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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 75005 Find in a Library
Title: Criminal Justice Education - Problems and Prospects
Author(s): G M Janeksela; J W Riemer
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 18
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The problems of criminal justice education programs are explored in terms of their impact on college administrators, faculty, students, and the public.
Abstract: A relatively new discipline, criminal justice, is growing at a rapid rate, partially because of LEAA funds for such programs. Many university administrators have viewed criminal justice programs as a means of attracting students and Federal funds and have neglected to develop their curricula carefully or plan for the future. The widespread practice of awarding academic credit for off-campus programs results in specialized, practical approaches which deny students opportunities to learn about the entire criminal justice system and be exposed to various opinions. Criminal justice faculty lack status in the academic community. When criminal justice became separated from traditional sociology, conflicts of interest emerged which were grounded in differing philosophical views but often spread into competition for students, funds, and space. Most criminal justice faculty are sociologists, and specialized classes are taught by police officers, lawyers, or pathologists. The social scientist may operate under considerable role strain and be forced to compromise academic principles to meet the demands of police-students. Students in criminal justice programs are frequently denigrated by other students, especially social science majors. Most students have been police officers who entered the program to improve their chances for promotion and on scholarships. They criticize criminal justice educators for being unrealistic and would prefer courses that are directly related to police work, such as surveillance and interrogation. In general, neither the public or the criminal justice system support higher education for police officers. In order to solve these problems, criminal justice programs must first define their field and establish guidelines for courses, particularly those based in the community. Law, business, sociology, psychology, and other related disciplines should be incorporated into programs. Students should be involved in developing the curriculum and improving the image of the discipline. Finally, costs and benefits of criminal justice education must be demonstrated to the public. A bibliography of 12 references is provided.
Index Term(s): Criminal justice education; Police education
Note: Paper presented at the annual Society for the Study of Social Problems meeting, San Francisco, September 1978.
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