Justice Studies Program

Lieutenant Luis San Lucas (Alumni Honor Roll, Justice Studies/Sociology), Dean Earl Simson (Arts and Sciences), and Andy Montan (Alumni Student Scholarship Winner, Arts and Sciences) at the 2013 Annual Alumni Awards dinner held May 9.

The Justice Studies major and minor provide students with an opportunity to explore the interrelationships between societal conditions and the institutions and systems of justice. The curriculum prepares students to assess problems of justice critically, in light of their historical determinants, current distributions, and policy implications.

The justice studies curriculum complements majors such as sociology, political science, anthropology, philosophy, history, public administration and social work. It is an excellent choice for those interested in careers in public service, criminal justice research and policy development, corrections, mediation and labor relations, law enforcement, social service, law, or fields dealing with children and adolescence.

The minor requires a total of 17-20 credit hours and the major a total of 50-55 credit hours in specific courses selected from several liberal arts departments. Fifteen hours of specified General Education courses serve as an introduction to the major, and eight hours of research methods are required of all students.

As stated in the curricular proposal that provided the foundations of the Justice Studies program, the major seeks to fulfill the following goals for criminal justice education in a liberal arts context.

  • To provide a foundation for professional development of pre-service and in-service personnel.
  • To orient students toward a systematic perspective of the criminal justice system.
  • To develop a citizenry educated in the problems of crime and in the administration of justice.
  • To develop understanding of the causes of crime and societal responses to it.
  • To emphasize the ethical and moral standards involved in decision-making and criminal justice activities.
  • To prepare future leaders both in the academic and applied setting.
  • To study criminal justice in the context of larger justice issues and with attention to the total environment in which the system operates.
  • To advance knowledge about the design, evolution, operation, and maintenance of justice system.
  • To induce students to think about issues in criminal justice and to develop professional attitudes and patterns of behavior.
  • To establish academic credentials to be emphasized more in the future than experience.
  • To provide an up-to-date understanding of law, human behavior, and social institutions.
  • To develop awareness of the field as a recognized academic discipline.
  • To upgrade the quality of service provided by personnel and criminal justice agencies.
  • To sensitize students to national differences in criminal justice systems. To introduce students to comparative perspectives on justice systems.
  • To emphasize the relevance of literature and research to practice in the field.

Program Director

Jill Harrison
Associate Professor
Sociology Department
Craig-Lee Hall
(401) 456-8731

Page last updated: Thursday, August 28, 2014