I greatly believe that if the goal of criminal justice education is to become fully realized, biases against it must be overcome. The first step in this direction is to recognize that a criminal justice major can be as enriching as any other undergraduate major. In fact, a criminal justice major may have exceptional academic value because of its unusual interdisciplinary breadth. In probing the critical subjects of social deviance and social control as well as relevant governmental institutions and processes, criminal justice draws on the social sciences as well as history, philosophy, mathematics, and the sciences.
Through a criminal justice major, students may well gain a broader exposure to the liberal arts than they would through a traditional major. More importantly, if taught effectively, all of the courses in a criminal justice curriculum, including the so-called professional courses, should be as searching, as analytical, and as mind expanding as any other college courses. For example, there is nothing inherently inferior about courses in Police-Community Relations, Comparative Police Systems, Corrections Administration, Criminal Law, the American Judiciary, or even Police Patrol.
In a real sense, the problem for criminal justice education is not substantially different from the problem of college education in general. As admissions standards have been lowered, particularly in public institutions, as mass education has become more widespread, and as budgetary pressures have enlarged faculty-student ratios and increased class size and teaching loads, there is an apparent tendency for college teachers to take the line of least resistance.
In this context, too many teachers seem to rationalize the acceptability of the "nuts and bolts"' approach to subject matter rather than to undertake the difficult full-time enterprise of trying to achieve as much student increment as possible in conceptual thought and analytical rigor. Paradoxically, this problem may be decreasing in criminal justice courses at the same time that it is apparently increasing in other subjects, since there has been a greater consciousness of the problem among criminal justice instructors and administrators.
Thus, perhaps the real crisis is not in criminal justice education but in higher education in general. If, however, criminal justice is to realize its considerable potential as an academic field, educators must cease being distracted and deterred by the kind of snobbishness that downgrades the field "by definition. " This attitude, which has recently been reinforced by the Police Foundation Report, has already cost criminal justice educators too much. Above all, criminal justice educators must insist that all of their teaching pursue the liberal arts or "fusion" approach.
They must also constantly reexamine the content and parameters of criminal justice curricula. And certainly they must support and maintain strong general education requirements in traditional liberal arts disciplines. But educators will only succeed in these endeavors when they get rid of the false biases against criminal justice and come to accept it as at least the equal of other academic pursuits. Where do you stand on the continuum of liberal-conservative with respect to your views concerning criminal justice policies and practices in the U.
S. List and discuss at least two positive aspects of your position. List and discuss two possible weaknesses of the position you hold. Wow, this is not an easy choice to make because I believe that both are worthy pursuits. But as I think deeply, it comes to my inner being that my rights as an American are the major difference between living in a democracy such as the United States and living in an authoritarian, police state such as China, Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban, or Iraq under Saddam Hussein.
Hence, as an American, I have high value for democracy. Hence, I stand as a liberal and uphold the due process with respect to criminal justice policies and practices in my country, the United States of America. Two positive aspects of being a liberal is that individual freedom is highly valued, and the way to protect individual freedom is to uphold Constitutional protections. It places a high value on the adversarial nature of justice, whereby a prosecutor and defense attorney battle it out in court to find the truth and make sure that justice is achieved.
Hence, reliability is the most important value of being a liberal for it is imperative that the right person be convicted of the crime of which he or she is accused. On the other hand, two possible weaknesses of being a liberal is that because of the fact that it is aimed at ensuring that individual liberties are protected at all costs, guilty people sometimes go free or a criminal is wrongly freed. Another is that of a metaphor by Packer for being a liberal is an “obstacle course” because, to ensure that no innocent persons were wrongfully convicted; the prosecution would have to overcome numerous obstacles in order to convict anyone.