CJ 3404 / CRN 19040 / Sec. 001
Spring 2013


R. B. Taylor
Department of Criminal Justice
Temple University




on the web at:
instructor main web site: www.rbtaylor.net


Date of last update: 3/16/2013

Course Description

Students will gain an understanding of the structural correlates of crime and crime patterning at various levels from the international to the local. Connections across levels are emphasized. Topics include international murder differences, metropolitan crime patterns, economic and cultural reasons underlying recent increases in urban crime in some communities, regional differences, and urban vs. suburban and rural differences. The course emphasizes acquisition of specific competencies including interpreting and constructing maps, and finding, constructing, and interpreting tabular and graphical quantitative data displays. Themes are illustrated using Season 2 of the HBO TV series “The Wire."

The course requirese in-class participation, some of which is graded, two short homework papers, both of which are graded, a conceptual integration paper, quizzes on weekly readings, and a short final exam.


Important information updates will appear in this box


3/16/2013 - DUE DATE CHANGED for draft paper: Now due 3/25 - midnight; upload via SafeAssign

1/29/2013 -DRAFT memo on speaking and listening norms posted - CLICK HERE

1/29/2013 - mistake fixed in sequence of topics so it matches what is on Blackboard for week of 1/28/13


Key Links


Sequence of topics and readings - subject to change - check back often




The Wire: Episode summaries, synopses, character links, background on production


Homework 1 and grading rubric - the dead Russians, and international differences posted 1/20/2013 - may be updated


Paper assignment and rubric posted 1/20/2013 - may be updated


Click College of Arts and Sciences statement on academic misconduct
Click Carolyn Foster Segal on the stages of plagiarism grief

Usage policies and legal notice

Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on this WEB page and linked WEB pages (not publications) at the rbtaylor.net addresses are the sole property of Ralph B. Taylor and © 1999-2013 by Ralph B. Taylor. None of the opinions expressed on any of these WEB pages represent the opinions of Temple University or Temple University's Department of Criminal Justice. The only viewpoint presented in these and other WEB pages is that of R. B. Taylor. All these WEB pages were converted from text pages and created as WEB pages by R. B. Taylor in his spare, discretionary time and not as part of required instructional activities, but rather as potential instructional enhancements. As part of his required instructional activities, R. B. Taylor has created paper, non-hyperlinked copies of these pages, and those will be posted on Blackboard for all enrolled students. Further, the preparation and storage of all these WEB pages did not and does not involve Temple University resources in any manner. All users have the right to freely access and copy these WEB pages provided that they: acknowledge the source, do not make changes on any pages, and do not charge more than copying costs for distribution. Further, all users by accessing this WEB page or any linked WEB pages in the rbtaylor.net domain or outside of it, do hereby explicitly and unconditionally indemnify the author of each accessed WEB page, including those in the www.rbtaylor.net domain, and all other domains linked to these pages, from any and all liabilities or claims of damage arising from any variety of defects, inaccuracies, or misrepresentations appearing therein, or arising from trauma or suffering experienced as a result of exposure to any materials taken to be offensive, insensitive, ill-conceived or otherwise distasteful; or from any uses to which these materials are put


Instructor R. B. Taylor , 536/537 Gladfelter Hall
Teaching Assistant Joe PItts, 5th floor Gladfelter Hall
Time & Place TuTh 9:30 - 10:50 AH 0003 (yes, that's in the basement....)
Office Hours Tuesday 2:00-4:00
If these times do not work for you, and we need to chat,,please call or email and we can set up an appointment any time.

215.204.7169 (v)
You also can ring 215.204.7918 and ask Ms. Major if we need to chat and the phone is not being picked up.

Current Temple University Syllabus policy also requires that a current Temple e-mail address be listed. It is ralph.taylor at the temple.edu address. BUT PLEASE DO NOT USE IT! I schedule when I look for student emails, and if you do not send it to the gmail account I am more likely to miss it. See email policy below.
TA info Office #: 562 5TH FLOOR GLADFELTER HALL - turn east after you get off elevator, then take first right
Email: at gmail.com write to : TEMPLETEACHCJ
Phone: 1-215-204-1174
Office hours: THURSDAY 11 AM - 1 PM

What your grade is based on
(read grading policies - further below - CAREFULLY)

15% Participation points
20% Average on quizzes on readings for that week, after dropping lowest grade
10% Homework 1
5% Paper 1: draft
35% Paper 1: final
15% Final exam

Learning goals and related activities


1. To encourage you to think about crime connections at various macro-levels. Structurally, spatially, and temporally: what features connect with crime patterns and/or changes in those patterns? Emphasis will be placed on a community-level economic and cultural model developed by William Julius Wilson.

2. To grow your awareness of ways crime can differ; i.e., to encourage you to think not only about the levels of crime, but about how crime rates are arranged across different locations or different types of locations, and the implications of those arrangements.

3. To develop your capacity to produce and describe features of elementary maps of crime or features of societal structure.

4. To develop your capacity to find and interpret crime data, and related structural data, presented in tabular or graphical form.

Activities linked to learning goals

Goal 1: You will read articles, book chapters and reports on the causes and correlates of crime, and you will listen to related lecture material. You will be completing one short but demanding paper. It requires you to learn a conceptual model, apply that model to a specific situation, provide evidence supporting that application, and reflect carefully on both the model and the situation.

Goal 2: You will read articles, book chapters and reports about crime patterns, and you will read and analyze maps. You will complete one homework assignment. You will engage in NUMEROUS in-class exercises.

Goal 3: You will see examples of maps in lectures, and in your readings. You will engage in in-class exercises

Goal 4: You will see examples of crime and structural data presented in class and in your readings.

How does this course link to related undergraduate Criminal Justice courses at Temple University?

Two other courses: environmental criminology (3402) and communities and crime prevention (4102) also address spatial and community patterning of crime.

CLICK HERE to see a graphical presentation of how these three courses differ in scope.

The current course is the most macro-level of the three, and spans the largest range of scales.

What does macro mean? It means we are addressing features about how society is organized, from the international level to the regional level to the metropolitan level to the city level.

It starts out considering international differences in crime and related structural conditions not only to better understand those differences, but also to understand the implications for the US. Within the US, regional and state level variations are considered. Within Pennsylvania, urban vs. suburban vs. rural differences are considered. Metropolitan areas, and their structural and crime variations are considered, ending with a broad consideration of crime patterns within the City of Philadelphia.

Environmental criminology starts at the neighborhood level, examining causes for different crime rates and patterns across neighborhoods, then moves down to consider the sites of specific offenses, and relevant meso- and micro-level features.

Communities and crime prevention considers responses to crime, including not only individual-level behavioral and psychological reactions, but also organized community responses of different types.

Who should be in this course?

You should probably be in this course if:

Various university or college or professor policies and procedures


Cell phones and PDAs of all varieties are WMDs (weapons of mass distraction) in the classroom. You will have them off for the entire time you are in class. Not on vibrate - off. Reading incoming texts, texting, answering calls, or websurfing with your phone are all activities that I define as behaviors that disrupt or obstruct the teaching of you and those around you -- and thus are violations of the Temple code of student conduct: see C. Conduct, #2.

Scientific research has documented the costs of using your cell phone, It creates a condition of inattentional blindness . This is not good.
(If you want to read the full article, it is in the miscellaneous readings folder; it is: Hyman, Ira E., S. Matthew Boss, Breanne M. Wise, Kira E. McKenzie, and Jenna M. Caggiano. 2010. "Did you see the unicycling clown? Inattentional blindness while walking and talking on a cell phone." Applied Cognitive Psychology 24 (5):597-607. If you want to read a recent and general review about portable media use, check out this article, also in readings folder: Levine, Laura E., Bradley M. Waite, and Laura L. Bowman. 2012. "Mobile Media Use, Multitasking and Distractibility." IGI Global.

The first time I see you using your phone in any way including texting or looking at the screen, I will ask you for your phone. You will make an appointment to retrieve it from me at the end of the day.

The second time I see you using your phone in any way I will ask you to immediately leave the classroom and to drop the course.

If you are in the midst of an ongoing situation that requires you to be cell phone available during class you will let me know that on that day, and we will seat you in a location that is less disturbing to your classmates.

I understand that some of you may need to text frequently, and/or feel a need to be available on your phone at all times. If you are one of these, you want to very carefully consider whether to drop this course immediately.

If you bring a notebook computer for taking notes, the only page I expect to see up on your screen is your word processing. No websurfing or emailing is allowed during class. Doing so creates a classroom distraction for those seated around you. Again, this obstructs or disrupts teaching.

I will probably ask people who are using notebook computers to keep notes to please sit in the first row of the classroom.

If I suspect that you are using your laptop for other than the designated purposes, I will speak with you about it. If I have to speak to you a second time, I will request that you drop the class. Again, you are creating distractions for those around you.


The only acceptable reasons for an absence are your own illness, a verifiable emergency, “one-time” work related conflict, death of a close family member, or religious observance (see below).

Non-emergency appointments with medical providers, appointments with advisors, needing to pick up a relative at the airport or a sibling at school, etc. are not “good” excuses.

For an absence to be excused both of the following conditions must be met.

a) You must notify me before the missed class by leaving a voice mail with the instructor, or sending the instructor an e-mail, or leaving the instructor a clearly written note before or after class with your name, the date to be missed, and the reason.

b) You must later provide me with something in writing, for my records, verifying the the cause of your absence.

If you miss class for any reason (i.e., “good excuse” or “no excuse”), you are responsible for staying informed about reading assignments, written assignments, etc. You can do this via Blackboard, e-mail to me, my teaching assistant, classmates, etc.

I will not use class time to re-explain assignments, exams, or repeat information covered when you were absent. I will gladly fill you in on any of these matters in person, by e-mail, or by phone at another, mutually convenient, time or during scheduled office hours.

Academic Rights and Responsibilities

Temple University students who believe that instructors are introducing extraneous material into class discussions or that their grades are being affected by their opinions or views that are unrelated to a course’s subject matter can file a complaint under the University’s policy on academic rights and responsibilities. 

Statement on Academic Freedom:  Freedom to teach and freedom to learn are inseparable facets of academic freedom. The University has adopted a policy on Student and Faculty Academic Rights and Responsibilities (Policy # 03.70.02) which can be accessed through the following link: http://policies.temple.edu/getdoc.asp?policy_no=03.70.02

The policy encourages students to first discuss their concerns with their instructor.  If a student is uncomfortable doing so, or if discussions with the instructor do not resolve the student’s concerns, an informal complaint can be made to the Student Ombudsperson for the student’s school or college.  Unresolved complaints may be referred to the dean for handling in accordance with the school or college’s established grievance procedure. Final appeals will be determined by the Provost.

Academic Honesty 

Temple's policy is as follows. "Temple University believes strongly in academic honesty and integrity. Plagiarism and academic cheating are, therefore, prohibited. Essential to intellectual growth is the development of independent thought and a respect for the thoughts of others. The prohibition against plagiarism and cheating is intended to foster this independence and respect.

"Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of another person's labor, another person's ideas, another person's words, another person's assistance. Normally, all work done for courses -- papers, examinations, homework exercises, laboratory reports, oral presentations -- is expected to be the individual effort of the student presenting the work. Any assistance must be reported to the instructor. If the work has entailed consulting other resources -- journals, books, or other media -- these resources must be cited in a manner appropriate to the course. It is the instructor's responsibility to indicate the appropriate manner of citation. Everything used from other sources -- suggestions for organization of ideas, ideas themselves, or actual language -- must be cited. Failure to cite borrowed material constitutes plagiarism. Undocumented use of materials from the World Wide Web is plagiarism.

"Academic cheating is, generally, the thwarting or breaking of the general rules of academic work or the specific rules of the individual courses. It includes falsifying data; submitting, without the instructor's approval, work in one course which was done for another; helping others to plagiarize or cheat from one's own or another's work; or actually doing the work of another person."

Students must assume that all graded assignments, quizzes, and tests are to be completed individually unless otherwise noted in writing in this syllabus.  I reserve the right to refer any cases of suspected plagiarism or cheating to the University Disciplinary Committee; I also reserve the right to assign a grade of "F" for the given paper, quiz or test.

I strongly recommend you review a CLA policy on academic honesty from the mid-1980s as needed. Note that getting an F in the course is a possiblitiy.


The three areas where issues about academic honesty are most likely to arise are in taking quizzes and exams, properly footnoting and citing in your homeworks and papers. We will talk about each of these matters in class.

I also have posted on Bboard highlights from the APA citation guide, excerpted by the writing center.


Attendance is expected; much of the learning in this class will occur in class during activities like short lectures, watching clips from videos, completing an exercise, small group discussions, etc.

You are going to be doing stuff in class. These activities may use information from an assigned reading, but they will not duplicate it.

Do NOT expect to just turn in written assignments, take the final, rarely come to class, and pass this course.

In addition to interfering with your learning, missing class hurts your grade in two ways. First,some weeks there will be a short in-class quiz on the readings assigned for the week.

If you are not in class in time to take the quiz, you will receive a 0 for that quiz. (For further information, see Quizzes.)

Second, a portion of your grade is based on participation. You cannot earn participation points if you are not in class. (For further information, see Participation).

Controversial Subject Matter (see also Media Warning below)

In this class we will be discussing subject material that some students may consider controversial. Some students may find some of the readings and/or some of the comments in class challenging. Our purpose in this class is to explore the subject matter deeply and to consider multiple perspectives and arguments. Students are expected to listen to the instructor and to one another respectfully, but of course are free to disagree respectfully with views expressed in class, or in readings. We will develop listening and speaking norms in class.

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING SPECIFICALLY: The video clips you are going to see may be considered gross, gruesome, or offensive for some. If you think the media content in this course will be problematic for you for whatever reason, please make an appointment to see me in the first week so we can talk about this matter and whether you should leave the course because of it.

Disability Statement

This course is open to all students who meet the academic requirements for participation.  Any student who has a need for accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss the specific situation as soon as possible.  If you have a documented disability, please bring the instructor the required form from Disability Resources and Services (215-204-1280 in 100 Ritter Annex) so that the instructor can coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities.

In fairness to all students, the instructor can only accommodate those students who might need extra time for taking exams or completing assignments, or special test taking arrangements, if those students are registered with the Office of Disability Resources and Services.


I will not respond to more than one email/student/workday. If you have sent me multiple emails in one day, I will respond to the latest one that I see when I look at my email.

During the semester sometimes things get busy. Although I may respond more quickly, do not expect an email reply in less than two working days (48 hours) during the semester. This does not count weekends or the spring break. You should expect that I will probably not be responding to emails on weekends and during break.

I expect all your emails to me and the teaching assistant to be professional. Professional emails have a subject heading that is informative and specific, a proper salutation, a clear statement of the matter at hand, and a closing.

For some hints/tips, see: http://careerplanning.about.com/od/communication/a/email_tips.htm

Abusive or derogatory emails to either the instructor or the TA will treated as "engaging in disorderly conduct" (see Temple code of student conduct, # 21, available online at: http://policies.temple.edu/getdoc.asp?policy_no=03.70.12

Threatening emails to either the instructor or the TA will be taken extremely seriously. See Temple code of student conduct, # 3.

Violations of the student code of conduct may be grounds for initiating academic disciplinary actions.

Grading standard for course

To be eligible to receive a passing grade of C- or better, you will need to MEET ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS

a) complete the homework, b) complete the paper and receive at least a grade of C- on the FINAL paper , c) take at least half of the weekly quizzes, AND d) show up for a final exam for this course.

Grading standards for papers

  I will take off for mis-spellings, flagrantly poor grammar, and for poor organization. Even though this is not a W course, I expect college-level writing.

If you are concerned about your writing, please visit the folks at the writing center.

Or, you could acquire and refer to a good reference work on grammar and composition such as John E. Warriner & Francis Griffith English Grammar and Composition: Complete Course Grade 12 available through abebooks.com for $1 plus shipping. A grammar/composition reference book sounds retro but if you get it you won't regret it, especially if you use it.

Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style" is another essential. You can get the early Strunk version online at:


I strongly recommend you read section: V. WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS COMMONLY MISUSED

You will receive a detailed grading rubric when each paper is assigned.

Late assignments

Both homeworks and the paper are due on the date indicated. I reserve the right to lower the grade for assignments that are submitted late. The amount the grade is lowered increases the longer the delay. Depending on the assignment, the grade may be lowered 1% to 10% a day.

Note that SafeAssign will prevent you from uploading a paper after the deadline has passed.

If you have an excuse for a late assignment I will take this into account only if
a) you notify me beforehand about the problem and
b) I find your excuse for the delay to be a valid one and
c) I have something in writing. (See Absences)

Lateness/Leaving Early

Please observe the following policies which are intended to enhance the learning environment in this class.

a. Arrive on time. If you must be late, enter as unobtrusively as possible.

b. If you get to class on a quiz day after we have started collecting the quiz, you have missed it.

c. If you get to class after we start collecting “participation cards” or worksheets, you will not be permitted to submit one.

d. Stay in class until the end of class. If you start to leave before class is over, I will stop you, ask your name, and delete your card or worksheet for the day if we have one. This includes “temporary” departures. If you have a health issue that may make it difficult for you to sit in the classroom for the entire class session, please let me know.

e. If, on a particular occasion, you have a good reason for leaving before class is over, please let me know before class begins. Your early departure will be excused if I agree it’s a good reason.

f. Do not get ready to leave class until I have ended it. The rustle caused by people packing up to go is very distracting and will postpone rather than hasten dismissal.

Mailbox in department

If you need to leave a written piece of work, or documentation, or a note for the instructor or the TA, do not put it in departmental mailboxes. Give it to the secretary or student worker in the main department office (512 Gladfelter), ask him/her to sign, date, and time stamp it, and he/she will put it in my mailbox.

Do not try to put items in the mailbox yourself. They usually end up in the wrong mailbox, and if it is time sensitive, I have no idea when it arrived.


You will not be permitted to make up a missed quiz unless (1) you notify me before the missed quiz (by voice mail or e-mail); (2) you have a reason for missing the quiz that I consider to be legitimate (see attendance); and (3) you give me something in writing, verifying the nature of the problem. Makeup quizzes will be given immediately following the final exam.

There will be no opportunity to “make-up” missed in-class participation points.

If you had a reason for your absence from class that I consider to be legitimate (see attendance), I will adjust the total number of participation points upon which your participation percentage is calculated accordingly.

Media Warning

Note that in class we will be watching clips from episodes of The Wire. You also will be watching one or more episodes as you prepare papers. Please be advised that these episodes sometimes contain profanity, graphic violence, nudity, and racist, sexist, or bigoted language.

I apologize for the unseemly content. These episodes are used, however, because they provide precise, concrete illustrations of several key concepts in this course and thus have pedagogic value in the context of the course goals.

If you anticipate that you will will find these materials offensive, I strongly recommend that come speak with me or email me to set up a phone conversation during the first week of the semester. You and I can talk about whether you would be advised to continue with the course.

If you do NOT notify me in the first week of the semester, either via voice mail or email, that you have concerns about or objections to the media content in this course, I will assume perforce that you have no objections to the media content, or that your objections are outweighed by the benefits you anticipate receiving from participating in the course.

Note taking and in-class material presented

You will want to take notes in class. You will want to do this because during class new material will be presented, or additional points will be made about the readings, that you will need to use as you write up your papers. (See also below on PPT fill in sheets)

Office Hours

If you are unable due to completing obligations to meet with the instructor during his stated office hours, notify him and a different meetng time will be arranged.

Please note that office hours are for all students.

Paper submission

The two homeworks, the draft version of the paper, and the final version of the paper all will be uploaded through the "Safe assign" procedure on the course Blackboard site. You are responsible for correctly submitting your work through this channel. Please do not email your paper to the instructor or the TA. If you do email your paper to the instructor or TA expect to lose points.

You want to be informed about how SafeAssign works. For example: you can upload only once, you cannot call it back, once the deadline passes the site will not let you submit, and the system in the past has been known to crash with many people submitting close to a deadline.

Participation in class

Participation will be evaluated primarily on the basis of “participation cards”, completed worksheets and other short in-class written assignments, and occasional written homework assignments.

a. Participation Cards: In class, you will sometimes be asked to write something, and put your name on the card. Each card will be worth 2 points. You will receive 2 points if you thoroughly and thoughtfully answer the question. You will receive 1 point for a less thorough response. You will receive 0 points if you write something that is not responsive to the questions(s) or if you do not hand in a card.

b. Worksheets: Sometimes in class you might do some group work that involves completing an individual or group worksheet. If I collect those, and your name is on one, that counts toward “participation points”. Worksheets may be worth considerably more than one point, depending upon the nature of the assignment.

c. Short in-class written assignments: It is possible that, in addition to the homework and one paper, some other form of short written in-class assignment will be made during the course of the semester. If so, the number of points attributable to that assignment will be announced at the time of the assignment and will be applicable to the overall “Class Participation” grade. Your final participation grade will be based upon a calculation of the percentage of participation points you earned out of the total number of participation points available.

Participation points may be assessed as rarely as every three or four weeks, or as often as every week.

PPT fill ins
Some weeks there will be pages you can print out beforehand that have text from powerpoints and fill in the blanks. You are responsible for checking to see if these are available, and bringing them to class.


Each quiz is on the required readings for that week. Most quizzes will consist of 8-10 true-false questions. The questions will usually be drawn from the questions posted on Blackboard (under Course Materials) to help guide your reading for the week. The quiz may be on either Monday or Tuesday or Thursday. It is likely to take place at the beginning of class. If you get to class after we have started collecting the quiz, you have missed it. Your quiz average for the course grade will drop the lowest quiz score.

Quizzes on the readings can occur as often as once a week, or as rarely as only two or three times during the semester.


You have the right to submit any written assignment for regrading. If you wish to submit an assignment for regrading proceed as follows:

 Prepare a written statement explaining why the assignment should be regraded. This applies to written assignments, essay exams, and multiple choice exam questions where you think there was more than one correct answer.

 On a cover sheet print your name, TUID number, name of the assignment or test, date of the assignment or test, and the date you submitted the assignment for regrading.

Staple the cover sheet to your written rationale and the original assignment. Give this to me in class or leave in my mailbox in the departmente office. (see mailbox)

I will review your request for regrading. I will consult with other faculty if I deem that appropriate. As a result of your request for regrading the grade on your original assignment may stay the same, or it may go up, or it may go down.

Religious Holidays

If you will be observing any religious holidays this semester which will prevent you from attending a regularly scheduled class or interfere with fulfilling any course requirement, you will be permitted to make up the class and/or course requirement if you make arrangements by informing the instructor (via e-mail) in advance of the dates of your religious holidays. You are also responsible for reminding the instructor of the reason for your absence or late work at the time of the holiday.

Snow Cancellation

This hardly ever happens! Haha! But seriously folks, the emergency closing number is Philadelphia - 101. Notice is also posted on TU Portal. If there is no official closing, assume that class will be held and that you are expected to attend

In the unlikely event that Temple is open but I cannot get to campus I will email everyone by 7 am. If I am unable to attend a class due to snow, I will hold a makeup class during the study days at the end of the semester.

Student conduct

You are expected to be familiar with and abide by the Temple code of student conduct. It is available online at: : http://policies.temple.edu/getdoc.asp?policy_no=03.70.02


This class meets 2-1/2 hours a week. Students can expect an average workload of approximately 4-6 hours per week (reading, reflecting, doing occasional homework assignments, working on papers, etc.).


Listening and speaking in the classroom

We will be talking about listening and speaking norms. The materials covered in this class can be viewed and reacted to in different ways, depending on a range of personal factors, including political orientation. Even though it may seem juvenile to talk about these norms, I think it may help grow and clarify the comfort boundaries for in-class discussions.

The understandings suggested by your discussion have been posted in a memo - CLICK HERE