In order to create an effective justice system, it is necessary to understand the causes of criminal behavior, and interventions that will reduce or prevent crime. Studying the process of decision making within the justice department helps develop a clear idea for students of criminology and criminal justice as to how policies are formed, as well as appraise their impact on society.
The UMD Criminology Program Explained
Juvenile crime is disproportionately high in modern society. The University of Maryland College Park Program offers basic research into the causes of juvenile delinquency, including the influences of school environment, individual characteristics and peer pressure. The course work involves close collaboration with schools, communities and criminal justice practitioners to develop and test applications for juvenile delinquency prevention.
In the aftermath of the Boston bombing, there has been a growing concern for the methods needed to curb terrorism. Although punishment is typically used, and serves as a deterrent for some crimes, Dr. Laura Dugan, an associate professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Maryland points out that it has not been effective in discouraging terrorism. Her opinion article, printed by the Baltimore Sun, suggested unlike other violent crimes, terrorists often receive more sympathy when punished, as they are perceived as martyrs. She believes by studying the underlying causes of terrorism and thinking beyond punishment, terrorism can be more effectively prevented.
Other course curriculum includes the study of violence and the rationale used for violent decision making and the effectiveness of traditional crime interventions in reducing violent behavior. Life-course criminology seeks to provide a basis for the causes of crime in career criminals, and the effects of a criminal record in education, employment, marriage and other life commitments. Research projects include family violence and studies of incarcerated women.
UMD’s Curriculum – A Top Ranked Program
The University of Maryland College Park is ranked number one for its program in criminology and criminal justice. Graduate students have the opportunity to join an International campus, with a degree program at Nanjing Normal University Law School in China. It recently included a Master’s study program in Justice Leadership with the People’s Police Academy in Vietnam.
Because of its close circumference to Washington, D.C., the University of Maryland in College Park is highly advantageous for students of criminology and criminal justice. Opportunities for an internship exist within every government branch to develop a valuable learning experience and allow students to earn work credits. Students are responsible for arranging their own internships, which must be approved by the criminology and criminal justice department. For every forty hours students are interned, they will receive one college credit.
A degree program in criminology and criminal justice will lay the foundation for effective leadership in community response to crime. It will teach awareness of the legal process and develop critical thinking for the problems involved with crime prevention. It will help create an understanding of the elements and life styles that lead to crime, so it can facilitate a constructive rehabilitation process.