A new criminology and restorative justice major will be available for students starting next fall. The program implementation task force in coordination with the department of history, philosophy, and social sciences is developing the program.
“It is part of our growth strategy,” said Tim Bryan, chief of staff to the office of the president and vice president for marketing and university communication, “We consider carefully what new programs we could offer that would be in sync with our mission but would also drive enrollment.”
Malone’s Quaker heritage is foundational to the development of the program and is largely responsible for the restorative justice aspects of the major.
“Quakers have historically been prison reformers, so it is not out of line for a historically Quaker Evangelical Friends school to have restorative justice,” said David Beer, assistant professor of political philosophy.
The program will not include the use of firearms or police cars, a characteristic distinguishing the program from similar majors at other universities.
Police academies are only open to those 21 and older, so the program represents a viable option for the time between high school graduation and the eligibility for work as a police officer.
“We’re not doing the practical; we are doing the theoretical,” said Beer.
Students will learn the practical knowledge upon entrance to the police academy.
Political science and sociology work together in the theory-based program because criminology is a specialization of sociology. Aspects of both are necessary for adequate training.
“Political science looks at government and law and political power structure; sociology looks at more the causes of crime,” said Scott Waalkes, professor of international politics.
Most of the classes for this major, some of which are already offered, deal with sociology, psychology and political science. These classes include sociology of crime and deviance, social psychology, and juvenile delinquency psychology.
Classes being added include criminal procedure and human dignity and introduction to corrections and social control.
There will also be an elective course, terrorism and cyber war, geared toward criminology and restorative justice but can be taken along with any major. The curriculum is in the development process.
“It’s kind of about the future of conflict, so it’s partly international. It’s also criminal justice focused, looking at issues of terrorism and insurgency, cyber war and the way that crime crosses borders, as well as computer related crime,” said Waalkes.
The faculty will continue to develop the program in preparation for its launch next fall.
Cathy Weyand is a staff writer for The Aviso