Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice / UW Tacoma


[music] [Diane Young]: I’m glad you’re interested
in our Criminal Justice major. We have a unique major. It was created based on the community’s
expressed need for more Bachelor’s level trained
Criminal Justice professionals. At the time, we were Social Work
faculty, and we saw an opportunity to create
a unique Criminal Justice major. One that emphasizes Social Justice and emphasizes restorative and
rehabilitative responses to crime, and to the criminal justice system. [music] [Alissa Ackerman]: What it means to teach a
course for the Social Justice lens is to always be aware of the effects
of Criminal Justice systems on individuals. [Derby-McCurtain]: When people tell me
there are other programs out there that don’t teach Criminal Justice from
that lens, it confuses me because I think that it’s very important, again, the power
that we give the Criminal Justice system, the police prosecuters, especially, it’s important to keep Social Justice
in mind. [Madfis]: Great deal of our focus is also on mutual emergent alternative
paradigms and perspectives for understanding the causes of crime. We’ll talk about new insight from
critical race theory. From feminist criminology, from
cultural criminology. From post modern criminology, and
from peacemaking criminology among many others. [Andrea Hill]: It emphasizes a really
kind of useful on-the-ground way of understanding
Criminal Justice. So, not looking at the individual parts
of the Criminal Justice system, and looking at the entire Criminal
Justice system as a social institution with many
interrelated parts. [Barb Toews]: To understand the
connections between economic disparity, racial disparity,
low and lack of education, access to social services, and health
resources. And how those play into why crime
happens and how we respond after crime happens. [Alissa Ackerman]: So, each course in
our program emphasizes diversity. So, for instance in the adult corrections
class at a typical university, you might learn
what it means to be a correctional officer. But here at the University of Washington
Tacoma, the focus really is on the racial
disproportionality that we see in the system, and the effects of that on communities
of color. [Jerry Flores]: We really need to
understand how the nuances of every community
are unique, and how we can become uniquely
able to serve them and to help them, and to help empower
these groups. [Derby-McCurtain]: I’m always looking
at it from a frame that I am helping to shape future
professionals that are going to go out and they’re
gonna be police and prosecuters, defense, probation. They have to do their jobs in ways
that is unbiased and without prejudice. [Andrea Hill]: Community partnerships
are really important to the CJ cirriculum here, and that’s one of the things that makes
the Criminal Justice program at UW Tacoma really valuable. Students are encouraged to interact
with the communities. It’s often a requirement for many
courses. [Madfis]: In our research course
for example, you’ll often be asked to engage
in what’s called participatory action research. Which means you actually go out into
your local community in various community organizations, law enforcement,
detention centers, and do some research there, and gain
some real knowledge about what’s going on in those programs. Help you better understand Criminal
Justice policies and practice. [Janelle Hawes]: I like to bring in guest
speakers from the community. So, I have someone that comes from
the Pierce County Jail. I have someone that comes from the
base. I have people from other organizations
that come in and really provide some real-life
examples. [Jerry Flores]: I helped connect different Criminal
Justice and different local institutions with the
students in my class. And really encouraging them to do
volunteer work because one thing I realize is for
students who are attempting to find employment, having internship volunteer opportunities
is key. We’re able to create an interdisciplinary
multifaceted, multidimensional major that allows students to gain knowledge
about what’s going on in the world and also gives them the skills and the ability
to themselves to go out in the community and shape how they want the world to be.

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