RCSSCI 461 - Senior Seminar
Fall 2023, Section 001 - Restorative Justice, Prison Reform, Abolition: From Theory to Practice
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: RC Social Sciences (RCSSCI)
Department: LSA Residential College
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Waitlist Capacity:
Lab Fee:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


Though activists and organizers have been fighting against the injustices in the U.S. prison system for many decades, it is only in recent years that “Mass Incarceration” and “Criminal Justice Reform” have become well-known terms. For those who want to participate in prison-related social justice efforts, however, the programs, practices, and initiatives can be confusing to parse.

Common questions include:

  • What exactly is "Restorative Justice", and what does it look like in practice?
  • What strategies fall under the umbrella of “prison reform”, and what practices are considered “abolitionist”? Are these practices mutually exclusive, or symbiotic?
  • What are “alternatives to incarceration?”, and what is “decarceration?”
  •  And finally, how can students contribute to these efforts currently as well as in their future careers?

In this class, we will co-create working definitions of these terms and explore what they look like in practice, using texts, documentaries, and insights from organizers and activists engaging in this work every day. Specifically, we will explore the work of decarceration-focused restorative justice and arts-based practitioners; policy advocates; community re-entry specialists; social workers; educators; lawyers; and others. In addition to short weekly written assignments, students will design and complete a final decarceration-related project, featuring topic(s) and a format of their choosing.


RCSSCI 461 - Senior Seminar
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
5RC Ugrd
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

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