This concentration in the B.A. in Anthropology & Sociology program goes beyond the study of law and crime to explore complex issues of social justice related to crime, punishment and victimization, including race, class, gender and sexuality. Students explore current trends and controversies and gain cross-cultural competencies needed to work successfully with diverse populations. A distinguishing feature of this program is its emphasis on the growing field of restorative justice, a technique that involves working with victims as well as offenders.
Students graduate with a B.A. in Anthropology & Sociology with a concentration in Criminal Justice. The Anthropology & Sociology major itself develops in students an understanding of diversities and social structural arrangements among people affecting the distribution of power and the ability of people to live meaningful, sustainable lives and co-exist in a fair and socially just world. (Note: Criminal Justice also is offered as a concentration in the B.A. in Political Science.)
The multidisciplinary concentration in criminal justice draws on JSC’s rich liberal arts tradition and commitment to high-impact education – “learning by doing” – to explore the relationships of crime, law and social justice. It also is a cross-cultural competency, preparing students to communicate and work with those from a wide range of backgrounds and with disparate life experiences.
Supported by a network of community partner organizations, the program offers internships in the field of criminal justice, particularly in the arenas of restorative justice and victim advocacy as well as in border patrol and other areas of law enforcement. Students complete these internships in their junior or senior year along with a concurrent senior seminar.
A range of disciplines are brought to bear on criminal justice, including anthropology, political science, psychology and sociology. The program prepares students for careers in law enforcement and criminal investigation, crime analysis, juvenile justice, victim advocacy, restorative justice and community development, social justice and public policy. A criminal justice background also prepares students to pursue careers in law, from working as paralegals and legal assistants to attending law school.
In addition to meeting the learning outcomes of the B.A. in Anthropology & Sociology , upon completion of the concentration in criminal justice, students should be able to:
- Critically evaluate key theories about crime and criminal behavior.
- Critically assess existing criminal justice systems with the aim of improving their condition and function.
- Identify and assess alternative solutions to problems associated with existing models of crime control.
- Develop and demonstrate sufficient self-awareness to understand the influence of personal biases and values in interacting with diverse groups.
- Identify and analyze ways in which oppression, privilege, discrimination, and social and economic disadvantage contribute to inequalities and injustices within criminal justice systems.
- Understand key issues and approaches in the field of criminal justice, including mental health, substance abuse, youth development, trauma-informed care, and results-based accountability.
- Demonstrate familiarity with key skill sets in the field of criminal justice, including effective communication and conflict resolution and de-escalation.
- Apply understandings of research methods and data collection techniques for conducting research in criminal justice.
- Apply understandings of criminal justice policy and key controversies to field experiences.