526 David M. French Hall
Chair: Heather Laube
Principal Secretary: Lynne McTiernan
Associate Professors Kenneth Litwin, Joan Mars; Assistant Professor Amanda Kahl Smith
Criminal justice, one of three programs offered through the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice, is an academic field which examines the actions of the formal social control mechanisms we call the criminal justice system. This system is composed of three subsystems: law enforcement agencies, criminal courts, and correctional facilities. The study of criminal justice requires an examination of the structure and functioning of each of these subsystems, as well as knowledge about the role behavior of the participants. It also involves a critical evaluation of how the administration of justice actually operates in American society. This raises fundamental questions and provides perspectives from which solutions to problems might be drawn.
The content of criminal justice study is interdisciplinary, drawing on theory developed in sociology, law, political science, and other fields. From sociology are derived theories regarding the etiology of crime and delinquency. Law and political science provide information about the development of law and the application of sanctions within the legal process.
Program Mission and Assessment
The mission of the Criminal Justice program is three-fold: to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the structure and operation of the criminal justice system; to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of how criminal justice relates to other social structures and institutions, and how those structures and institutions impact criminal justice; and to prepare students to employ critical thinking, social justice, and civic responsibility in their decision-making processes as they pursue their careers and encounter life situations. The program participates in the University-wide effort to assess its academic programs. Information on assessment plans, including goals, methods and outcomes is available at www.umflint.edu/assessment.