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Planning and Implementing a Criminal Justice Course with University Students and Youthful Offenders

Vigorita, Michael S
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) Journal of Criminal Justice Education. 13(2): 404-432.

During Fall 1999, the Law and Justice Studies Department at Rowan University, in collaboration with New Jersey’s Juvenile Justice Commission, brought together 12 students and 12 incarcerated youth for a semester long course on restorative justice. This paper presents the planning, implementation, and outcomes assessment of the course. While service learning programs within criminal justice departments are fairly widespread, this collaborative effort is unique in that the youth attend the course on campus and are treated, for all intents and purposes, as college students. It was intended to demonstrate to the youth that college is something within their grasp and that they could fit in with college students. We also hoped the course would benefit the college students’ critical thinking skills., tolerance levels, and overall educational experience. The outcomes assessment shows that the course was successful in achieving the goals set forth for the students and the youth. The process analysis demonstrates the many successes and difficulties that arose during the planning and implementation of the course.


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