  Why/why not?
    • What most surprised you about what you saw?  Why?

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