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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Brackeen v. Haaland: Challenging the Indian Child Welfare Act

Post | October 27, 2021

The case of Brackeen v. Haaland is currently facing the U.S. Supreme Court. The case calls into question the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) of 1978. The two major questions in the case are: (1) Is the ICWA unconstitutional on the basis of racial discrimination because of its favoring of Native families […]


Unit 1: A “New World,” A New Nation Teacher Guide

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) | August 20, 2021

Words of Ages Teacher’s Guide are designed to supplement your standard classroom history text while offering new, creative perspectives on the nation’s heritage.


Unit 2: Nationalism and Sectionalism Teacher Guide

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Words of Ages Teacher’s Guide are designed to supplement your standard classroom history text while offering new, creative perspectives on the nation’s heritage.


Unit 3: Industrializing America Teacher Guide

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Words of Ages Teacher’s Guide are designed to supplement your standard classroom history text while offering new, creative perspectives on the nation’s heritage.


Unit 4: Democracy and Adversity Teacher Guide

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Words of Ages Teacher’s Guide are designed to supplement your standard classroom history text while offering new, creative perspectives on the nation’s heritage.


Unit 5: The Challenges of Power Teacher Guide

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Words of Ages Teacher’s Guide are designed to supplement your standard classroom history text while offering new, creative perspectives on the nation’s heritage.


Unit 1: A “New World”, A New Nation – Explorers and Early Settlers

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) | August 19, 2021

Captain John Smith and the English settlers who followed did not shed their attachments to Great Britain when they landed on North American shores.


Unit 1: A “New World”, A New Nation – The Search for a National Identity

Historical Perspective (ELA Unit) |

Between the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783 and the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, the United States began to forge a national identity.


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