Go to Main Content

Georgetown University


Detailed Course Information


Fall 2017
Sep 28, 2022
Transparent Image
Information Select the desired Level or Schedule Type to find available classes for the course.

GOVX 400 - Prison Reform Project
This course is part of a recently-created line of courses in the Department of Government (designated as GOVX) that follow a non-traditional structure and format, based on different methods and schedules of instruction and learning. The Spring 2016 version of the course involved extended class meetings and interactions with a group of incarcerated individuals, leading to a major public event and the cover story of the Washington Post Sunday Magazine. 

The Spring 2017 version will focus on societal reentry, as Georgetown students will work with people who are returning from prison and adjusting to free society. The class--which is a 5-credit course--is intended for a small number of highly-motivated students who are passionate about criminal justice and prison reform and are eager to leave campus and explore these issues, challenges, and human stories. 

Although the class has been scheduled for Fridays 9:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., note that we will rarely (if ever) meet for that full block of time. The scheduling ensures that students will keep their Fridays open, free from other classes or regular commitments. The course will involve some irregular activities and off-campus trips. Students will also be meeting within smaller groups, and consulting with the professor, on a regular basis throughout the semester. Several class sessions will include a group of "returning citizens"--recently incarcerated men and women who can provide firsthand knowledge and experience with the challenges of prison and societal reentry. One class session may also be held at a local prison. 

The output for the course, which will be prepared by several teams of students working together, will include the production of short documentaries that are humanizing portraits of the lives of individual returning citizens, as well as policy reform proposals for improving the reentry process on a host of different issues (e.g., parole, housing, employment, social stigma, etc.). Students will then present their final projects at a larger public event hosted by the Prisons and Justice Initiative at the end of the semester. It is also possible (though not certain) that a film crew will be regularly covering this course for a high-profile documentary. 

The course will be restricted to a maximum of 10 Georgetown students, to be selected by the professor. Priority will be given to those students who have a strong academic or practical background in this area. 

Interested students should email Professor Howard at mmh@georgetown.edu by November 19, with the subject line "GOVX 400 application." In no more than three paragraphs, they should state their reasons for wanting to take the course and provide any background information that may be relevant or helpful. Final decisions will be made shortly thereafter. (Note that students who are applying to take this course do not need to list it in their preregistration requests, since the enrollment process will happen separately and selected students will be enrolled directly by the professor and the Registrar.) 

5.000 Credit hours
5.000 Lecture hours

Levels: MN or MC Graduate, Undergraduate
Schedule Types: Seminar

Government Department

Course Attributes:
Mean Grade is Calculated

Return to Previous New Search
Transparent Image
Skip to top of page