Essex county college social Sciences Division cji 121 – Introduction to Corrections Course Outline Course Number & Name



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ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE

Social Sciences Division

CJI 121 – Introduction to Corrections

Course Outline

Course Number & Name:  CJI 121 Introduction to Corrections

Credit Hours: 3 .0 Contact Hours: 3.0 Lecture: 3.0 Lab: N/A Other: N/A
Pre- or Co-requisites:  Grades of “C” or better in ENG 096 and RDG 096 or placement
Concurrent Courses: None
Course Outline Revision Date:  Fall 2010

Course Description: This introductory course examines the history and total correctional process from law enforcement through the administration of justice, probation, prisons, correctional institutions, and parole. It will also examine the principles, theories, phenomena and problems of the crime, society, and the criminal justice system from the perspective of criminology and the criminal justice system in general. The course emphasizes the role of sociology and other interdisciplinary approaches to the field of corrections and society’s response. This multi-discipline approach requires the student to engage in critical thinking on both a practical and theoretical basis.

Course Goals: Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to do the following:


  1. discuss and examine the corrections system;




  1. discuss and examine the early history of correctional thought and practice;




  1. discuss and examine the history of corrections in America;




  1. discuss and examine the punishment of offenders;




  1. discuss and examine the law of corrections;




  1. discuss, describe, and examine the correctional client;




  1. discuss, describe and examine the history and administration of jails in the United States;




  1. discuss, describe, and examine probation;




  1. discuss, describe, and examine intermediate sanctions in relation to community corrections;




  1. discuss, describe, and examine incarceration;




  1. discuss, describe, and examine the prison experience;




  1. discuss, describe, and examine the incarceration of women;




  1. discuss, describe, and examine institutional management;

Course Goals (continued):


  1. discuss, describe, and examine the various institutional programs;




  1. describe the offender’s release from incarceration;

16. describe supervision in the community;


17. describe corrections for juveniles;
18. identify the trends in incarceration in the United States;
19. describe the correlation between race, ethnicity, and corrections;
20. discuss the death penalty; and
21. discuss and examine community justice.

Measurable Course Performance Objectives (MPOs): Upon successful completion of this course, students should specifically be able to do the following:
1. Discuss and examine the corrections system:
1.1 discuss and examine the purpose of corrections;

1.2 discuss the various management theories and describe their shortcomings and their practical application within the correctional system; and

1.3 discuss, explain, examine, and list key issues in corrections
2. Discuss and examine the early history of correctional thought and practice:
2.1 discuss, describe, compare, and contrast correctional thought and practice from the Middle Ages to the American Revolution;

2.2 discuss correctional thought and practice prior to reform;

2.3 discuss the age and reason of correctional reform; and

2.4 discuss the impetus for correctional reform


3. Discuss and examine the history of corrections in America:
3.1 describe and discuss the arrival of the penitentiary;

3.2 describe and discuss the development of prisons in the south and west of the United States;

3.3 describe, discuss, and explain the reformatory movement;

3.4 describe and discuss the rise of the progressives;

3.5 describe and discuss the rise of the medical model;

3.6 describe, discuss, compare, and contrast the medical model to the community model; and

3.7 describe, discuss, and explain the crime control model as it pertains to offenders
4. Discuss and examine the punishment of offenders:
4.1 identify, discuss, and analyze the purpose of corrections;

4.2 describe and discuss forms of criminal sanctions;

4.3 describe, discuss, and explain the sentencing process; and

4.4 identify, describe, discuss, and explain unjust punishment



Measurable Course Performance Objectives (MPOs) (continued):
5. Discuss and examine the law of corrections:
5.1 describe, discuss, and explain the foundations of correctional law;

5.2 describe and discuss United States Supreme Court cases leading to the development of correctional law;

5.3 discuss the Constitutional Rights of prisoners;

5.4 identify, analyze, discuss, and describe alternatives to litigation;

5.5 examine and discuss law and the correlation to community corrections; and

5.6 examine and discuss law and correctional personnel


6. Discuss, describe, and examine the correctional client:
6.1 describe, discuss, and explain the selection process for the corrections system;

6.2 identify and describe the various types of offenders and their problems; and

6.3 identify, describe, and discuss the key issues of classifying offenders
7. Discuss, describe and examine the history and administration of jails in the United States:
7.1 describe, explain, and discuss the evolution and history of jails in the United States;

7.2 discuss, describe, and explain pretrial detention;

7.3 identify, describe, discuss, and explain the problems with bail and the alternatives;

7.4 describe and discuss the process after the inmate is sentenced;

7.5 discuss and analyze the issues in jail management; and

7.6 explore and discuss the future direction of jails in the United States


8. Discuss, describe, and examine probation:
8.1 describe the history and development of probation;

8.2 examine and discuss the organization of probation today;

8.3 identify, define, describe, and discuss the dual functions of probation (i.e., investigation and supervision);

8.4 explain and examine the process of revocation and termination of probation


9. Discuss, describe, and examine intermediate sanctions in relation to community corrections:
9.1 identify, examine, and discuss the basis for intermediate sanctions;

9.2 discuss the continuum of sanctions;

9.3 identify, discuss, examine, and analyze the problems with intermediate sanctions;

9.4 identify, discuss, examine, and analyze the various types of intermediate sanctions;

9.5 discuss, examine, and explain the elements necessary for effective intermediate sanctions;

9.6 identify, examine, and discuss the legislation associated with community corrections;

9.7 identify, examine, and discuss the goals of surveillance;

9.8 identify, examine, explain, and discuss the techniques of surveillance and control;

9.9 explain the concept of control being a double-edged sword;

9.10 describe and discuss the limits of control; and

9.11 identify and describe acceptable community control

Measurable Course Performance Objectives (MPOs) (continued):
10. Discuss, describe, and examine incarceration:
10.1 identify, examine, and discuss the history of incarceration in the United States;

10.2 identify, examine, explain, and discuss the goals of incarceration;

10.3 identify, examine, describe, and discuss organization for incarceration;

10.4 describe and discuss the design and classification of prisons in the United States; and

10.5 identify, describe, and discuss who is in prison
11. Discuss, describe, and examine the prison experience:
11.1 describe, examine, and discuss the prison society;

11.2 examine, describe, and discuss the prison economy; and

11.3 describe, discuss, and explain the violence in prison
12. Discuss, describe, and examine the incarceration of women:
12.1 explain and discuss why women are considered the ‘forgotten offenders’;

12.2 identify, define, describe, and discuss issues in the incarceration of women; and

12.3 describe, explain, examine, and discuss the process of being released into the community
13. Discuss, describe, and examine institutional management:
13.1 list, analyze, examine, and discuss the process of governing prisons; and

13.2 explain, examine, and discuss why correctional officers are called the linchpin of management


14. Discuss, describe, and examine the various institutional programs:
14.1 identify, examine, and describe rehabilitation programs;

14.2 identify, examine, and describe prison maintenance programs; and

14.3 identify, examine, and describe prison recreational programs
15. Describe the offender’s release from incarceration:
15.1 discuss the process of being released from one part of the system to another;

15.2 evaluate, discuss, and examine the history and development of parole;

15.3 identify, define, describe, discuss, and explain the various release mechanisms;

15.4 discuss and describe the various releasing authorities; and

15.5 examine and discuss the decision to release offenders
16. Describe supervision in the community:
16.1 evaluate, discuss, and examine the structure of community supervision;

16.2 identify, examine, and describe the various residential programs;

16.3 discuss the offender’s experience of post-release life;

16.4 discuss the view that parolees are ‘dangerous’;

16.5 identify, examine, explain, and discuss the elements of successful reentry; and

16.6 describe post-release supervision



Measurable Course Performance Objectives (MPOs) (continued):
17. Describe corrections for juveniles:
17.1 identify, examine, describe, and discuss the problem of youth crime;

17.2 examine and discuss the history of juvenile corrections;

17.3 explain why juveniles and adults are treated differently;

17.4 analyze and discuss the problem of serious delinquency;

17.5 discuss the process of sanctioning juvenile offenders; and

17.6 examine and discuss the problem and impact of gangs


18. Identify the trends in incarceration in the United States:
18.1 describe incarceration population trends;

18.2 identify, examine, and discuss techniques for addressing overcrowded prisons; and

18.3 describe, examine, and discuss the impact of prison crowding
19. Describe the correlation between race, ethnicity, and corrections:
19.1 describe and discuss the concepts of race and ethnicity in the field of corrections; and

19.2 describe and discuss the difference between race and racism


20. Discuss the death penalty:
20.1 discuss the debate over capital punishment;

20.2 discuss the relationship between the death penalty and the Constitution of the United States; and

20.3 describe and discuss issues associated with death row inmates
21. Discuss and examine community justice:
21.1 define and discuss community justice;

21.2 compare and contrast community justice and criminal justice; and

21.3 identify and discuss the advantages and problems associated with community justice


Methods of Instruction: The instructor may use any combination of the following instructional methods: legal cases, lectures, group activities, role play, oral presentations, essays, research assignments, films, cable, news and television programs, field trips, and community outreach projects.


Outcomes Assessment: Quiz and exam questions (if applicable) are blueprinted to course objectives. Checklist rubrics are used to evaluate non-test type assessment instruments (e.g., reaction papers, oral presentations, projects, etc.), for the presence of course objectives. Data collected will be analyzed to provide direction for the improvement of instruction, viability of class assignments, relevancy of assigned course materials, and evaluation of instructional time spent on specific topics.

Course Requirements: All students are required to:


  1. Maintain regular and prompt attendance to all class sessions.




  1. Complete homework assignments (if applicable).




  1. Complete all assigned written and oral exercises in and outside of class (scored grading).




  1. Completed the MIDTERM and FINAL Assessment Activities (paper, presentation and/or project) on time.




  1. Voluntarily participate in class discussions, exercises and group projects.

6. Complete all assessment activities that are scheduled.


7. Follow any specific class requirements mandated by the instructor.

Methods of Evaluation: Final course grades will be computed as follows:

% of

Grading Components final course grade


  • Attendance/Participation 15 – 25%

Attendance points will be computed based on the ratio of the number of days attending the course during a regular semester (i.e., 28 contact days). A similar procedure will be used to determine participation points.


  • Notebook and Table of Contents 05%

The notebook is a practical exercise designed to assess students’ abilities to organize large volumes of information and allows students to create a reference source of all material related to course objectives for themselves.


  • Topic Sentence Outlines 0 – 5%

Topic sentence outlines are practical exercises designed to enhance students’ reading comprehension and study skills.


  • Oral Exercise/Report 5 – 10%

The brief oral exercise/report is designed to provide students with an opportunity to enhance their oral communication skills.


  • PowerPoint Presentation 1525%

The PowerPoint presentation first requires students to create and develop a proposal to address a major problem relevant to prison population that will save taxpayers money and not reduce correction personnel or subject the public to harm. It will also provide students with the opportunity to enhance their technological skills in an academic environment.


  • Midterm and Final Assessment Activities 45 55%

The Midterm and Final assessment activities to be administered in appropriate weeks of the semester should be related to course goals and will provide evidence of student synthesis of course content and mastery of the course objectives.

Methods of Evaluation: (continued)

% of

Grading Components final course grade


  • Extra Credit

    • Programs, Lectures, Seminars and/or Workshops – internal or external relevant programs, lectures, seminars and workshops, which are related to the course objectives, are informational for the student, who will be required to prepare brief written summary of the event/program. These opportunities provide students with a chance to engage in academic scholarship.

    • Voter Registration – provide written evidence of participation in the electoral process


Academic Integrity: Dishonesty disrupts the search for truth that is inherent in the learning process and so devalues the purpose and the mission of the College. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, the following:


  • plagiarism – the failure to acknowledge another writer’s words or ideas or to give proper credit to sources of information;




  • cheating – knowingly obtaining or giving unauthorized information on any test/exam or any other academic assignment;




  • interference – any interruption of the academic process that prevents others from the proper engagement in learning or teaching; and




  • fraud – any act or instance of willful deceit or trickery.

Violations of academic integrity will be dealt with by imposing appropriate sanctions. Sanctions for acts of academic dishonesty could include the resubmission of an assignment, failure of the test/exam, failure in the course, probation, suspension from the College, and even expulsion from the College.




Student Code of Conduct: All students are expected to conduct themselves as responsible and considerate adults who respect the rights of others. Disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. All students are also expected to attend and be on time for all class meetings. No cell phones or similar electronic devices are permitted in class. Please refer to the Essex County College student handbook, Lifeline, for more specific information about the College’s Code of Conduct and attendance requirements.
Course Content Outline: based on the text by Clear R, Todd, Cole F, George and Reisig D, Michael S; 2006 American  Corrections (7th edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, a Division of Thomson Learning.

Unit Topics to be Covered
1 The Corrections System – The Purpose of Corrections; A Systems Framework for Studying Corrections; The Corrections System Today; Key Issues In Corrections
2 The Early History Of Correctional Thought And Practice – From The Middle Ages To The American Revolution; On The Eve Of Reform; The Age And Reason Of Correctional Reform; What Really Motivated Correctional Reform
3 The History Of Corrections In America – The Colonial Period; The Arrival Of The Penitentiary; Development Of Prisons In The South And West ; The Reformatory Movement; The Rise Of The Progressives; The Rise Of The Medical Model; From Medical Model To Community Model; The Crime Control Model: The Pendulum Swings Again; Where Are We Today?
4 The Punishment of Offenders – The Purpose of Corrections; Forms of the Criminal Sanction; The Sentencing Process; Unjust Punishment
5 The Law Of Corrections – The Foundations Of Correctional Law; Correctional Law And The United States Supreme Court; Constitutional Rights Of Prisoners; Alternatives To Litigation; Law And Community Corrections; Law And Correctional Personnel
6 The Correctional Client – Selection for the Corrections System; Types of Offenders and Their Problems; Classifying Offenders: Key Issues
7 Jails: Detention and Short Term Incarceration – The Contemporary Jail: Entrance to the System; Pretrial Detention; The Bail Problem and Alternatives; The Sentenced Jail Inmate; Issues in Jail Management; The Future of the Jail
8 Probation – The History and Development of Probation; The Organization of Probation Today; The Dual Functions of Probation: Investigation and Supervision; The Effectiveness of Supervision; Revocation and Termination of Probation; Probation in the Coming Decade
9 Intermediate Sanctions And Community Corrections – The Case For Intermediate Sanctions; Continuum Of Sanctions; Problems With Intermediate Sanctions; Varieties Of Intermediate Sanctions; Making Intermediate Sanctions Work; The New Correctional Professional; Community Corrections Legislation; The Future Of Intermediate Sanctions And Community Corrections

Unit Topics to be Covered
10 Incarceration – Links to The Past; The Goals of Incarceration; Organization for Incarceration; The Design and Classification Of Prisons; Who Is In Prison?
11 Statutory Law – Federal legislation; state legislation; statutory research overview; citation form
12 The Prison Experience – Prison Society; The Prison Economy; Violence in Prison
13 Incarceration of Women – Women: The Forgotten Offenders; Historical Perspective; Women in Prison; Issues in the Incarceration of Women; Release to the Community
14 Institutional Management – Formal Organization; Governing Prisons; Correctional Officers: The Linchpin of Management
15 Institutional Programs – Managing Time; Classification; Rehabilitation Programs; Prison Industry; Prison Maintenance Programs; Prison Recreational Programs; Prison Programming Reconsidered
16 Release from Incarceration – Release from One Part Of The System To Another; Origins of Parole; Release Mechanisms; The Organization of Releasing Authorities; The Decision to Release; Release to the Community
17 Making It: Supervision in the Community – The Structure of Community Supervision; Residential Programs; The Offender’s Experience of Post-Release Life; The Parolee as “Dangerous”; The Elements of Successful Reentry; Post-Release Supervision
18 Corrections for Juveniles – The Problem of Youth Crime; History of Juvenile Corrections; Why Treat Juveniles and Adults Differently?; The Problem of Serious Delinquency; Sanctioning Juvenile Offenders; The Special Problem of Gangs; The Future of Juvenile Justice
19 Incarceration Trends – Explaining Population Trends; Dealing With Overcrowded Prisons; The Impact Of Prison Crowding; Does Incarceration Pay?
20 Race, Ethnicity, And Corrections – The Concepts Of Race And Ethnicity; Visions Of Race And Punishment; Which Is It: Race Or Racism?; The Sentenced Jail Inmate; Issues In Jail Management; The Future Of The Jail
21 The Death Penalty; The Debate Over Capital Punishment; The Death Penalty In America; The Death Penalty And The Constitution; Death Row Inmates; The Continuing Debate
Unit Topics to be Covered
22 Intermediate Sanctions and Community Corrections – The Goals of Surveillance; The Techniques of Surveillance and Control; Control: A Double-Edged Sword; The Limits of Control; Toward Acceptable Community Control
23 Community Justice – Definition of Community Justice; How Community Justice Differs From Criminal Justice; Arguments For Community Justice; Problems of Community Justice; The Future of Community Justice
24 American Corrections: Looking Forward – Five Correctional Dilemmas; Three Challenges for the Future of Corrections; Changing Corrections: a Final View

Note: In CJI 121, the instructor must cover the 24 units listed above minimally in any reasonable order throughout the duration of the semester/term. In addition, the instructor must provide economic, historic, political, and social context for the relevant aspects of the criminal justice process. The instructor may also include additional areas based on his/her expertise and/or interest if time permits.

Note: A Midterm Assessment Activity should be conducted in approximately the 8th week of the semester, and a Final Assessment Activity should be conducted in the 14th or 15th week of the semester. Suggested assessment activities are given below.
Suggested Midterm Assessment Activities – Prepare topic sentence outlines of each chapter of the first half of the textbook; Chapter presentation; Correctional terminology assessment
Suggested Final Assessment Activities – Prepare topic sentence outlines of each chapter of the last half of the textbook; Chapter presentation; Identify-a-correction-problem-and-develop-a-solution exercise; Correctional terminology Assessment


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prepared by L Carter, Fall 2010



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