CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Background and Context

These resources will help students develop a thorough understanding of Criminal Justice and make connections between historical events, current conversations, and current policy proposals surrounding the issue. This section includes all of the context and content previously included in Close Up’s public policy chapters.  

 

Criminal Justice in Historical Context

How has Criminal Justice changed throughout our history? Learn More >

Criminal Justice in Current Context

What is current Criminal Justice policy? Learn More >

Criminal Justice: Deliberating Priorities

Available for Middle & High School

How, if at all, should the United States reform its criminal justice system? Learn More >

Current Issue Debates

Current Issue Debates are framed by a central question and followed by historical context, an overview of both sides of the topic, and discussion questions to facilitate deliberation in the classroom.

 

Police Reform Deliberation

Available for Middle & High School

What policies, if any, are needed to reform police practices? Learn More >

The Death Penalty

Available for Middle & High School

What policies, if any, are needed to reform police practices? Learn More >

Police Accountability

Available for Middle & High School

Should the federal government pass legislation to hold law enforcement agencies more accountable? Learn More >

Defunding the Police

Available for Middle & High School

Should governments transfer some or all of police department funding to other public services? Learn More >

Drug Decriminalization

Should state governments pass legislation to decriminalize the use of all drugs? Learn More >

Videos from Policy Makers

Brought to you by ASP HOMEROOM, through a collaboration between Close Up Foundation and A Starting Point, these supplemental videos are an introduction to policy areas that provide an opportunity for students to hear different perspectives directly from lawmakers.

 

The War on Drugs

Congressmen Burgess Owens (R-UT) & Bobby Scott (D-VA)
February 24, 2021

Sentencing Reform

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) & former Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA)
February 26, 2021

Police Reform

Representatives Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) & Pete Stauber (R-MN)
February 15, 2021

Lesson Plans

These ready-to-use lesson plans can be utilized in conjunction with any of our resources to enhance the quality of student discourse in the classroom. Our supplemental Civic Readiness Guide provides a recommended lesson plan sequence for using our Current Issues resources.

 

Additional & Archived Resources on Criminal Justice

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Unit 2: Nationalism and Sectionalism – A Confident Nation

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) | August 19, 2021

After the War of 1812, Americans gained confidence and pride in their nation as a spirit of unity and nationalism strengthened the union.


Unit 2: Nationalism and Sectionalism – Slavery and the Abolition Movement

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

From the 1830s to the 1860s, the economic, political, and cultural chasms between the North and South deepened.


Unit 2: Nationalism and Sectionalism – Civil War and Reconstruction

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

By the middle of the 19th century, the nation had developed two distinct economies and identities.


Unit 3: Industrializing America – The Closing of the Frontier

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Just before the Civil War, writers all across the United States began telling stories about people and places they knew well.


Unit 3: Industrializing America – Artists Render Industrialization and Urbanization

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Many American historians view the late 19th century in terms of technology and science, identifying the dynamism that helped drive the massive social changes of the period.


Child Workers

Unit 3: Industrializing America – Social Critics and Reformers

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

American history is full of individuals agitating for change. However, between the end of the Civil War and World War I, writers and lecturers poured forth ideas for improving society from a particularly deep well.


Boxing

Unit 3: Industrializing America – Americans Abroad and WWI

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

In 1880, the sultan of Turkey closed the Turkish diplomatic mission to the United States, believing it to be a waste of money on a second-rate nation.


Jazz Age

Unit 4: Democracy and Adversity – The Jazz Age

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

The 1920s were a golden era. The postwar economy grew and optimism reigned. F. Scott Fitzgerald—a great novelist of the period—captured the mood in his 1937 essay, “Early Success.”


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