Law 676 - Reentry, Work and Race
This course surveys the emerging field of Reentry Law with a focus on the profound labor market consequences of racialized mass incarceration. Students will learn the key technical features of and rationales for diverse legal approaches to reentry. They will place these approaches in broader social policy context and compare them to related legal issues concerning immigration status, welfare-to-work transitions, and disability. Emphasis will be placed on analyzing choices among different solutions to the same problem and among different ways to define the problem itself, especially as a matter of racial justice. The course will be organized around three approaches to the field: changing employer practices (for instance by “banning the box” on employment applications asking about criminal records), changing formerly incarcerated people (for instance by providing training or
expunging records), and changing incarceration itself (for instance by altering prison work programs). The course is cross-listed with the Labor & Workplace Studies Major and, for the first eight weeks, will have two joint lecture sessions per week with the undergraduate course. Throughout the semester there will be one law-student-only seminar discussion session. Students will be evaluated based on a combination of participation and multiple short paper(s). With instructor permission and for an additional credit, students have the option of substituting a research-based paper that may satisfy the SAW requirement.