Correctional Intervention Strategies (undergraduate certificate)

Major Requirements (15 hours)

COR 201: Introduction to Corrections

COR 302: Living and Working in Prison

COR 303: Offenders in the Community

COR 340:  Corrections and Juvenile Justice Administration

COR 360: Offender Rehabilitation Strategies

Electives (9 hours)

Choose three of the following:

CRJ 313: Criminal Justice Ethics

CRJ 331: Perspectives on Crime and Delinquency

COR 410: Female Offenders

COR 412: Exploring the Death Penalty

COR 413: Addressing Mental Health Needs of Adult Offenders

COR 420: Diversity in Corrections

COR 423: Special Topics in Corrections

HOURS REQUIRED FOR CERTIFICATE: 24 

Course Descriptions

COR 201 Introduction to Corrections and Juvenile Justice (3 hours)

This course introduces students to the historical, philosophical, and operational frameworks of the Corrections system in the United States.  Students will debate the goals of punishment and explore a variety of institutional and community-based sentencing options

COR 302:  Living and Working in Prison (3 hours)                     

Students will learn about inmate subcultures and violence in prisons. They will explore what it is like to live behind bars and how difficult the adjustments can be for offenders reentering society.  The work and life experiences of correctional officers are examined to further highlight the oppressive quality of the prison environment.

COR 303: Offenders in the Community (3 hours)

This course will explore the impact that offenders have on the communities to which they return and the effects that the neighborhood context can have on offender reintegration. Students will examine formal correctional options and alternative methods of social control that are used to manage and treat offenders in the community.

COR 340 Correctional and Juvenile Justice Administration (3 hours)

Students will learn how organizational theories and fundamental administrative principles apply to correctional and juvenile justice agencies.  They will examine the unique administrative challenges presented by the paramilitary prison hierarchy and the political context in which corrections and juvenile justice function.

COR 360: Offender Rehabilitation (3 hours)                                 

Students will debate the rehabilitative goal of corrections and juvenile justice.  They will learn about the role of correctional staff in identifying and addressing treatment needs and examine the effectiveness of contemporary treatment strategies in controlling and changing offender behavior.

COR 410: Female Offenders (3 hours)                                                     

This course examines psychological and sociological explanations of female crime, and critically analyzes the nature and effects of societal responses to female crime.  Students will explore gender differences in pathways to, and desistance from, crime, and learn about gender-specific approaches to addressing the needs of female offenders.

COR 412: Exploring the Death Penalty (3 hours)                                  

This course provides an introduction to the history and use of the death penalty in the United States. It explores the purpose, fairness, and efficacy of the death penalty through a balanced coverage of the debate.  The sanction is explored from the perspectives of offenders, victims, and the correctional staff responsible for its administration.

COR 413: Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Offenders (3 hours)

This course examines the etiology and effects of substance abuse and mental health problems common to adult offenders.  It describes strategies for assessment and intervention, and explores the challenges associated with delivering effective treatment in correctional environments.

COR 420: Diversity in Corrections (3 hours)                                 

This course is a comprehensive interdisciplinary survey of the issues, status, and special needs of substantial “non-mainstream” sub-populations within the U.S. correctional system, both as inmates and personnel.  Focus subgroups include religious and ethnic minorities, women, the very old and very young, persons with mental and physical disabilities, LGBTQ populations, and immigrants.

COR 423: Special Topics in Corrections (1-3 hours)

Intensive study of selected topics related to corrections and juvenile justice. May be retaken to a maximum of twelve hours on different topics.

CRJ 313: Criminal Justice Ethics (3 hours)                              

Students will examine the moral, legal, and ethical obligations of the state and criminal justice professionals. They will learn about the discretionary power granted to criminal justice professionals and moral dilemmas that arise within the context of their professional duties.  Particular attention will be given to ethical systems that are used to analyze behavior and guide decision-making.

CRJ 331: Perspectives on Crime and Delinquency (3 hours)

This survey of criminological theories provides a multi-disciplinary basis for understanding why people break the law, how laws get made, and the social response to crime.  Historical and contemporary perspectives are explored including social, economic, cultural, symbolic, psychological, and biological explanations. 


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Gainful Employment Higher Education Act (78 FR666665 and FR 66832) Disclosure: Estimated program cost for the 24 hour online Correctional Intervention Strategies is $9480. Seven students completed the certificate within the normal time (1-1.5 years) in 2010-11. The median loan debt incurred was $0. No students completed the certificate in 2011-12.

Graduates of the Correctional Intervention Strategies certificate would be eligible for the following positions:

  • Corrections Officer
  • Case manager
  • Probation aide
  • Program monitor
  • Detention Worker