Welcome - Imprisonment and Penal Policy LAWS 2276   Imprisonment and Penal Policy
This course is a 3-credit major paper seminar that focuses on the impact of imprisonment on law, communities and individuals, by using a multidisciplinary, multi-sectoral approach. There will be three major sections to the seminar, designed to help students develop skills to represent and assist incarcerated clients in a variety of legal situations by developing a critical understanding of how incarceration can change the legal system’s rules of engagement for such individuals. The first section is normative. We will look at the penological and legislative purpose of imprisonment, the different types of custodial institutions within Canada, the laws that regulate incarceration in Canada and in the provinces, the rights that apply to prisoners, the problems that may arise in the prison context, and the specific remedial mechanisms created to protect prisoners in the institutional setting. The second section is analytical and interdisciplinary. We will look at the specific issues that incarceration raises as it interacts with other aspects of law and society, including family, aboriginality, labour, property, end of life planning etc. We will also look at the legal tools available to prisoners or former prisoners seeking to engage with these socio-legal issues, and ask how effective they are. The third section is practical. It will consist of a site visit to a prison, in order to familiarize students with the environment and to allow them to engage with prisoners and to receive first-hand accounts of the issues we will have discussed in class. Each student will deliver a written material and a presentation to prisoners summarizing the law in a field relevant for prisoners (custody issues, divorce, immigration, human rights issues etc). Please note that the field trip to prison is mandatory for the completion of the course, and will take place likely on a Saturday, in addition to the regular class time. By including normative, analytical, policy, and field components, this course caters to students who are passionate about criminal and social justice as well as those who simply wish to build skills and experience in representing or advocating on behalf of the diverse group of clients they may encounter in their careers.
RESTRICTIONS: Restricted to students in the JD program or JD-combined programs: JDMBA, JDMPA, JDMHA, and JDMLIS