Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

CJAD 350: Corrections And Penology

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  Course Description

Analysis of punishment in our criminal justice system, with focus on why we punish and how we punish, all examined within the context of correctional philosophies. History and development of corrections, including relevant theories, practices, systems analysis and treatment modalities.

Prerequisite: CJAD 101, ENGL 111

Proctored Exams: None


As part of TruitionSM, students will receive their course materials automatically as described below.


  •  Schmalleger, F., Smykla, J. (2017). Corrections in the 21st Century (8th). Mc-Graw-Hill.  eText

Bookstore Information

Visit https://www.ccis.edu/bookstore.aspx for details.

eText Information

If a course uses an eText, (see Textbook information above) the book will be available directly in Desire2Learn (D2L) and through the VitalSource eText reader the Friday before the session begins, if registered for courses prior to that date.  Students will have a VitalSource account created for them using their CougarMail email address. Upon first login to VitalSource, students may need to verify their account and update their VitalSource password.  More information about how to use the VitalSource platform, including offline access to eTexts, can be found in D2L.  Students that would like to order an optional print-on-demand copy of eligible eTexts can do so through the VitalSource bookshelf at an additional cost.  Once orders are placed, it can take approximately five to seven business days for students to receive their print-on-demand books.

Physical Course Materials Information

Students enrolled in courses that require physical materials will receive these materials automatically at the address on file with Columbia College.  Delivery date of physical materials is dependent on registration date and shipping location.  Please refer to confirmation emails sent from Ed Map for more details on shipping status.

Returns: Students who drop a course with physical course materials will be responsible for returning those items to Ed Map within 30 days of receipt of the order.  More specific information on how to do so will be included in the package received from Ed Map.  See here for Ed Map's return policy. Failure to return physical items from a dropped course will result in a charge to the student account for all unreturned items.

Note: Students who opt-out of having their books provided as part of TruitionSM are responsible for purchasing their own course materials.

  Course Overview

The course provides an analysis of the ideas and practices characteristic of modern corrections, with a focus on correctional ideology.  You will examine community and institutional corrections, focusing on prisons, parole, jails, staffing, inmates, and the technical legalities of operating in a correctional setting.  You will be presented with many of the personal skills needed to operate in the correctional field.

Each week you will have either a quiz or exam and will participate in weekly discussion topics. Three writing assignments will be required during the course: two essays and one research paper, with topics provided by the instructor.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the historical development of corrections and penology in America.
  2. Explain the social, economic, philosophical, and political aspects of corrections.
  3. Describe the organizational structure, roles and functions of corrections entities in the modern criminal justice system.
  4. Articulate the legal and ethical issues that are of special interest to corrections professionals.
  5. Explain common terminology and methods used by corrections professionals.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (9) 170 17%
Quizzes (6) 150 15%
Corrections Essays (2) 200 20%
Research Paper (1) 200 20%
Exams (2) 280 28%
Total 1000 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Introduction Discussion 10 Thursday/Sunday
Discussion 1 20
Quiz 1 25 Sunday

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Corrections Theory Essay 1 100 Sunday
Quiz 2 25

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Discussion: Research Paper Topic -- Sunday
Quiz 3 25

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Midterm Exam 140 Sunday

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Corrections Theory Essay 2 100 Sunday
Quiz 4 25

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Quiz 5 25 Sunday

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 20 Wednesday/Sunday
Quiz 6 25 Sunday

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 20 Wednesday/Saturday
Research Paper 200 Wednesday
Final Exam 140 Saturday
Total Points: 1000

  Assignment Overview


Each week you will participate in at least one thorough online discussion of a subject from the readings or other learning resources for the week. An initial post answering all discussion prompts is due by Wednesday, at 11:59 pm CT in weeks 2-8. In week 1, the initial post is due by Thursday at 11:59 pm CT. A minimum of two response posts are due by 11:59 pm CT on Sunday, with the exception of Week 8, when response posts will be due at 11:59 pm CT on Saturday. Users must post before reading and replying to other posts.

Your initial post should be a detailed full paragraph of at least 8 – 10 sentences. Response posts should be a full paragraph of at least 5 – 7 sentences. All posts should be thorough, well written, and relevant to the discussion topic. Minimal use of direct quotations expected; the majority of each post should be in your own words. You are expected to do outside research to inform and support your posts. Citing at least one outside source is required (other than the textbook or resources within the course). No references are required for the Introduction Discussion. Use APA style for citations and references.

Points per discussion: 20 for discussions 1-8, 10 for Introduction. Partial credit may be given for late initial posts provided they are received before the end of the week deadlines. Posts submitted past the Sunday (or Saturday in week 8) deadlines are considered late and not accepted. 

Correctional Theory Essays

You will write two short essays over provided topics in Weeks 2 and 5. The purpose is to research and demonstrate an understanding of critical Corrections theories and/or principles. The essays will enable you to practice research, writing, and citing in preparation for the assigned research paper.

You are expected to write professionally with correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar, developing your topic and providing solid examples for our readings, your own research, or your own experiences to back up your statements. The paper must include 3 references (outside the course text), with at least one reference from a peer-reviewed/scholarly academic journal (highlight in bold type the titles of the peer reviewed articles in the reference list). You should avoid writing in first person. All papers must be in .doc, pdf, or .rtf format.

The length of each essay should be a minimum of 2 full double-spaced pages of meaningful discussion (title page and reference page do not count as part of those pages). You must adhere to APA style (although you will not be required to provide an abstract). Your work should be double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font , with 1-inch margins all around.

All papers will be evaluated for originality and you are not allowed to turn in papers for this course that have been used previously in another course (even if it is from taking this very course during a previous session).

Due Dates: Sunday, Weeks 2 and 5, by 11:59 pm CT. Each essay is worth 100 points.

Research paper

A major research paper is assigned in which you will conduct in-depth research and demonstrate an understanding of critical topics directly related to the corrections career field, with an emphasis on evidenced-based theories and/or principles. You will select the topic for the paper from a list of topics provided within the course. You will post your topic decision in an ungraded discussion in Week 3.

The paper's length should be a minimum of 8 full, double-spaced pages of meaningful discussion (title page and reference page do not count as part of those pages). You are expected to write professionally with correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar, developing your topic and providing solid examples from our readings, your own research, or your own experiences to back up your statements. The paper must include six references (outside of the course text), with at least two references from a peer-reviewed/scholarly academic journal (peer-reviewed references should be highlighted in bold type in the reference list).  You should avoid writing in first person when possible.  All papers must be in .doc, pdf, or .rtf format. You must adhere to APA style (although you do not need to provide an abstract). Your work should be double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins all around.

All papers will be evaluated for originality. You are not allowed to turn in papers for this course that have been used previously in another course (even if it is from taking this very course during a previous session).

The paper is due by 11:59 pm, Wednesday of Week 8. 200 points.

Quizzes & Exams


The course has six quizzes to assess your understanding of the material provided and determine that learning objectives of the course are being realized. Quizzes will contain 25 multiple-choice or true/false questions; you will have a single attempt at 40 minutes to complete each quiz. Quizzes must be completed by 11:59 pm CT Sunday of the assigned week. Each quiz is worth 25 points


There are two exams in the course, a midterm and final. Neither exam is proctored. Exams will consist of 70 multiple-choice or true/false questions. You will have a single attempt and 110 minutes to complete each. Each exam is worth 140 points.

  • Midterm Exam: Covers chapters 1-6. Due by 11:59 pm Sunday of week 4.
  • Final Exam: Covers chapters 7-12. Due by 11:59 pm Saturday of week 8.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

  • Text: Chapter 1: Corrections: An Overview
  • Text: Chapter 2: Corrections Today:  Evidence-Based Corrections and Professionalism
  • Video: “How Will Harsher Sentences Affect the Flow of Drugs in the U.S.?" (link provided in course)
Introduction Discussion

Introduce yourself in this discussion by telling us about yourself. Be sure to share your interest and/or experience in the criminal justice field.

Two responses are required in this discussion, but you do not have to research or cite anything. 

Discussion 1

Watch the short video titled “How Will Harsher Sentences Affect the Flow of Drugs in the U.S?”  This video from PBS.org addresses Attorney General Jeff Sessions' order to federal prosecutors across the country to revive some of the toughest practices of the decades-old "war on drugs," reversing previous administration policies that aimed to lessen the federal prison population. Harry Sreenivasan talks to John Walters, COO of the Hudson Institute, and Gil Kerlikowske, former "drug czar" under President Barack Obama.

Following your review of the video, discuss both the positive and negative impacts of the Attorney General’s decision, specifically as it relates to impacts on the correctional system and sustainable justice.

Quiz 1
This quiz covers chapters 1 and 2.
  • Text: Chapter 3: To Punish or Reform?
  • Text: Chapter 4:Probation: How Most Offenders are Punished
Discussion 2

Review Exhibit 3-5 in Chapter 3 of the textbook, which presents the number of executions from 1976 through 2015 in the United States and around the world. In your initial post, write an interpretation of the data you observe. Review the interpretations of at least two other students in the discussion forum, and respond if you agree or disagree with their interpretations and why. Utilize a source outside our current text supporting your interpretation.

Corrections Theory Essay 1

In recent years, the strain on the court system and custodial systems has resulted in various community-based diversion alternatives for offenders. Research various diversion alternatives and develop an essay, either pro or con, on the topic of diversion. Consider questions such as whether diversion should be used or if it ethical to allow some offenders to avoid the formal system while others are put into the system.

Quiz 2
This quiz covers chapters 3 and 4.
  • Text: Chapter 5:  Intermediate Sanctions – Between Probation and Incarceration
Discussion 3

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of intermediate sanctions. How do they provide more options for judges and better outcomes for offenders?

Discussion: Research Paper Topic

Select your research paper topic from among the provided topics (in the course). Indicate your selection in this ungraded discussion. No responses are required.

Quiz 3

This quiz covers chapter 5. 

  • Text: Chapter 6: Jails - Way Stations Along the Justice Highway
  • Article: "Pretrial Justice Demands Less Money, More Values." (link provided in course)
Discussion 4

Read the peer-reviewed article, “Pretrial Justice Demands Less Money, More Values.” Discuss problems you perceive with the current bail bond system, whether it is in need of reform, and how it might be improved.

Midterm Exam

This exam covers material from Chapters 1 through 6. 

  • Text: Chapter 7:  Prisons Today:  Change Stations or Warehouses?
  • Article: "Rethinking Solitary Confinement" (link provided in course)
Discussion 5

Read the article, “Rethinking Solitary Confinement,” from the Criminal Justice journal. Following your review of the article, discuss problems associated with solitary confinement, the purposes you see for continuing or eliminating the practice, and the reasons for your decision.

Corrections Theory Essay 2

In recent years, there has been great debate regarding the effectiveness of incarceration and various rehabilitative programs. Based on your research and readings, write an essay on the effectiveness of incarceration, identifying what has worked and what has not worked.  Discuss and provide examples of how evidence-based principles or programs have demonstrated positive results.

Quiz 4

This quiz covers chapter 7.

  • Text: Chapter 8:  Parole - Early Release and Reentry
  • Video: Ban-The-Box (link provided in course)
Discussion 6

The transition from prison to the community presents various challenges for offenders.  Specific among these challenges is the ability to secure meaningful employment.

View the TEDx video, “Ban-The-Box.” Following your review of the video, discuss what you perceive as the advantages and the disadvantages of this program and why you either support or object to this practice.

Quiz 5

This quiz covers chapter 8.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
  • Text: Chapter 9: The Staff World – Managing the Prison Population
  • Text: Chapter 10: The Inmate World – Living Behind Bars
Discussion 7

Review the article, “Thinking Critically About Corrections: Prison Rape,” located in Chapter 9 of the textbook, Corrections in the 21st Century. Do you believe there is merit to Dr. Gilligan’s claims? If so, how would you propose addressing this issue? If not, why not?

Quiz 6

This quiz covers chapters 9 and 10.

  • Text: Chapter 11: The Legal World: Prisoner's Rights
  • Text: Chapter 12:  Special Prison Populations
Discussion 8

The principle of "least eligibility” suggests that prison conditions, including the delivery of healthcare, must be a step below those of the working class and people on welfare.  In reference to this principle, discuss the following:

  1. Should inmates be provided with free medical care that is not available to law-abiding citizens because of cost?  Why or why not? 
  2. Would you support a ballot proposal to formalize the principle of “least eligibility” as law in your state?  Why or why not?
Research Paper

Your Research Paper of a minimum of 8 pages is due. Additional information is located in the course.

Final Exam
The Final Exam covers chapters 7 through 12 of your text.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a cumulative process that begins with the first college learning opportunity. Students are responsible for knowing the Academic Integrity policy and procedures and may not use ignorance of either as an excuse for academic misconduct. Columbia College recognizes that the vast majority of students at Columbia College maintain high ethical academic standards; however, failure to abide by the prohibitions listed herein is considered academic misconduct and may result in disciplinary action, a failing grade on the assignment, and/or a grade of "F" for the course.

Additionally, all required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Columbia College is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body. If you anticipate or experience any barriers to learning, communicate your concerns with the instructor. In addition to speaking with the instructor, the following resources are available to ensure an opportunity to learn in an inclusive environment that values mutual respect.

  • For students with disabilities/conditions who are experiencing barriers to learning or assessment, contact the Student Accessibility Resources office at (573) 875-7626 or sar@ccis.edu to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in the course, including accommodations.
  • For students who are experiencing conflict which is impacting their educational environment, contact the Office of Student Conduct at studentconduct@ccis.edu or (573) 875-7877.
  • For students who have concerns related to discrimination or harassment based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy or parental status, please contact the Title IX Office at titleixcoordinator@ccis.edu. More information can be found at http://www.ccis.edu/policies/notice-of-non-discrimination-and-equal-opportunity.aspx

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted. 

A quiz or exam may be made up only if a verifiable emergency prevents you from completing it and the instructor has granted permission.

There will be an automatic deduction of one grade for a late essay or research paper.  An essay or research paper will not be accepted more than three days following the assignment deadline unless the instructor grants permission in advance.

No late work of any kind will be accepted once the class ends on Saturday of Week 8 at 11:59 pm CT.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Technology Solutions Center, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. If you have technical problems with the VitalSource eText reader, please contact VitalSource. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.