Shoreline Community College is helping to improve the criminal justice system. The Washington college launched a new, first-of-its-kind Criminal Justice Advocacy Certificate (CJAC) this fall. The fully online 15-credit certificate is designed for people working or planning to work in or alongside the criminal justice system who want to advocate for vulnerable populations and find effective ways to work with different professions to improve the criminal justice system.
The training is of particular relevance for those studying or working in the areas of sociology, legal studies, social work, psychology, counseling, healthcare, public health, law enforcement and corrections, community outreach or community organizing.
Taught by a forensic social worker, the certificate uniquely focuses on the intersection of law and psychology. Class topics explore historical trends and current issues in crime and social justice, models of crisis intervention, de-escalation and conflict resolution, and criminal justice theory with a multicultural perspective.
“These classes explore how different professionals can work in tandem to help people in crisis who often cycle through the health care and criminal justice systems repeatedly. The curriculum is a forward-looking, systems-oriented approach to strengthening and reforming society’s responses to social problems,” said Anura Shah, associate faculty at Shoreline.
“The Criminal Justice Advocacy Certificate provides useful ways for professionals to deescalate situations and build new ways of responding to those in crisis. It’s an excellent choice for someone who wants to go into direct service work as well as for someone already working in a related field who wants to add a new advocacy-based skillset,” Shah added.
Additionally, as interest in new models of crisis intervention grows, the college debuted in early October a new online professional development series, The Interprofessional Practice of Law Enforcement and Social Work, specifically intended to help mental health and social service professionals increase their understanding of the criminal justice system and its applicable laws.
This story originally appeared here.