Incorporating Community Corrections Material in Undergraduate Criminal Justice Programs
What depth and breadth of academic coverage is necessary to prepare college students adequately for the community corrections field? Perhaps they should have stronger writing and interpersonal skills, improved knowledge of evidence-based practices, and/or increased exposure to topics related to clients, programming, and treatment? These questions largely drove the need for the development of Community Corrections Academic Resources (CCAR) Microsite.
A web-based survey was distributed to practitioners and academics to determine what core competency areas were most in need and adequately covered in the classroom. Unsurprisingly, there was a notable gap in expectations between practitioners and academics. However, the two groups agreed in that universal skills and knowledge areas were the most needed including good writing skills, verbal communication, organization skills, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills.
The survey instrument can be provided upon request.
The survey findings were used to select five high-priority practice areas that require greater attention in undergraduate curricula. They are ordered below by their relative importance as determined by the results of the survey.
- Increased knowledge of criminal justice research and evidence-based practices.
- Improved awareness and understanding of risk and needs assessment and classification.
- Increased knowledge of influences on behavior and methods for changing behavior.
- Increased awareness of the community corrections component of the criminal justice process.
- Increased understanding of the principles of correctional interviewing and report writing.
This document shows the skills and knowledge relevant to community corrections as identified by the survey.
Brett Garland and Adam K. Matz
The other sections of this website introduce each of these core areas, including recommended learning objectives, and sample resources that academicians may want to refer to when seeking to add content on these topics in the courses they teach. Please note: The resources listed here are not meant to be an exhaustive list. Rather, they represent a sample of resources available to use when incorporating information in your classes to achieve the sample learning objectives outlined for each topical area. NIC recognizes the autonomy that academicians have when creating their courses and coursework. Therefore, the aforementioned is provided to offer assistance and is not meant to suggest that it is the only way to introduce and teach these subjects.