The CCC would like your feedback on the request to place CCJ 1020 into the Institutional hours of General Education within the Social Science division. Below is the Opt-In Template with the assessment information and rationale.
General Education Opt-In Template
Preamble: This template is required for all courses opting into General Education. Please fill it out and submit it to Krissy Brissett by the October CCC agenda deadline, so that the CCC members can review your request at the November CCC meeting.
Division: _____ Communications _____Humanities _____Math _____ Science ____X_ Social Science____ / Discipline___Criminal Justice
Course Title: Criminal Justice in the United States
Course Prefix: CCJ Course Number: 1020 Current Completed Course Outline: _____Yes (attach) _____ No
Gen Ed Principles: Does this course, when added to the Gen Ed Program:
|Contribute Significantly to the Gen Ed Outcomes||Satisfy the mission of the College||Rely on a specific faculty member for instruction||Focus on a specific occupation||Transfer to an upper division program||Have a prerequisite that is not a Gen Ed course|
Assessment of Gen Ed Outcomes: Please select both a primary and secondary contribution and provide a bulleted list of how you will assess for the outcomes.
|Gen Ed Outcomes||Cultural and Historical Understanding||Quantitative
|Interpersonal Communication||Oral Communication||Written Communication||Ethical Responsibility||Information Literacy||Critical Thinking|
Narrative of Contribution to Gen Ed:
This course will contribute to the general education requirements by developing in students’ a greater sense of ethical responsibility, information literacy, and written communication skills. Additionally, students taking this course will develop a greater understanding of the philosophical foundation for a criminal justice system, understand the history of policing in America, understand and recognize how to exercise their constitutional rights in the criminal justice process, understand the competing philosophies that support different forms of sanctions, and be able to critically assess the ethical, moral, and legal legitimacy of the criminal justice system as a whole.
Legitimacy in the criminal justice system is critical for a democratic, free market society to flourish. Without legitimacy, government authority is weakened and vigilantism increases, not just in the cruder forms we associate with tit-for-tat retaliation, but in its extreme form, vigilantism can devolve into a completely alternate layer of extra-legal justice. This may sound a bit outrageous in the United States, but it is not far from the truth in some communities. In extremely poor, crime ridden communities, where the disenfranchised, poor, homeless, and mentally ill reside, street justice is often recognized as the only legitimate form of justice. Though this extra-legal justice may not always be “just”, it is nonetheless, swift and certain. Unfortunately, this form of “street” justice is anathema to a nation that promotes the rule of law.
It is important to understand that in the United States, many people question the legitimacy of the police and the criminal justice system. The reasons vary, but for groups who have experienced a disproportionate number of contacts with the police (e.g., the poor, the young, minorities, the mentally ill, and men), that were negative or were perceived as harassing, trust in the police within those populations is low, and the perceived legitimacy of the police is weak. These sentiments regarding the police are consistently reaffirmed in Gallup polls, which show that minorities are more distrustful of the police than non-minorities. As we have seen in recent months, these sentiments have been on full display in the media as protestors have taken to the streets to protest real and/or perceived police mistreatment of minorities. It may be easy to write off these protests as simply a fad, but these protests are actually part of a larger cycle of protests. Eventually, it is not inconceivable to believe that the protests and distrust in the police and the criminal justice system will no longer be episodic, but rather the normal condition of a fragmented and conflicted society.
This idea to add Criminal Justice in the United States as a social science general education course came to me after speaking to several leaders within the criminal justice community in Central Florida, as well as from my own observations. From the criminal justice practitioners, I heard exasperation in their voices about the public’s perceived ignorance of the dangers faced by the police, as well as a lack of understanding of the complexities and imperfections within the criminal justice system as a whole. In the minds of the police, changes need to occur in two directions. The police recognize that reform is needed, but they also feel the public needs to become more aware of the strengths, weaknesses, and idiosyncrasies of the criminal justice system in the United States, and the larger social forces that contribute to crime. Sadly, most people have very little contact with the police. For those who do, their contact may be one-dimensional and not representative of policing in general or the criminal justice system. Likewise, for most people, the impressions they have of the police are informed by social media, various news sources, and from friends…most of which are skewed, politicized, incorrect, or misinformed. Bad information damages the legitimacy of the police more than a single bad contact with the police, because it multiples that contact a million times.