TT, 11:00am, TEC 341

Dr. Mitzi Mahoney


Office Hours: Huntsville campus - Tuesday, Thursday 9:00am-11:00am, 2:00-3:00pm

The University Center – Tuesday, Thursday 5:00-6:00pm

By appointment

Office Location: AB1 319C Office Phone: 936-294-1464 Fax: 936-294-4172

E-Mail: pol_mlm@shsu.edu


COURSE DESCRIPTION : This course explores dynamics of victims' rights politics and policy making. The first section of the course examines the politicization of victims' concerns and the emergence of the victims' rights social movement. The second section of the course focuses on the formulation and adoption of victims' rights policies, including a discussion of the range of policy alternatives under consideration, an analysis of the behavior of the policy making institutions, and the modeling of the determinants of victims' rights policy formulation. The third section of the course examines the actual implementation of victims' rights policies by governments and their agents. The fourth section of the course explores the impact of victims' rights policies. The course offers in depth analyses of victims' rights politics and policies at the local, state, and national levels in the U.S. In addition, cross-national comparisons will be incorporated in the analyses.


COURSE OBJECTIVES : The objectives for students include:

  -Building a knowledge base regarding victims' rights

  -Learning fundamental principles, theories, approaches in victims' rights


  -Learning how to analyze and evaluate arguments

  -Developing skills useful for professionals in the victims' rights organizations



There are no textbooks to purchase for this class at this time. All readings will be available through the Newton Gresham Library's Electronic Reserves or online, either posted on Blackboard or available through the Internet. I will have you download publications available on various government websites, including the websites of the U.S. Department of Justice, the State of Texas Attorney General's Office, the United Nations, Harris County, Texas, and others.



Exams: Three exams will be given. They will include identification, short answer, and essay questions.


“The Politics of Victims' Rights” Research Project:: The goal of this research project is to collect data on the policy goals and political strategies of stakeholders in the victims' rights field. This entails identifying a group, a government agency, or a policy entrepreneur active in the field of victims' rights; identifying their political goals and values, their resources, and their strategies for achieving their goals. This will involve interviewing members of the organizations, reviewing the organization's literature, public statements, websites, and analyzing secondary accounts of the organization's political activities. Details are found on Blackboard.


“The Victims' Rights Policy Process” Research Project: The research paper entails analyzing policymaking on a specific victims' rights issue. In this research project you will select a victims' rights policy that has been formulated, adopted, and implemented. You will analyze the formulation and adoption process, describe the policy provisions, analyze the implementation process, and evaluate the impact of the policy. Details are found on Blackboard.



Exam I         15%

Exam II       15%

Exam III       15%

“Politics” Project     20%

Research Paper     35%       



Make Up Exams: Make up exams will be given to students who miss an exam because of illness, a death in the family, or an official university activity. You must notify me immediately if you miss an exam. Make up exams will be given at the convenience of the faculty member. Make up exams will consist of essay questions.


Attendance: After three unexcused absences, I reserve the right to deduct one point from the final grade for each additional unexcused absence.


Religious Holy Days Policy: A student may be excused from class in order to observe a religious holy day if the student presents the faculty with a written statement regarding the religious holy day.


Academic Honesty Policy: Students are expected to engage in all academic pursuits in a manner that is above reproach and to maintain complete honesty and integrity in the academic experiences. Academic dishonesty includes cheating on exams or other academic work, plagiarism, collusion and the abuse of resource materials. Any student found cheating on exams or plagiarizing another's work will be given an F for the course.


Americans with Disabilities Act: It is the policy of SHSU that individuals otherwise qualified shall not be excluded, solely by reason of their disability, from participation in any academic program of the university. Further, they shall not be denied the benefits of these programs nor shall they be subjected to discrimination. Students with disabilities that might affect their academic performance are expected to visit with the Office of

Services for Students with Disabilities located in the Counseling Center . They should then make arrangements with their individual instructors so that appropriate strategies can be considered and helpful procedures can be developed to ensure that participation and achievement opportunities are not impaired.


SHSU adheres to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. If a student has a disability that may affect adversely his/her work in class, the student is encouraged to register with the SHSU Counseling Center and to talk with the instructor about how best to deal with the situation. All disclosures of disabilities will be kept strictly confidential. NOTE: No accommodation can be made until the student registers with the Counseling Center .