Prerequisites: RCC; This course is designed to provide students mainly interested in pursuing criminal justice related externships or criminal law practice opportunities with an in depth examination of the significant decision points in the criminal justice process that both help define and influence the major challenges presently facing the criminal justice system: mass incarceration, addiction and mental illness, and outcome disparities. These decision points will include arrest, prosecutorial charging, pretrial release, diversion, plea bargaining, sentencing, and community control compliance. The course will include a thorough demographic snapshot of the population, historically and currently, in the system and a review of the broader values, interests, and objectives that guide practical decision-making throughout the process. The class will focus on the determinants of equity that influence various outcomes in the process and will explore the therapeutic jurisprudence model that characterize the various court diversion models that are now available in many court systems. The course will include direct student dialogue with judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and community correction officers who routinely exercise elements of discretion throughout the process. Finally, the course will also include an examination of the attorney skill sets necessary for effective representation of clients in this challenging environment.
Criminal Justice Decision Points
3 Credit Hours