CHC's program challenges students to think about the gap between theory and practice, question assumptions in the field, consider professional ethics and promote social justice. Through its direct relationship with the departments of Sociology and Human Services, criminal justice majors have the unique opportunity to blend their study with fields such as juvenile justice and child welfare.
Class Field Trips
In the criminal justice major, one of the common elements of the curriculum is the class field trip. Students are exposed to court rooms, prisons and other criminal justice agencies, as well as those who work there, as a way to show them first-hand, what a career in the field might entail.
Students enrolled in CRJU 230 01 Juvenile Delinquency, visit The Glen Mills School. Founded in 1826, The Glen Mills School houses between 400 and 500 young boys who are court-ordered to attend the school. Chestnut Hill College students are escorted by the The Glen Mills School students, who provide a wealth of information about their lives at the school.
Restorative Justice Seminar
Criminal justice majors are required to participate in the Restorative Justice Seminar, which is truly a unique classroom experience. The class is limited to 12 students and the semester is structured around a Peacemaking Circle, a core component of the restorative justice process. It is a very hands-on learning experience for the students involved.
Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program
Additionally, students are invited to take part in an experiential course called "Inside-Out Prison Exchange." Inside-Out was started at Temple University and is currently a model that is used in criminal justice education across the country. The program allows students to meet once a week inside of a local state prison where half the class is made up of CHC peers and the other half, prisoners on the inside. Students have credited this course as broadening their understanding of individuals and helping to break down the wall between common stereotypes. It truly is a life-changing experience for all who participate.