Race, Crime and Justice in Curacao: CRIM 451

Willemstad, Curacao

November 23 – 30, 2019


Program Summary

This program is an examination of the relationships existing between race and the criminal justice system.  It features online instruction and a mandatory visit to Curacao.  The online portion of the class focuses predominantly on race and the criminal justice system of the United States.  Particular attention will be paid to the police, courts, and correctional systems.  The focus in Curacao will be on the island role in the slave trade and its slavery history, its contemporary racial concerns, its response to an increase in illegal immigration, and its Jewish community (the oldest in the Americas).

Curacao provides an interesting counterpoint to the United States because Curacao recently became autonomous but still remains a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  It is characterized by a mix of influences.  It certainly displays Caribbean characteristics but is directly influenced by Europe because of its membership in the Kingdom.  Its people identify with the Americas but they hold Dutch passports and follow many Dutch traditions.  The island was a key port in the trans-Atlantic slave trade and permitted slavery until the 1860s.  The island was a Dutch colony and shows the lingering effects of colonialism.  Because of these experiences, the island has a racial history that differs from America’s racial past and present.

Embedded Course Information

Eligible participants must be enrolled in CRIM 451: Race, Crime and Justice (online course) with Professor Howard Smith for the Fall 2019 semester. This embedded travel experience is a required component of the course.

Faculty Leaders

Professor Howard Smith (hbs103@psu.edu)

Estimated Program Costs

  • Program Fee: $1,400 – $1,610, depending on the number of students enrolled*
  • Airfare: $800 – $500
  • In-Country Costs: $500 – $1,000 (meals, spending money, etc.)

*NOTE: The Embedded Program Fee will be billed to participants’ PSU Bursar Accounts in late August and the payment is due by October 15.

The Embedded Program Fee for this program includes: hotel accommodations; transportation to/from the airport to the hotel; transportation related to academic activities throughout the program; fees related to academic activities/speakers; 1 lunch, 1 dinner; administrative support

Embedded Program Fee for this program does NOT include: airfare; domestic transportation to/from the airport; most meals; spending money (souvenirs, etc.); gratuities; course tuition.

Note: Students are expected to arrange and pay for their own flights to/from Curacao (with guidance from the faculty leader about arrival/departure time windows); the group will not be traveling together.

Application Deadline and Process

Commit to the program by thoroughly reading and submitting the Official Embedded Program Financial Commitment Form- Curacao FA19 by August 10, 2019.

Interested students should contact the faculty leader with questions: Professor Howard Smith (hbs103@psu.edu).