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Police Issues

Stalin's Witnesses



Click here for a printable Panels & Papers

Each student will participate in a panel discussion and turn in a five-page paper. Participating in a panel discussion and turning in a paper on time are required components of the course and must be completed to earn a grade of "C" or higher.


There are sixteen student panels. Each panel is assigned a film and a theory.

Panels split the first 90 minutes of their assigned film (that's all that can be shown in class) into equal-length segments, with one segment for each panelist. For example, if there are three students on a panel, each can take 30 minutes of the film; if there are two students, each can take half. (For "Hood 2 Hood" each panelist takes a different city.)

Students go through their film segment and find scene(s) that illustrate or relate to an aspect of their panel's assigned theory (NOT the entire theory - just a relevant part.) Students then prepare a paper and deliver an oral presentation that connects their chosen film segment(s) with selected aspect(s) of the theory.

Students should collaborate so that each addresses different scenes and theoretical aspects.

Films and theories

Films will be shown in class. A limited number of DVD's are at the library on reserve, one day time limit, for checkout by assigned panel members only. Alternative sources are indicated in parentheses where known.

"Deliver Us From Evil" (Hulu Plus) IMDB Oliver O'Grady CBS News

    Panel 1: Biological    Panel 2: Psychological

"Stevie" (Netflix/DVD only) Summary slide IMDB

    Panel 3: Biological    Panel 4: Psychological

"I Am a Promise" (Netflix/DVD only) Docurama NY Times Stanton, a decade later

    Panel 5: Strain    Panel 6: Economic    Panel 7: Control

"Hood 2 Hood: The Blockumentary" (Disc 2, Brooklyn, Los Angeles and Compton only)
(Netflix/DVD only) Summary slide Streetgangs.com

    Panel 8: Strain    Panel 9: Economic    Panel 10: Control

"Latin Kings: A Street Gang Story" (Netflix/DVD only) Wikipedia Summary slide

    Panel 11: Labeling/Meaning of Crime    Panel 12: Conflict     Panel 13: Learning

"The Weather Underground" (YouTube, Netflix/DVD only) PBS film website Summary slide

    Panel 14: Labeling/Meaning of Crime    Panel 15: Conflict     Panel 16: Learning

Paper (20 points)

Avoid plagiarism! Click here: http://guides.library.fullerton.edu/ait/ai/ai_start.html

Students prepare a formal, five-page typewritten paper that ties in one or two scenes of their film segment with aspect(s) of their panel's assigned criminological theory. Strive to cover a limited area in depth rather than a broad area on the surface. Papers should follow conventional academic format and be structured as follows:

Technical specs

One-inch margins all around, double-spaced, 12 point type. No fancy type, no graphics.

Cover sheet

Student name, panel number, assigned film, assigned theory

Page 1

A. Identify the main criminological theory (e.g., biological) and in two or three succinct, well-written paragraphs describe the aspect(s) addressed in the paper. Summarize using your own words and thoughts. Do NOT quote or paraphrase from the book or any other sources. Do not try to mimic what the book or others have written by substituting different words. Use endnotes to reference applicable page(s) in the text and any other sources you might have used.

B. In one or two succinct, well-written paragraphs summarize the scene(s) used in the analysis. Use your own words. Do NOT quote from the film. Use endnotes to reference scene locations in the film.

Pages 2-4

Discuss how the chosen aspects of the theory (page 1-A) relate to the chosen scenes (page 1-B). What is/are the connections? Do the film scenes serve as an example of the theory? How?

Structure your answer carefully. Write clearly and succinctly, using paragraphs to separate your thoughts. Don't ramble. Avoid jargon. Use your own words. Do NOT quote or paraphrase from the text or any other sources, written or Internet. Do not mimic what others have written by substituting different words.

Use endnotes to reference sources. Spelling, grammar and good composition are crucial.

SPECIAL NOTE: This is not an exercise in applying "common sense," or what you may have been exposed to in other classes. It's an exercise in using criminological concepts discussed in our text to explain or comment on specific film scenes. Depending on what concepts you select it may be necessary to refer to other sources to get a more complete understanding. One way is to look up the names of concepts and/or the scholar(s) associated with the concepts in the indexes of other criminology texts. There are many criminology texts in the stacks of the Pollak Library, 5th. Floor South, under call number HV 6018. You can also search the concepts and scholars on the Internet, but be forewarned that the quality of what you find may be poor.

Page 5

List references, giving page numbers from the text and minutes from the film scenes (e.g., 32-34 mis., 56-62 mis.)

Presentation (5 points)

Each student will have five minutes to present the key aspects of their paper. Presentations should follow this sequence:

1. Describe the scenes you are using in some detail. Your goal is to refresh students' memory about these scenes (don't analyze yet.)

2. Identify the specific components of your assigned theory that you are applying (don't analyze yet.)

3. Now analyze. Discuss how your chosen theoretical components relate to the film scenes.

Please rehearse! Papers may be used for reference but please DON'T read from papers or notes. This is excruciatingly boring and will cause you to lose points!


Each student is graded separately based on their unique contribution.

Papers and presentations are graded on clarity, coverage, conciseness, accuracy, quality of thought, execution and following instructions.

Everything must be a student's own original work. Students may NOT use any paper from another current or prior course.