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CJ 480 California Corrections System

Prerequisites: Upper division standing, CJ 300, or consent of instructor.

Description: Development of California's correctional system, among the ten largest in the world. Critical junctures, including the introduction of the convict labor system, good time, progressive penology, and the prison building boom.

Units: 3

Class Time: Tuesday and Thursday 6:00 -9:00Instructor:   Daniel MacallairCampus Office: HSS 236Campus Office Hours: . Tuesday &Thursday 5:00 – 6:00


Course Description

This course will cover the history and development of the worlds eight largest correctional system. Topics examined will include the early history of California’s correctional system, including the impact of the gold rush and the establishment of San Quentin and Folsom State prisons in the mid 1800s. The course will explore the state’s first convict labor system and the introduction of good time in 1864 as an early form of parole. The course will further explore the development of progressive penology pioneered in California during the early and mid 20th century before giving way to the conservative backlash in the last quarter of the 20th century. The course will take a close look at the political environment that led to the prison boom of the 1980s and 1990s including a critical assessment of the interest groups that propelled this movement. Finally, the class will analyze the politics of incarceration in the contemporary political culture and the implications for future corrections policy.

Course Format

The primary instructional method is lecture and discussion. Lectures and discussions are supplemented with videos and guest lectures. Students are expected to read and consider assigned readings prior to each class. Students are strongly encouraged to express their views.

Required Reading

The following are required class readings:

Schedule of Readings

The last section of this syllabus contains the reading assignments and topics by date. Please read the assigned materials prior to the class.


Grades are based on three objective exams that must be taken on the day they are administered. Failure to take an exam on the scheduled day will result in an F grade.

Instructor office hours are detailed above.  Additional times can be arranged by appointment.

Final Exam

According to Academic Senate policy F76-12 a time period is set aside at the end of each semester for a formal examination period. All classes are expected to meet during the final examination period whether an examination is given or not. The final examination schedule is published each semester in the Class Schedule.

CHSS Withdrawal Policy: The last day to drop a class is February 6, 2015 until 11:59pm. Starting February 7 – April 24, 2015 you must submit a withdrawal petition. Withdrawal from a class starting February 7, 2015will be considered for serious and compelling reasons only and must have accompanying documentation. The following reasons are not considered serious and compelling: Changing your major, poor performance, class not required for graduation/major, or more time needed for other classes. If you wish to withdraw from class due to unexpected changes in your work schedule, illness or family emergencies, documentation will be required, along with a copy of unofficial transcripts. Submit your petition within a reasonable timeframe (e.g., within 2 weeks of a change in work hours.) From April 25 – May 15, 2015 you may not withdraw from a class or the University, except in the case of a serious documented illness or verified accident.  Please refer to the following website for further information on withdrawal polices:

 CR/NC Option: The last day to request CR/NC option is March 20, 2015 until 11:59pm. The Associate Dean will not approve requests for changes if you miss this deadline.

 Late Add Policy: The period to add classes via permit numbers is January 26 – February 6, 2015.  The period to add classes by Exception is February 7 – February 20, 2015.   It is your responsibility to procure a late permit number from your instructor and add the class. Faculty cannot add you into a class. Starting February 21, 2015, a Waiver of College Regulations form must be signed by your instructor, Chair and CHSS Associate Dean to add. This will be approved only if there was an administrative error.

 Check your registration through SF State Gateway: Sign up for CR/NC, drop and add classes by the appropriate deadline online through SF State Gateway. ALWAYS check your registration after making any changes andBEFORE deadlines to be sure you are registered properly for your classes.  Deadlines for all registration procedures, including withdrawals and requests for credit/no credit, are listed in the class schedule and will be strictly adhered to by the instructor, the Department Chair and the Associate Dean of College of Health & Social Sciences.  It is ALWAYS the student’s responsibility to ensure their schedule is correct, even if the instructor indicates they will drop you.

 This can be viewed on the Registration Calendar at the following website:

Disability Programs and Resource Center: Students with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations are encouraged to contact the instructor. The Disability Programs and Resource Center (DPRC) is available to facilitate the reasonable accommodations process. The DPRC, located in SSB 110, can be reached by telephone at 415-338-2472 (voice/TTY) or by e-mail at

Schedule of Readings

06/23 Overview and course introduction Irwin Chap. 2… Continue


    1. Development of the penitentiary system 2. Development of San Quentin 3. The Building… Continue

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