Decriminalizing Mental Illness: Prison Reform Advocacy in Litigation and Beyond
Professors Golden and Rohr
J.D. Practicum 1058
| 4 credit hours
This seminar examines the American criminal legal system through the prism of mental health. Men and women with mental illness are one of the fastest growing populations cycling through U.S. jails and prisons. This course will discuss the social and legal influences on what many term the ‘criminalization of mental illness,’ the overreliance on punitive responses to behaviors related to mental illness.
The course covers substantive law, significant theory, and real world advocacy methods, in and outside the courtroom. Students will be introduced to best practices in engaging clients with mental illness and will explore the possible roles for lawyers in reform movements.
The instructors will bring their complementary legal experiences which include practice in prison litigation, policy reform, individual and cause advocacy, and community organizing.
In order to match enrolled students with their desired field placements, after the release of preregistration results, students will be required to submit their resume to Gretchen Rohr at firstname.lastname@example.org. Students will also be required to participate in an orientation meeting to walk the students through the field placement process and answer any questions about the seminar. Further instructions will be e-mailed by August 1, 2012 to those enrolled. There will be a make-up orientation for students who enroll in this class later.
Prerequisites: Students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Property, or their first-year elective). Prior or concurrent enrollment in Criminal Justice (or the equivalent Democracy and Coercion) or Criminal Procedure is required.
Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum and an externship or a clinic (except Street Law) or another practicum course.
Students who wish to receive credit for the Externship Seminar and a practicum course that has the same field placement may do so only if: (1) the practicum course is taken in a semester following the Externship Seminar; and (2) the student receives permission from the Assistant or the Associate Dean for Clinical Programs. To receive such permission, the student must explain in writing how the practicum course field work would serve substantially different learning goals than did their externship field placement.
THIS IS A PRACTICUM COURSE.
This is a 4 credit course. 2 credits will be awarded for the 2-hour weekly seminar and 2 credits for approximately 10 hours of supervised work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks, to be scheduled with the faculty. The supervised work must be completed during normal business hours. The seminar portion will be graded. The 2 credits of supervised work is mandatory pass/fail and counts toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit. Students will be allowed to take another course pass/fail in the same semester as the supervised work.
Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and practicum components and may not take either component separately. A student wishing to withdraw from the course will be withdrawn from both the seminar and field work components.
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