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We Need To Talk : Criminal Justice

Companion guide to the panel series, We Need To Talk, sponsored by the University Libraries and Greenspun College of Urban Affairs with livestreaming by UNLV TV.

Our Panelists

Frank Rudy Cooper, JD,  Director of the Program on Race, Gender and Policing

Greg McCurdy, Former Assistant Sheriff for Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Dr. Tyler D. Parry, Assistant Professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies

Police Reform, & Mass Incarceration

What are groups of people protesting, marching, and uniting for anyway? Are they an example of a civically engaged citizenry or are they just out causing trouble? There are many strong opinions and lots of rhetoric out there right now, but this week's panel will address the overarching subject of criminal justice, policing, mass incarceration, and the very real consequences of not paying attention in these areas.

Just what exactly do terms like reform, policing, mass incarceration, police brutality and the prison-industrial complex mean?

Terms That Teach

  • Policing involves organized order maintenance, peace keeping, rule or law enforcement, crime investigation and prevention, and other forms of investigation and associated information brokering, which may involve the conscious exercise of coercive power.
  • Mass Incarceration refers to the imprisonment of a large proportion of a population (used in particular with reference to the significant increase in the rate of incarceration in the US in the late 20th century).
  • Police Brutality refers to excessive, unjustified, or undue use of force by law enforcement can be legally defined as a civil rights violation, where law enforcement officers exercise undue or excessive force against a subject.
  • The Prison Industrial Complex refers to the economic interrelation between prisons and the various public and private job sectors that have become dependent on the expansion of the prison system. A partial list of these sectors includes construction, pharmaceuticals, and law enforcement, including probation and parole. The prison-industrial complex also provides a cheap labor force for various corporationsThe growth of the prison-industrial complex in the United States has come at the expense of predominantly black and Latino communities. 
  • Reform refers to the idea that the institution of policing can be improved continually, as to an aspirational state of perfection. 
  • All term definitions can be found in  the Credo Reference Academic Core database.


Podcasts About Policing

UNLV Student Dissertations Highlighting the Las Vegas MPD

Seeing Is Believing

Books To Binge

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