Criminal Justice 638

CRJU 638
Foundations of Corrections

1.     Catalog Entry
CRJU 638
Foundations of Corrections
Three credit hours (3)

Prerequisites: Graduate standing.

This graduate course is designed to examine critical issues in corrections.  Topics for discussion will include (but are not limited to): the evolution of contemporary correctional strategies, institutional and community-based correctional alternatives, correctional ethics, and contemporary policy issues.

2.     Detailed Description of Course
I. Overview of Correctional Strategies
    1. Corrections in the criminal justice system
    2. The goals of corrections
    3. The political and social context of corrections
    4. Sentencing strategies and corrections
    5. Historical evolution of correctional practice

II. Institutional Corrections
    1. Jails
    2. Prisons
    3. Programming/treatment in institutions
    4. Capital punishment

III. Community-Based Corrections
    1. Development of community-based strategies
    2. Probation
    3. Intermediate sanctions
    4. Parole

IV. Correctional Ethics
    1. Use of discretion    
    2. Ethical dilemmas

V. Contemporary Issues in Corrections
    1. Innovative programming
    2. Incapacitation vs. rehabilitation
    3. Other current issues

3.    Detailed Description of Conduct of Course
Instructors of this course may choose among these methods of instruction and develop others as they deem appropriate:
•    Student presentations
•    Group presentations
•    Written activities
•    Role playing
•    Analysis of case studies
•    Field trips
•    Debates
•    Class discussion
•    Use of audio-visual resources and guest speakers
•    Lecture

4.     Goals and Objectives of the Course
Having successfully completed this course, the graduate student will be able to:
•    Demonstrate an understanding of the historical, political, and social context that has driven the development of contemporary corrections.
•    Demonstrate an understanding of the philosophies that guide correctional policy.
•    Demonstrate an understanding of the function and nature of correctional institutions, including jails and prisons and programming opportunities within those facilities.
•    Demonstrate an understanding of the capital punishment process and the current debates surrounding the death penalty.
•    Demonstrate an understanding of the development, function, and nature of community-based alternatives to incarceration, including probation, parole, and intermediate sanctions.
•    Demonstrate an understanding of the role of discretion in the correctional workplace and the ethical dilemmas that can arise from its use and/or abuse.
•    Critically examine a variety of contemporary issues related to the practice of corrections in the United States; these may include, but are not limited to: innovative correctional programs, the use of incapacitation vs. rehabilitation, and current policy debates.
•    Critically evaluate a body of classic and contemporary correctional literature.

5.    Other Course Information

6.     Review and Approval
April 1, 2008