Criminology and Justice Studies Specialization

Investigate the psychology behind crime with the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), Criminology and Justice Studies specialization from Ashford University. With this degree program, you will develop your expertise in criminal behavior, as well as the justice and corrections systems. The goal of the specialization is to help you use psychological principles to find real-world solutions to complex issues regarding crime and justice. Be a practitioner and scholar in law enforcement and corrections. Your specialization may require prerequisite course work. Please talk to your advisor for more information.

Program Disclosures

Criminology and Justice Studies Specialization for Graduate Degrees

Explore criminal behavior from a psychological point of view in your Criminology and Justice Studies specialization courses. You will learn how institutions process criminals through the correctional system and you will learn how to ensure due process. You’ll also learn how to distinguish between crimes and locate them within social and economic contexts. The program presents proven methods to rehabilitate people, empowering them to return as productive members of society.

Degrees Offering the Criminology and Justice Studies Specialization

Graduate Criminology and Justice Studies Specialization Courses

ORG 8571 Contemporary Criminological Theory

3 Credits

This course involves a critical analysis of contemporary criminological theories and current applications or revisions of traditional theories. Students will explore topics ranging from restorative justice and gender-driven theories to critical criminology and environmental criminology. The relative benefits and drawbacks of each topic will be examined, as well as the status of current research relating to them.

ORG 8573 Types & Characteristics of Crime

3 Credits

The purpose of this course is to review the classification of different crime types, and to assess the distribution of each type across an array of socio-demographic variables, including class, race/ethnicity, gender, age, and locale. Students will learn about the various causes of the different types of crimes, and the specific ways the justice system should respond to different types of offenders.

ORG 8575 Advanced Analysis of Criminal Justice Processes

3 Credits

This course examines the processing of offenders through the criminal justice system, from arrest to corrections. Issues of due process will be analyzed and critiqued, with particular emphasis placed on judicial system parameters. Recognition of the need for the three components of the justice system to process cases efficiently will lead the student to an understanding of how systems theory is integrated into an overall analysis of the justice system.

ORG 8577 Juvenile Justice

3 Credits

This course focuses on the juvenile justice system, while highlighting differences between the juvenile and the adult criminal justice system. The course will not only cover traditional topics such as juvenile delinquency and the processing of juvenile offenders, but also current concerns about juvenile behavior, such as rates of youth violence and gang participation. The legal and philosophical bases for the separate system for juveniles will also be analyzed and debated.

ORG 8580 Mental Health & Crime

3 Credits

The relationship between crime, mental health, and mental illness are covered in this course, with a focus on analyzing specific treatment and rehabilitation practices used with various types of offenders in diverse settings. Emphasis will be placed on changes in the mental health system that generated an increase in the presence of mentally ill offenders in the criminal justice system. Additionally, focus will be placed on issues such as the accurate assessment of mental illness, problems with certain therapy methods, and difficulties in treating dangerous offenders, drawbacks of utilizing personnel with limited training, and other impediments and limitations to effective treatment of offenders.

ORG 8582 Drugs, Addiction, & Crime

3 Credits

This course explores the relationships among criminality, drug use, and addiction by examining the evolution of drug policies from the following perspectives: enforcement, prosecution, and sentencing of drug users and addicts. The impact of drug laws on criminal justice processing will also be examined. Students will gain an understanding of drug use and will explore theoretical orientations that help to explain why people use drugs and how such use leads to criminal behavior. Further, the ways in which drug use and drug policies have an impact on the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems will be covered. An integral part of this course will be based on current events, policies on drug treatment, and enforcement of drug laws.

ORG 8586 Evaluating Criminal Justice Interventions

3 Credits

This course focuses on methods used to examine the effectiveness of programs developed to treat offenders, support victims, as well those concerning crime prevention schemes. Prior evaluation models will be reviewed and problems and appropriate methods in assessing effective models of intervention will be discussed. Evaluation concerns will not only include program effectiveness, but also issues of ethics and legal requirements. Students will become familiar with how to address the need to design and evaluate programs according to such concerns. They will also have an opportunity to use prediction techniques and operational research methods to measure the effectiveness and performance of criminal justice programs.