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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Great Depression

Unit 4: Democracy and Adversity – The Great Depression and the New Deal

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) | August 19, 2021

The stock market crash of October 29, 1929, marked the beginning, though not the cause, of the Great Depression.


WWII

Unit 4: Democracy and Adversity – WWII

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Mired in the Great Depression of the 1930s, U.S. leaders were more concerned with issues at home than with those abroad.


T Bird

Unit 5: The Challenges of Power – Prosperity and Anxiety

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

The 1950s were a time of prosperity and affluence unlike any ever seen in the United States.


Unit 5: The Challenges of Power – Rights and Revolutions

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

The years between 1950 and 1975 were tumultuous times for American society.


Vietnam War

Unit 5: The Challenges of Power – The Vietnam Years

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Since the late 1800s, France had controlled the area of Southeast Asia called Indochina—Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia—and had profited from the region’s rice and rubber plantations.


Building Bridges - Taxes

Building Bridges – Taxes

Podcast | April 27, 2021

April 15th is traditionally when our income taxes are due, we thought we would dedicate this session to some fascinating tax stories in American history.


Women's History Month

Building Bridges – Women’s History Month – Part 1

Podcast | March 22, 2021

In this episode of Building Bridges looks at some remarkable women in American history: Belva Lockwood, Jeannette Rankin, and Shirley Chisholm.


#CounselorsNotCops

The Debate Over School Resource Officers and the #CounselorsNotCops Campaign

Post | February 16, 2021

The debates over defunding or reforming the police and addressing the school-to-prison pipeline have merged to focus on the issue of police officers in schools. School resource officers (SROs) are career law enforcement officers who work in one or more schools.1 According to the Department of Justice, SROs are “responsible for safety and crime prevention […]


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