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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 75215 Find in a Library
Title: Good Fences Make Bad Neighbors - A Community-oriented Course in Psychology and Criminal Justice
Journal: College Student Journal  Volume:12  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1978)  Pages:197-201
Author(s): D S Glenwick
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 5
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A multidisciplinary undergraduate course in correctional psychology is described; the underlying assumptions of such a course and the benefits to students, academic departments, and the correctional system are highlighted.
Abstract: Among the issues currently being addressed by those attempting to make psychology and the criminal justice system a viable study field at the undergraduate level are the academic framework and content of courses in this area, use of field experiences, the integration of experimental and classroom learning, and career possibilities that will appeal to students. In response to these issues, academicians have created innovative courses. One such course is being taught at the University of Rochester in New York. Course development is based on the following three assumptions that have led to a different format than that of most college courses: it was assumed that the most valuable and personally meaningful knowledge derives from firsthand experiences, academic departments are an academic convenience rather than a reflection of reality, and universities and the communities in which they are located have long been suspicious of one another. Course enrollment was limited to 15 students to encourage individual participation. The semester was divided into the three units focusing on the courts, prisons, and community corrections. For most sessions, experts from the community were invited to talk with the group about their roles in the criminal justice system. Traditional materials, audiovisual aids, and role playing exercises were also included. The practicum component of the course featured the students' participation in correctional facility activities. One student began a dance group for prisoners at the county women's jail. Overall, the course is beneficial because of students exposure to different points of view within the justice system, the dovetailing of practical experience with classroom work, the opportunity to provide needed services to prisoners, and the lessening of suspicions between university and community. One note and eight references are included.
Index Term(s): Community relations; Higher education; Penology; Psychology
Note: Version of this paper was presented at the American Psychological Association annual convention, Washington, D C, September, 1976.
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