This course introduces the classical scholarly frameworks for thinking about crime, and their evolution into current debates. It examines the scope and nature of crime in the United States from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective, as well as the uses and limits of the criminal justice system. Further topics will include the massive expansion of the U.S. prison system in recent years and its relation to crime rates, critical analyses of different theories of the causes of crime, strategies for preventing and controlling crime, the death penalty, gun control, white collar crime, and crime in family settings. The course will introduce concepts of criminal law and the main elements of the criminal justice system, including police, courts, and corrections. It will consider the main institutional features, problems, and critiques of the processes through which suspects are apprehended, tried, sentenced, and punished. Past and current trends and policy questions will be discussed. Since U.C. Berkeley is now, and has long been, one of the world’s leading centers for the study of law and society, the work of both past and current Berkeley scholars at will be highlighted.