Corrections is one of the three branches of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in the United States. All three branches employ personnel who are authorized to uphold and enforce the law and are required to operate under the rule of law. Each branch works as part of the entire system to maintain the public safety and well-being and bring criminals to justice. Corrections facilities and programs are run by a complex system of policies and procedures, which uphold local, state, and federal laws. This course gives students an introductory, yet thorough view of many aspects of corrections operations. Students receive historical and legal background information as they study how prisons and prisoners have evolved into correctional facilities and programs for offenders. In this course the duties responsibilities, conduct, training, and special certification possibilities for corrections staff are explored. Many aspects of procedures in corrections are reviewed, giving students an in-depth look at what a variety of careers in this growing field encompass and require.
Corrections within the Criminal Justice System: Unit 1 introduces students to the three branches of the criminal justice system: law enforcement, the courts, and corrections, and how they interact in managing criminals and criminal activity. The unit provides a brief history of how corrections, as a term, came to be used, and the focus of the system today in helping offenders rebuild their lives. The three branches within corrections, facilities, and programs operating at the local, state, and federal levels, are further explored.
Impact of Laws on the Corrections Service: Unit 2 focuses on the law, and how it and its interpretation historically have mandated changes to corrections policies and procedures. Bill of Rights amendments, intervention or restrictions on intervention of the different branches of the CJS, and landmark Supreme Court cases involving prison conditions and prisoners’ rights are also explored. Students gain a working knowledge of the relationship between federal and state laws, societal changes in interpretation of rights, actual events that changed policy, and the reasons behind adjustments to conditions inside facilities.
Effective Communications and Ethical Staff Conduct: Unit 3 examines effective communication skills and techniques, and why they are important in corrections work. Communicating effectively utilizes various methods of speaking, listening, observation, and special services and aids for special disabilities. Corrections staff is trained in communications appropriate for different situations, incidents, and person. Effective communication can avert crises, prevent incidents, and resolve hostage crises. Students examine and test their own communications skills.
High Liability in Corrections Services: Use of Force, Crisis and Emergency Responses: Unit 4 takes a close look at the law, policy, procedure, and examples requiring the use of force.
Security Facilities, and Computer Forensics: This unit examines safety and security in corrections environments, and how risk-management policy and procedures avoid incidents, security breaches, emergencies, and illegal activities.
Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Category: Law, Public Safety, Corrections, & Security
Course Length: Semester