Evidence Based Community Corrections – CJUS 357

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 01/31/2022

Course Description

This course is designed to provide an in-depth study of proven community corrections programs which are evidenced based and have demonstrated measurable success.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

The future of corrections involves a strong understanding of community corrections programs and an in-depth examination of “what works.” Budgetary pressures necessitate that corrections’ programs lend themselves to assessment and are evidence-based. This course equips students with an understanding of community-based corrections and and complements the overall criminal justice program by providing the critical skill of examining the efficacy of rehabilitative programs.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Discuss the primary types of community corrections options available to officials to assist in reintegrating offenders to society.
  2. Describe and discuss the major obstacles to instituting community corrections’ innovations.
  3. Describe and define boot camps, scared straight, restorative justice, home incarceration, electronic, halfway houses, and GPS monitoring, including a discussion about literature in support of each.
  4. Identify the seminal research that addresses community corrections; focus on the value of using evidence-based practice.
  5. Describe at least three benefits to the criminal justice system of committing resources to community corrections and its’ various components.
  6. Analyze the economic benefit of each of the aforementioned community corrections programs.
  7. Identify and describe future innovations in community corrections, to include reentry centers, reentry dorms in prisons, and increased use of shock probation.
  8. Discuss the potential public opposition to any potential increased use of community corrections; include a discussion about victim advocacy and its’ impact on offender-focused programming.

Course Assignment

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each Discussion. Each thread must be at least 400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge with a minimum of three references, including the textbook. All statements of fact must be supported with citations in current APA format. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least two other classmates’ threads with at least two references, including the textbook. Each reply must be at least 200 words, be written using APA format, and use at least two references, including the textbook .

Quizzes (4)

Each quiz will cover the reading material for the assigned Module: Week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice questions worth three points each and five short answer questions worth five points each, and have a 60 minute time limit.

The student will submit a research paper topic in a Microsoft Word Document exploring a specific problem in corrections. This assignment will answer the following questions: 

  • What is the current problem? 
  • Why is it a problem?
  • How can I study it with an empirical method?

The thesis statement should include a statement of the problem along with statistics or some other method for expressing the depth of the issue. The student will not be conducting actual research for the research proposal assignment. The student will propose a study with the topic selection, literature review, and methodology assignments. The meta-analysis assignment will require the student to glean out findings and/or results and present them in the form of written work, graphs, charts, and a description of coding techniques. The final assignment will enable the student to provide a discussion of implications, limitations, and recommendations of the proposed study to corrections. We will use a standard five-chapter format and the template will be provided for the student. This assignment should be between 250–400 words, written in APA format (current edition), have at least two references. These references can be peer reviewed journals, textbooks, or websites with .gov or .org domains.

The student will conduct a review of the literature for this assignment. The student will complete a comprehensive search within the JFL and find studies that have been conducted on his or her chosen topic. The student will then discuss how the previous studies will inform and assist his or her proposed study.  The student will identify the gaps in prior research and discuss how his or her study would fill those gaps by doing something that has not been done previously or how it will add to the body of knowledge in that area.  The literature review should be around 5–7 pages, excluding the title page and abstract, written in APA (current edition) Style, and cite at least 5 sources. Acceptable sources are peer reviewed journal articles, textbooks, and web sources from .org or .gov domains. References used should be dated within the past five years.

This part of the assignment is where the student will explain his or her choice of research design and provide a justification for this choice. The student will use the literature to describe how and why it is the best way to study his or her topic.  This assignment should be 2–3 pages, written in APA (current edition), and use at least 2 reference sources. Acceptable sources are textbooks, peer reviewed journals, and websites from .org and .gov domains.

A meta-analysis is conducted when a researcher wants to combine and analyze the results from several scientific studies to compare and contrast them and to summarize their conclusions.  It does not involve conducting original research but does allow the researcher to look at multiple studies and what they found about the topic for your proposed study. The student will discuss the results or findings from other studies that were part of the literature review assignment. This may involve charts and graphs, statistical analysis, or coding of qualitative interviews. The student will read the results/findings sections from studies he or she cited in his or her literature review and provide results/findings for the meta-analysis. This assignment will be 4–6 pages, use at least five references, and be written in APA (current edition) Style. Acceptable sources are textbooks, peer reviewed journals, and websites from .gov and .org domains.

The final part of the research paper assignment requires the student to complete the proposal assignment. The student will provide a discussion section that allows for his or her own analysis of the findings/results from the previous assignment, limitations of the proposed study, recommendations for future research on the same topic, implications of the meta-analysis to the field of criminal justice, and finally, a conclusion to the entire paper. The student should provide level one APA headers for each of the following:

  • Discussion
  • Limitations
  • Implications
  • Recommendations
  • Conclusion

This section should be 3–5 pages in length, written in APA (current edition) Style, and use at least three referencesAcceptable sources are textbooks, peer reviewed journals, and websites with .org and .gov domains.