Criminal Justice refers to the application of policing practices and policies while criminology is theory-based and attempts to explain why the practices and policies of law enforcement, police administration, and corrections exist in the first place. Though QCC offers “Theories in Criminology” (CRJ 213), the program draws from a diverse range of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, anthropology, law and government, public administration, political science, cultural studies, and technology. Whatever specialization a student elects – police officer, crime lab analyst, probation officer, correctional officer, homeland security, victim services specialist, etc. -- the focus on justice is paramount.
Students are expected to write papers and other assignments that explain policies and practices, legal decisions, administration of the delivery of justice, theories criminologists use to explain crime, and other topics incorporated into the class content. Professors expect students to imagine various audiences and purposes for this writing since the workplace will present a diverse number of situations and people affected. Since the profession expects students to realize their jobs will be part of a bureaucracy, students must be equipped to write reports and other communications to numerous agencies and audiences.
Students may be asked to write a hypothetical memo to a police chief explaining a new local crime trend and demographics. Students may write a hypothetical memo to a superintendent requesting a policy change for specific reasons. Students may be asked to write a hypothetical news brief for local newspapers or community resources explaining what a policy means to them. Students may be asked to write hypothetical case notes for public defender or public resource officer. Always, readers’ needs must dictate the content, level of detail and overall tone and language used.