Criminal Justice (CJ)
This course will examine the links between leading theories of crime and criminal justice policy and practice. Students are introduced to the theory's central concepts, assertions, hypotheses, and a detailed critique of the theory, with an emphasis on empirical validity. Each theory's relevance and its potential for controlling and preventing crime and delinquency is analyzed. Students will thus become familiar with key research questions and assumptions of theoretical approaches, their core propositions, challenges for measurement and testing, and the implications of theory for practice and policy in criminal justice.
This course provides guidance for advanced analysis of issues in the field and discipline of criminal justice. Three sets of skills are emphasized in the course: (1) engaging with social science research, (2) understanding relevant values and acting ethically, and (3) conducting policy analysis with an awareness of social impact. The course relies on case studies to explore varying topical issues from a range of criminal justice realms: the parameters of crime and other public regulation of behavior, policing, prosecutions and the courts, corrections, post-conviction experiences, and community impact. Coverage will vary by semester/
Human Rights Law and Policy explores the substance of human rights law in addition to theoretical and political considerations relevant to the subject. The intersection of human rights and contemporary criminal justice theory and practice is a thematic focus of the course. Students cover the concept of human rights and ethical issues related to use of human rights law, the structure of international and regional human rights protection and systems, sources of international human rights, and application at the state and local level.
Presents the nature of methodology employed in social science research. The course will include the research process and guidelines of formulating research questions, testable hypotheses, operationalizing variables and indicators, research design, data collection, and data analysis.
Research Design provides students with the necessary tools to design a research proposal. Students will identify a researchable problem statement, develop research questions, and devise a research protocol using the key elements of the research process (i.e., design methodology, population, sampling, instrumentation, ethics). Students will also become familiar with the Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research.
An examination of crime and criminology as it deals with the victim. It includes legal, psychological, and social perspectives. Included is an analysis of the types of victimization and victimization theories. Also to be explored is the concept of group victimization, subcultures, and international victimology. The role of the victim in the criminal justice process, victim impact statements, victim’s rights and services, compensation, and techniques of victim avoidance will be discussed.
This course considers leadership and policy analysis skills for public service professionals, including those in criminal justice and other governmental agencies and nongovernmental and religious organizations. The course examines theoretical foundations of leadership and helps prepare students for challenges they may face as future leaders, including when crises or disasters impact their government unit or business.
Violence perpetrated by state actors is the subject of this course, with a specific emphasis on torture and inhuman and degrading treatment. The course will explore (1) the definition and parameters of such violence; (2) decision-making by stakeholders related to legal or state-sanctioned violence; (3) social, political, and personal consequences of violence; and (4) community and state responses to past violence. Two themes running through the course will be the social phenomenon of denial and a question whether the psychological concept of “just-world thinking” can be applied to societal understandings of a state’s use of violence. Case studies will include the United States, Northern Ireland, Chile, Israel, Brazil, and Uruguay.
Terrorism occupies a prominent place in media reports and political debate. But what exactly is terrorism? How long has it existed? This course seeks to examine the history of terrorism and its manifestations in the contemporary world. Definitional problems, relevant social scientific theories, and an overview of terrorism in history will be explored. We will cover issues of nationalistic terrorism, religious terrorism and domestic and special interest group terrorism. The course concludes with an examination of the political and ethical implications of the “global war on terror.” The overall focus will be on political and international issues.
This course covers the relatively new field of transitional justice: the study and practice of attempts to provide accountability for human rights abuses, or otherwise “deal with the past,” after periods of conflict or authoritarian rule. The course provides an introduction to fundamental themes of transitional justice and addresses central debates surrounding efforts to end impunity, recognize the suffering of victims of conflict, and confront the past as a means to avoid repetition. Complex conceptual questions will be raised related to truth, memory, guilt, responsibility, and peacemaking.
This course is an in-depth analysis of a selected topic or problem related to criminal justice and/or human rights. A different topic will be considered each time offered, enabling the student to explore contemporary criminal justice and human rights issues. This course may be repeated and learning outcomes vary.
This course represents a student’s synthesis and evaluation of the goals and objectives for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and Human Rights. Students will prepare a major project of at least 25 to 30 pages, which may include (a) an evidence-based research paper thesis (a standard academic thesis research project) that applies the core curriculum functions and competencies to a related criminal justice and/or human rights issue or (b) literature review, law review, policy review, action/advocacy research project, or other major project determined by the student and faculty advisor. Each of these project options will be a comprehensive critical analysis of a significant incident related to criminal justice and human rights, a case problem, or policy/law dilemma. The student will be supervised by a full-time faculty member, and the final project will be reviewed by at least one additional full-time faculty member.
This is a career-based learning experience that enables the graduate student to gain knowledge and apply specialized work-related theory, skills, and concepts appropriate to a particular organization. A learning plan is developed by the instructor and the student, and the student will submit regular reports and meet periodically with the instructor to review experiences. Correlated research paper required.
Prerequisite(s): Permission of program director.