Moving students from reliance on assumptions and impressions to an understanding of the realities of the criminal justice system, Associate Professor Shamir Ratansi creates an open learning atmosphere. He says, “I want my students to feel safe sharing their ideas, while challenging those ideas and their formation. Students learn that their experiences are not necessarily representative of the reality of the criminal justice system and that the facts about the system are discovered through research.”
Asked to give examples of crimes, students in Ratansi’s Crime and Capitalism class (co-taught by Ammon School of Arts & Sciences Dean Susan Pease) invariably tick off such offenses as burglaries and convenience store stick-ups.
“What’s the most harmful act committed?” prods Dr. Ratansi, a member of CCSU’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice since 2005. A chorus of voices responds: “Murder.”