Mission: Educate students on the operation of our nation’s criminal justice system which includes the institutions of law, police, courts, and correctional agencies; enhance students’ awareness of the current problems, issues, and challenges facing the justice system, and accomplish these goals in a manner which strengthens students’ skills of communication, critical inquiry, problem analysis, solutions management, professionalism, and sense of social justice.
We combine classic, but lively and engaging classroom lectures, with a multitude of stimulating, experiential, hands-on activities in which students apply textbook principles to real world situations and scenarios frequently faced by justice professionals (police, detectives, prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys, etc.).
Here are some of the exciting experiential hands-on learning opportunities we provide for students:
- The “Crime Lab” – The Criminal Justice Learning Lab is a 9,000 square foot experiential learning facility used in justice related courses including Police Operations and Crime Scene Investigation. The Crime Lab is utilized to create mock crime scenarios for students to receive special investigative instruction and experience for processing a homicide scene as detectives, warrant-serving mock “busts” and “raids,” building searches for hidden and armed suspects, instruction on arrest procedures, and practicing officer safety, handcuffing and more. The lab includes an Evidence Processing Room and a completely functional courtroom.
- Criminal Trial Court – Students spend time in both misdemeanor and felony court watching and analyzing real trials/court cases (such as murder, robbery, burglary, sexual assault, etc) in our state court system.
- Criminal Profiling – Instruction on the philosophy and techniques of “profiling” as an investigative technique in serial murder cases.
- A Variety of Simulation and Role Play Exercises – A number of our courses utilize these techniques to give students a feel for the practical situations justice practitioners face in the field. Simulation and role play examples include: Plea bargain simulation, police interrogation and interview, mock court, domestic violence intervention and more.
- The Criminal Justice National Honor Society – Our department is fortunate to host a chapter of Alpha Phi Sigma, the country’s most prestigious academic honor society in the field of criminal justice.
- The Citizen Police Academy Course – A cooperative venture with the High Point Police Department, this experiential course gives students a taste of what it is like for a “police recruit” (citizen) to go through a police academy.
- Collaborative Research – Various opportunities exist for students to learn the mechanics of doing justice research under the direction of a criminal justice faculty member.
- Mock Court – Students are put in court positions (judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, defendant, victim, witnesses, etc) to role play realistic cases and trials under faculty direction.