The Criminal Justice program offers an interdisciplinary course of study leading to associate and baccalaureate degrees in criminal justice. The associate in applied science program requires students to concentrate studies in corrections or in law enforcement. The curriculum includes policy and legal issues, qualitative and quantitative research, interpersonal relations, and administrative procedures. It integrates writing, computer, and verbal communications skills throughout the program. Computer-based research and analysis play a pivotal role in the criminal justice field. Therefore, students are required in some cases, and encouraged in others, to also take advantage of computer-based courses in the Geography program.
The Criminal Justice program also encourages self-directed intellectual inquiry, problem solving, ethics, and a commitment to human rights as important professional values by offering opportunities for experimental learning both in the classroom and in a variety of criminal justice agencies. Criminal Justice is ranked in the top 100 career fields in both the public and private sectors. While undergraduate degrees offer entry-level opportunities, upward mobility requires advanced degrees.
On completion of this program, students will be able to:
- Analyze the United States legal system, describing the sources of laws, the branches of government, and the federal and state court systems.
- Demonstrate a working knowledge of special prison populations (i.e., elderly, inmates with HIV, and the chronically mentally ill, etc.).
- Illustrate effective report writing, correctional interviewing, and correctional counseling skills.
- Demonstrate familiarity with community corrections (i.e., probation and diversion programs).
- Demonstrate familiarity with intermediate sanctions (i.e., fines, restitution, house arrest, electronic monitoring).
- Demonstrate an understanding of the history, culture, organization of criminal gangs and their social and criminal impact on society.
- Exhibit a working knowledge of the organization, functions and jurisdiction of juvenile agencies and processing and detention of juveniles.
- Articulate the purposes and importance of ethically applying laws, policies, procedures, and operational techniques to the investigation, detection, and rehabilitation or punishment of criminal offenders.
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