Apr 22, 2024  
Course Catalog 2021-2022 
Course Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

LEAPS: Criminal Justice and Criminal Justice Reform

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LEAPS (Liberal Arts and Professional Success)

The LEAPS programs are an optional component of the Compass General Education Curriculum.  Please see the LEAPS (Liberal Arts and Professional Success) section of the Compass Curriculum for more information.

Criminal Justice and Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal Justice incorporates a wide range of fields and jobs related to the criminal courts and our legal system, including work within the systems and work from inside and outside the system to improve equity, fairness and justice in criminal justice. Wheaton College students with the breadth of a liberal arts education, and some focus provided by the Criminal Justice LEAPS, are uniquely suited to work within the system and contribute to reform efforts that include specific focus on using broader sources of information, diversifying interventions, reducing racial and ethnic disparities and developing new sources of information and data to inform evidence-based decisions. The LEAPS is designed to allow students to develop an understanding of the structure and purpose of the criminal justice system, human factors that influence the people in the system and the system itself, issues of disproportionate minority contact and their perpetuation in the system, and the role of policy in practice at the level of local facilities and national systems.

Potential Careers

• Law enforcement, Corrections: officers, administrators and programming (education and therapeutic services), Forensic Psychology, Law (lawyers, legal aide, advocacy, legal reform), Policy groups, Community-based non-profits focused on prevention and re-entry

Completion Requirements

4 credits are needed to complete.  Will require 3 to 4 semesters.

Required Courses

Experiental Component

A student experience would need to:

1) engage students with some aspect of the Criminal Justice system in a sustained way over the course of a semester or a summer (this could be working with a prison reform group or policy or advocacy group as well as within the structure of the system itself);

2) students would need to have the opportunity to engage with professionals in this work setting; and,

3) they would need to practice at least 3 of the following skills

  • Analysis
  • Communication
  • Operating effectively within constraints
  • Complex decision-making and problem-solving
  • Perspective-taking
  • Setting boundaries
  • Accepting feedback
  • Assessment of risk

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