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February 28, 2007

Dateline NBC

I was wondering if anyone else has been watching the Dateline NBC episodes on "To Catch A Predator" where they set up a sting operation to catch people soliciting underage youths for sexual activites. I am wondering what other peoples thoughts on the program are, and if they approve/disapprove of their methods. I am all for what they are doing, and I think by broadcasting it on national TV not only are the perpetrators being legally punished, they are being publically humiliated. I liken this somewhat to what Foucault described in the begining of his book where he describes the public punishments. I did see the one episode where they City actually had a town hall meeting where people could express their opinions on the program. I was amazed at how many people were against Dateline doing this report. I am unsure of what negative impact this would have on a community. This occurs all over the country, and those who don't realize it are the ones who are opening themselves up to being victimized.

February 26, 2007

Interesting Videos

This weekend I stumbled across the MSNBC show "Lockup" and found a lot of it very interesting. Although they obviously show the most 'entertaining' prisons, they cover a wide variety of topics from gangs to inmates who spend their time making guitars. If you go to their website and type lockup in their search menu, they have a handful of clips from the show, each some 5 minutes long. Josh has picked some really great documentaries and films that we will be seeing during the rest of the semester, but for those of you interested in seeing more about life on the inside, this would be a good place to look. You could probably use them to start a discussion and get credit for your meaningful and thoughtful blog entries. See you Thursday! Mary

February 25, 2007

new material

I think the new class material will be a lot more interesting. I had a little trouble with the theory portion of the class discussions, but I think I will be able to grasp the upcoming information more easily.

February 22, 2007


The Challenge Incarceration Program, in a Foucault perspective, uses knowledge of disciplinary and structured power to ensure conformity to the rules. The participants are continually surveillanced and this is a tactic to keep them on track through their programs and paths to becoming productive citizens. The CIP reforms the mind with education the participants receive. The CIP uses physical training to train the body. All of the mechanisms work together to promote skills for self regulation and normalization once the participant get out into the "real" world.
-Holly Sprenger

February 18, 2007

In the News...

Hey, I was just wondering if anyone heard about the Amber alert released earlier this week? A fourteen year-old girl was abducted by her father, who was a convicted sexual predator. Anyways, I found this interesting and am trying to tie it to our class activites. Does anyone think that this one case could (from a Durkheimian view) create enough pressure and emotion that a new law could be passed that would further restrict parental visitation when the parent is convicted of a sex crime?

February 14, 2007

Fantastic! Now analyze it from another perspective

Great job! Now analyze the program from another theoretical perspective, or pull ideas from the various theories to understand the program. Please write your names at the end of your entries so that we can address you by your name (I don't have a list of your emails at my desk). Good work! This type of entry is very helpful to us all.

Thoughts on the CIP

The Challenge Incarceration Program (CIP) seems to operate on utilitarian principles. It aims to create the most good for the greatest number of people by treating them as rational actors. Though the program is very strict, the punishment is not too harsh and the result produces benefits for everyone. The three phases of rehabilitation "punish and hold the offender accountable, protect the safety of the public, treat offenders who are chemically dependent, and prepare them for reintegration into society and reduce their risk of reoffending." Throughout each phase the offenders are disciplined to transfrom them into good, functional citizens. The methods implemented by this program have proven to be instrumental as they have reduced the chances of reoffending and reincarceration by 32 and 35 percent respectively. Not only is the program successful in rehabilitation of offenders and reducing recidivism, but it has saved over 18 million dollars. The benefits of ICP seem to far outweigh the costs of leaving offenders in prison through their release dates.

February 13, 2007

Prepare for the Midterm

As I am sure you all know, the midterm will be handed out in class on Thursday and will be due next week. As a way to help prepare, I would highly suggest you look over this information on the Challenge Incarceration Program (CIP) that we have in the MN Department of Corrections. Similar to the activity we did with IFI, pink handcuffs, etc, I would then think about this program through the eyes of the major theories we have discussed. Use this blog to post your thoughts, ask for help, start a discussion. Once you are given the questions for the midterm, you will not be able to use this space to ask for help from classmates and Josh and I will only be able to give you limited help...so take advantage of it now!

Program Overview: http://www.corr.state.mn.us/facilities/cip.htm
Program Evaluation: http://www.corr.state.mn.us/CIPevaluation.htm

First 2 Weeks - Activities

PDF files of some of the group work:

Download file

Download file


Crisis Crime wave Punishments

Antinomian Covenant of grace Anne Hutchinson and Banishment
Questioning church followers question
authority. the church order and
the covenant of grace

Quakers Religious toleration Quakers coming from England Whipped banished,
Challenging values Exposed Boston Quakers cut off ears and
drilled tongues.
Salem Girls acting strangely Groups of girls acting Jailed, executions
Devilish behavior out in public
unnormal shift of
religious focus

Function For whom

Antinomian Trespassed the boundaries The church and the elite
Of the New England way as well as the community
Who are we? For a sense of identity

Quakers Reassurance of the New The community, the church
England way. To maintain and the elites.
who they were
Salem A way to solidify society. The community, religious hierarchy
New land unknown territory and the social hierarchy.
Who are we really and what
Do we stand for.

Troy Bennett

February 1, 2007


The Foucalt reading is a little difficult. Hopefully we can go over it in class, becuase I have a hard time understanding what he's saying most of the time.