Correctional Philosophy

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Course Number: CRIMLJUS 2230
Course Name: Correctional Philosophy (Online)
Course Description:    The theories, philosophies and practices of corrections; sentencing structures and their relationship to correctional objectives; the modes of correctional intervention.
Prerequisites:    CRIMILJUS 1130 with a "C" or better
Level: Undergraduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online

Registration Instructions

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Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, you should:

  • Understand the origin, development, and evolution of corrections in America.
  • Be able to distinguish between the correctional systems at the local, state, and federal levels.
  • Understand the administration philosophies of corrections institutions.
  • Have explored the legal issues and constitutional guarantees for inmates.
  • Understand how the police and court system relate to corrections.
  • Understand the various philosophies of punishment and forms utilized.
  • Have a working knowledge of the correctional system, including probation and parole; and other forms of community corrections.
  • Have developed and improved your research and writing skills.  

Unit Descriptions

Unit 1 provides an overview of the history and development of corrections in the United States as well as an overview of the foundations of correctional law.

Unit 2 differentiates prisons and jails, and considers the different types of prisoners and the prisoner's experience. Included are women and juveniles.

Unit 3 provides an in-depth look at probation, parole, and intermediate sanctions. Students will know the history, development, strengths, weaknesses, and the effectiveness of these "backdoor" options.

Unit 4, the final unit, provides a review of some of the special issues facing corrections, including a look at the impact of race and ethnicity on the correctional experience.  Issues such as prison overcrowding, the death penalty, and community justice will also be explored.

Number of Exams:  There are 4 exams for this course.

Number of Assignments:  There are 10 writing assignments, 14 lesson discussions, and 2 papers for this course.

Number of Projects:  There are no group projects for this course.

Grading Information
Grades will be determined based on total accumulated points. Grades are NOT based on percentages, and therefore, will not be rounded at the end of the semester. Your grade will reflect the points that you earned. The breakdown of points is as follows:

Exams (2 at 50 points each, 1 at 75 points, 1 at 65 points):   240 points
Papers (1 at 40 points, 1 at 60 points):   100 points
Mini Assignments (10 at 10 points each):   100 points
Participation (includes responding to some "end of lecture" discussion questions):   40 points
Total points: 480

A = 423 points or higher
B = 376 - 422
C = 329 - 375
D = 282 - 328
F = less than 281

*** This is a core requirement, students must earn a "C"  or better to have it count toward their major.

Explanation of Course Requirements:
Exams (4)
The exams in this class will consist of multiple-choice questions. The purpose of the examination is to test your complete understanding of the information presented in this course. This examination will be on the readings and material covered in the class.

Exams will be timed (meaning once you see the questions, you will have a specified time to complete the exam). It will be expected that students work independently on the exam and do not use outside sources to complete it.  

Mini Assignments (10)  
Throughout the course you will be asked to complete mini assignments that are designed to further enhance and stimulate class discussion on specific course material. These assignments will generally require a 1-page typed response.

Papers (2)
Each of you will be required to write two papers. The first paper will be approximately 4 pages in length and the second approximately 6 pages.
Paper 1 (Total Points Possible = 40)
Paper 2 (Total Points Possible = 60)

Participation on the Discussion Board
You are required to participate in the discussions. Participation in the discussions must be meaningful. This means that you must go beyond “I agree,” “I disagree,” “nice job,” or “great write-up” to expressing why you feel the way that you do. Your thoughtful consideration of a topic is important, in addition to your ability to draw on course material, current events/news stories, and/or your employment regarding a particular topic. For each of the assignments posted on the discussion board, you are expected to post comments. Your participation in the discussions will be monitored. If you actively participate in the discussions and provide comments on time, you will receive the full participation points. If you do not participate or are late in providing comments, you will not receive the full participation points. The amount of points deducted will vary depending on the lack of participation and/or tardiness.

Other Policies
Submitting Assignments Early  

You are permitted to work ahead, but only within a unit. If you complete your work early, you can submit it to the dropbox when the assignment is completed. However, please do not post assignments to the discussion board more than three days before the assignment due date. This helps make sure everyone can participate in the discussions, without having too much time elapse between discussion thread posts.

Responding to "Learning Purposes Only" Discussions
Throughout the semester you will be required to respond to your choice of specific discussion questions. The responses to these questions are not graded for content but do count toward participation. No more than five students can provide the initial post to a discussion thread. This means if five students have already posted their initial response to the question, you will have to choose to respond to another one. However, for discussion purposes, you can respond to any other student's posting, regardless of how many students have also responded.

Late Assignments
You are expected to turn your assignments in on time.  

As the instructor, I reserve the right to modify the direction, specific content areas, and other aspects of the course, perhaps with your input as a member of this class. I may not make changes, but simply reserve the right to do so. In that same spirit, you as a student and consumer are encouraged to let me know what, if anything, you think could be changed to make your learning experience better.

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