The crime, law, and justice program strives to prepare students for a variety of careers within the legal system or in services related to criminal justice. Embedded within the context of the liberal arts, students at Hiram will gain skills in oral and written communication, critical thinking, and problem solving. Students will learn the foundations of the legal system in the United States and how social, economic, political, and cultural factors influence our understanding of crime and justice through both theoretical and applied courses.
Examples of careers that crime, law and justice majors may pursue include corrections, juvenile justice, FBI, CIA, probation, parole, investigation, justice and human relations, rehabilitation, victim assistance, court reporting, legal assistance, crisis intervention, policing, public policy, and security.
Some students may choose to combine this major with a pre-law program. Some may choose to use this major as part of the 3+3 BA/JD program. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with a faculty member in the program in order to plan their curriculum accordingly.
Our three senior seminar courses (CRLJ 45200 SR SEM:THEORY PERSPECTIVES and CRLJ 45500 SR SEM: METHODOLOGY and CRLJ 48000 SENIOR SEMINAR-CAPSTONE are viewed as courses which require students to synthesize knowledge acquired in the other courses in the major. These capstone experiences require demonstration of advanced empirical and analytical skills in sociology. Crime, Law, and Justice majors must earn a minimum grade of "C" in each of the capstone courses.
Graduating seniors may receive program honors if they meet all of the following criteria:
- An overall grade-point average of at least 3.0
- A program grade-point average of at least 3.5
- In addition, the student must be recommended by faculty within the crime, law, and justice program for these honors.
Laci A Fiala, (2021) Associate Professor of Crime, Law, and Justice; Associate Professor of Sociology
B.S., NW Missouri State University;
M.A., Ph.D., University of Nebraska - Lincoln
ISSUES IN LAW AND SOCIETY ~ This course is an introduction to the American legal system (both civil and criminal law) and its relationship with social institutions. It provides students with knowledge about the connections between justice and society with particular emphasis on the law’s historical origins and its structure and function within society. Several topics such as types of crime, juveniles and criminality, minorities and criminality, and social control are discussed allowing for better understanding of the significant interaction between law and humanity. Crime, Law, and Justice majors must earn a "C" or higher. This course is also listed as SOCI 10500.
WORKSHOP ~ This workshop will provide the opportunity for students to examine a special topic in Crime, Law and Justice. Through readings, discussions and written assignments there will be opportunities to evaluate the topic at issue. Workshops may be taken Pass/No Credit only. Students may take no more than nine workshops for credit toward graduation. Workshops can be used as elective credit only.
CRIMINOLOGY ~ This course explores how society defines crime, who gets labeled a “criminal,” and how we punish those who commit crimes. With an emphasis on the societal impact of crime and the many theories on why criminal behavior occurs; students will examine how criminality relates to the world around them. Several topics such as the multiple types of crime, measurement trends/patterns, hate crime, drugs, organized crime and more will be examined in relation to society at large. Crime, Law, and Justice majors must earn a "C" or higher.
FIELD EXPERIENCE ~
SPECIAL TOPIC ~
SENIOR SEMINAR THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES ~ This course is an in-depth exploration of themes that feature prominently within classical and contemporary social theory. Students will gain a reflexive, critical, and applicable understanding of how social theorists have addressed a range of core social scientific themes such as the self/identity, power, inequality, race, gender, and the state. These themes are addressed through key thinkers from across the globe with an emphasis on the different perspectives used to make sense of such issues and how such theories can be applied to contemporary issues. Crime, Law, and Justice majors must earn a "C" or higher.
SENIOR SEMINAR METHODOLOGY ~ This course studies the multiple types of research and analysis methods used by social scientists to develop and investigate social and criminological issues. It covers the use of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods; exploring issues relating to topics such as research design, data, sampling, analysis, and ethics. Preparation for students’ senior capstone project will also take place in this course. Crime, Law, and Justice majors must earn a "C" or higher.
SENIOR SEMINAR - CAPSTONE ~ This course is the senior capstone for all Crime, Law, and Justice majors. Throughout the course, students will be required to pursue independent research, design, and implement their own interdisciplinary project, and present a written report and oral presentation. Frequent, focused meetings with a faculty advisor will help students explore inquiries and develop skills related to their investigation. Crime, Law, and Justice majors must earn a "C" or higher.
INDEPENDENT RESEARCH ~