Criminology and Criminal Justice

Office: 3054 Faculty/Administration Building; 313-577-2705
Chairperson: Shanhe Jiang
Undergraduate Director: Charles Klahm IV
Academic Services Officer/Advisor: Marianka Holloway
Academic Advisor III: Alicia Ortez

Criminal Justice is society's primary formal means of social control. Generally, it is the practice of public and private agencies and groups that deter crime and delinquency, and that prosecute, defend, adjudicate, punish, and correct suspects and convicted offenders. The core of the criminal justice system is comprised of law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, defense attorneys, courts, and correctional agencies. This system enforces federal and state laws and is part of a larger administration of justice complex, involving court administration, juvenile justice, and private security.

The study of criminal justice begins with analysis of the entire justice system as a force for social order. Advanced study inquires into the political, organizational, social and behavioral aspects of its components. Students develop analytical and research skills that enable them to identify and assess the often conflicting objectives of criminal justice and investigate basic issues and practical problems in criminology and criminal justice. Legal courses foster an awareness of the values of due process and the limits of governmental power in a democratic society.

The department advances a multidisciplinary understanding of the sources of criminal behaviors, including perspectives from criminology, psychology, and sociology. The curriculum exposes students to knowledge of the major types of crime, including crimes of violence, property crimes, public order crimes, sexual crimes, organized crimes, delinquent offenses, and other types of crimes. Innovative and theoretically based programs in the criminal justice system to reduce the incidence of crime are also examined.

Career opportunities in criminal justice professions include roles as police officers, supervisors, and executives; criminal justice investigators, working for public defenders, prosecutors, fire departments, and insurance companies, correctional officers, probation officers, parole officers, and community corrections specialists, for whom a college degree is often mandatory. Other specialized roles in criminal justice include juvenile intake officers, juvenile probation officers, volunteer administrators, criminologists, forensic psychologists, medical examiners, and policy analysts.