Effective: Early Spring 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



  • Allen, Harry E. (2013). Corrections in America: an Introduction (2nd Custom Edition for Columbia College). Pearson.  
    • [ISBN-978-1-256-87612-0]
    • Note: To order the standard version of this text (Prentice Hall, 13th ed., 2012), use ISBN: 978-0-13-272677-1.

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.

  Course Overview

Welcome to Corrections and Penology (CJAD 350)! Material in this course is presented from a legal, criminological, historical and social systems perspective so that the student will develop an understanding of the derivation and mechanical operation of each phase of the corrections process, correctional staff and inmate personnel involved, and the justice process from sentencing to release from the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections. The student should, upon course completion, be able to explain how our current system of corrections evolved, how it presently operates, current problems and concerns as well as how it might be improved. Each week we'll focus on a different aspect of corrections with virtual tours, class discussion, and other activities that will help us understand the issues, and problems encountered in corrections.

Each week we will focus on different situations, issues, court cases, and problems encountered in policing. Through our online Discussion Assignments, Quizzes, and Dropbox Assignments, we will examine policing issues, procedures and court decisions that have impacted police. These are reinforced and expanded in our readings in our text.

  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 405-450 90-100%
B 360-404 80-89%
C 315-359 70-79%
D 270-314 60-69%
F 0-269 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions (8) 120 27%
Quizzes (6) 120 27%
Dropbox Assignments (2) 40 9%
Midterm Exam 60 13%
Research Paper 50 11%
Final Exam 60 13%
Total 450 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Discussion Assignments 1a & 1b 15 Wednesday
Quiz 1 20 Sunday
Podcast/Article Review -

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 15 Wednesday
Quiz 2 20 Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 1 20

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 15 Wednesday
Quiz 3 20 Sunday
Podcast -

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 15 Wednesday
Podcast/Article Review - Sunday
Midterm Exam 60

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 15 Wednesday
Video/Article Review - Sunday
Quiz 4 20
Dropbox Assignment 2 20

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 15 Wednesday
Video/Article Review - Sunday
Quiz 5 20

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 15 Wednesday
Video - Sunday
Quiz 6 20
Dropbox: Research Paper 50

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 15 Wednesday
Final Exam 60 Saturday
Total Points: 450

  Assignment Overview

Reading Assignments

Complete your weekly reading assignments before engaging in Discussion, Dropbox assignments, or quizzes. The textbook takes the place of classroom lecture. To receive a good grade, I must see evidence that you have read and understand the material. A brief summary of a topic tells me very little and is a strong indicator that the material was skimmed and not read in detail. The more detail, the higher the grade.

Research References

Research references may come from the World Wide Web, library, other textbooks, individuals currently employed or retired from the criminal justice system, and other valid resources. All research references must be listed with each assignment and presented in APA format. Research references must identify the specific web site from which information was obtained. Listing a generic web site is not acceptable such as google.com, Wikipedia.com, etc. Five points are deducted when research references are not appropriately listed. Research is required for every Discussion and Dropbox assignment after the first week of class, and a minimum of two references are required for each.


Each week you will be assigned a topic to discuss in the Discussions area. Discussion topics may or may not be rooted in the textbook. Discussions are worth 15 points. You are expected to thoroughly research the assigned topic before posting your Discussion comments, and you must include your references with your posting. You are also expected to respond to at least two other students’ postings for each topic. Your posts should be submitted in paragraph form (rules of grammar and writing do apply) by midnight Central Standard Time Wednesday of each week. Posts after midnight are not permitted, but you can and should still read postings up through midnight Sunday.

Read what others have posted. You must read comments made by others in the class to get full credit for that discussion. While you will be restricted from posting comments to the discussion after each midnight Wednesday deadline, you can (and must) read the “vast majority” of what others have posted. Discussion posts will be available to read all week long until Sunday each week. This is part of the learning process.

Weekly Media Assignments

Each week there will be a media assignment consisting of a video, podcast or other media. The students are expected to review this media and integrate and synthesize its content into the week’s chapter assignment.


A quiz consists of 20 questions and are worth a total of 20 points. The questions are multiple-choice and cover the assigned chapter each week. There is a 20-minute time limit and once the quiz is started, it cannot be stopped. Should the quiz be exited, the quiz cannot be retaken and points will be lost for each unanswered question. Because of this, students are encouraged to click “save” after responding to each question. Quizzes must be taken within the week the quiz is assigned. Quizzes close on Sunday and will be unavailable thereafter. If it is not taken by the deadline it cannot be made up. Quizzes cannot extend beyond the 20-minute time limit.

Midterm and Final Exams

There will be both a midterm and final exam. The Midterm Exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and will be available during Week 4 (worth 60 points). The Midterm Exam covers Chapters 1-8. The Final Exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and will be available during Week 8 (also worth 60 points). The Final Exam covers Chapters 9-16 and must be taken during Week 8. Students have 60 minutes to successfully complete the Midterm and Final Exams.

Dropbox Assignments

On two occasions during the session, you will be expected to complete a two-page (minimum), double-spaced essay on an assigned research topic. Dropbox assignments are worth 20 points each. At least two research references must be included and they should be in APA format. Research sources must also be properly cited in the body of your essay and the citations must match the listed references and vice versa. For information of APA formatting see the College Writing Center: http://web.ccis.edu/Offices/AcademicResources/WritingCenter/EssayWritingAssistance/APADocumentation.aspx

The two Dropbox assignments must be posted to the appropriate weekly Dropbox by midnight Sunday. Late submissions are not accepted so plan ahead. Be sure to submit a title page, reference page and a minimum of full two pages of meaningful discussion. Papers must be prepared in MS Word. Meeting the two-page minimum is insufficient if the topic is not properly addressed. These papers are not thought papers so do not write in first person. Dropbox assignments not properly submitted (uploaded) will not be accepted nor will papers that are recycled (even though you wrote them for a different class).

Students are required to answer assignments in paragraph form. A paragraph is a distinct division of written matter, a single idea, containing one or more sentences with the first line indented. Three points are deducted when paragraph form is not used.

Use your knowledge gained from assigned reading to create very specific, detailed responses.  Examples: It is insufficient to only list names of different types of search warrants without explaining requirements for each search warrant. Another example would be listing names of different strategies used to combat illegal drugs without explaining each strategy.

Some may say that I expect you to “regurgitate” what is in the textbook but this not the case. Rather, information in the textbook is the basis for the course and the material you will need to know upon completion of this course.

Research Paper

During Week 7, you will submit a research paper. It is worth 50 points and must be prepared in MS Word, double-spaced and properly cited and referenced in APA format. The paper must include a title page, reference page and a minimum of 8 pages of meaningful discussion. Students are not to write in first person. The paper must include a minimum of 5 references (with citations) and two of those must be from peer-reviewed academic journals.


All writing assignments must be prepared in MS Word and be properly submitted through the Dropbox utility. No emailed papers will be accepted. Furthermore, “Turnitin” will evaluate all papers for originality. Should the instructor deem the “Originality Index” too high, the paper may not be accepted. Therefore, students must turn in original work and any material taken from outside sources must be properly cited.

Also note, any papers for which there is evidence that they have been “recycled” will not be accepted. Recycled means previously written for and submitted in this class or any other class by the student or anyone else.

  Course Outline

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

  • Chapters 1 & 2

  • Website/Article:Go to the American Correctional Association website and download/read the article titled, “Security and Technology: The Past 30 Years.” The article can be located at the following URL: http://www.aca.org/publications/ctarchives2.asp#Dec06

Class Activity

During this first week, become familiar with how D2L (Desire2Learn) works, make yourself a copy of the syllabus, review assignments and assignment schedules. This is not a graded assignment.

Discussion Assignments 1a & 1b

Please post your original answers and responses to two of your classmates’ original answers by midnight Wednesday; read all postings by midnight Sunday.

Discussion 1a: Introduce yourself in the "Introductions" topic found in the Discussions area, our "virtual classroom." Please give us more than your name. Include your profession, hobbies, interest in criminal justice, and any other information that can help us get to know you. Read the posted Welcome Letter and notify me via this topic.

Discussion1b: Discuss why it is important to study corrections. Define the word corrections. Include information from your text, the article, and the podcast assignments.

Key Terms

Lex talionis, Corporal Punishment, Bride Well, Hedonistic Calculus, Transportation, Hulks, Walnut Street Jail, Cesare Baccaria, Classical School, Pennsylvania System, indeterminate sentence, lock psychosis, cell block.

Quiz 1

The quiz consists of 20 questions over Chapters 1 & 2. This assignment is due by midnight Sunday.

Podcast/Article Review

Listen to the podcast, “Budget Virginia Senator Pushes for Prison Reform.” In this podcast Sen. Jim Webb discusses legislation calling for the establishment of a blue-ribbon commission to retool the nation's prison system. The Virginia Democrat talks about the bill and why he feels the criminal justice system has to change.

URL: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102486450


The Research Paper is due Sunday of Week 7, but is highly recommended that you start working on it now. See the Research Paper assignment above in the Assignment Overview, and see the Research Paper Guidelines topic in this week’s module in the course Content area.

  • Chapters 3 & 4

Key Terms

Pennsylvania System, Auburn System, Eastern Penitentiary, Inside Cells, Congregate System, Lockstep formation, Indeterminate Sentence, Irish System, Ticket-of-leave, Zebulon Brockway, Industrial Prison, Correctional ideology, plea bargaining, determinate sentencing, presentence report.

Discussion 2

Explain the advantages and disadvantages of the indeterminate sentence. Please post your original answers and responses to two of your classmates’ original answers by midnight Wednesday; read all postings by midnight Sunday. Include information from your text and the website.


Go to the ACA website and explore the many way corrections has become professionalized.

URL: http://www.aca.org/

Quiz 2

The quiz consists of 20 questions over Chapters 3 & 4. This assignment is due by midnight Sunday.

Dropbox Assignment 1

What factors have led to the rapid changes in sentencing structures in the United States? This assignment is due by midnight Sunday.

  • Chapters 5 & 6

Key Terms

Presentence investigation, suspended sentence, probation revocation, house arrest, indeterminate sanctions, restitution, shock probation.

Discussion 3

For this week's discussion consider Diversion and Intermediate Sanctions. Specifically, the book discusses drug courts and other "specialty" courts. Do specialty courts work and can you identify any specialty courts in your home town? What are they and how do they work? Post all responses by midnight Wednesday.

Quiz 3

The quiz consists of 20 questions over Chapters 5 & 6. This assignment is due by midnight Sunday.


Listen to the podcast, “Budget Crunch Forces a New Approach to Prisons.” This podcast considers budget problems that are forcing states and the federal government to rethink their approach to prisons. More than 2 million people are incarcerated in the United States, and the cost is getting unbearable.

URL: http://www.npr.org/2011/02/15/133760412/budget-crunch-forces-a-new-approach-to-prisons

  • Chapters 7 & 8

  • Website/Article:Go to the American Correctional Association website and download/read the article titled, "Changing times in Community Corrections.” The article can be located at the following URL: http://www.aca.org/publications/ctarchives.asp#oct04

Key Terms

Prisonization, custody, total institution, lockdowns, strip search, classification, vocational training, reintegration model.

Discussion 4

For this week's discussion consider that the vast majority of inmates now serving time in prisons will be released from custody at some point. That said, what can the corrections component of the criminal justice system do to prepare these inmates for reintegration? Post all responses by midnight Wednesday.

Podcast/Article Review

Listen to the podcast, “A Prison Guard Tells His Side of the Story, Over Whiskey.” This podcast brings you to the real world of corrections and showcases a correctional officer who discusses working with some of America's most dangerous criminals. Their conversation spans from drinks at a bar to dinner with the officer's family.

URL: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/03/10/134433670/a-prison-guard-tells-his-side-of-the-story-over-whiskey

Midterm Exam

The Midterm Exam consists of 60 multiple choice questions over Chapters 1-8. You have 60 minutes to complete the exam. This exam must be completed by midnight Sunday.

  • Chapters 9 & 10

  • Website/Article: Go to the American Correctional Association’s website and download and read the article titled, “Using Technology to Monitor Offenders: A Community Corrections Perspective.” The article can be found at the following URL: https://www.aca.org/publications/ctarchives1.asp#Feb09

Key Terms

Jail, fee system, pre-trial alternatives, mental health issues, work camps, Supermax prison, security threat groups, initial classification.

Discussion 5

This sounds a little simplistic but for this week's discussion discuss three major problems jail inmates bring to the institution—in order of importance. How should the first one on your list be best controlled?

Video/Article Review

Watch this PBS special on private prisons. This documentary discusses the moral, ethical and practical concerns of housing criminals in a private institution opposed to state and federal prisons. The documentary focuses on the differences between inmate safety in public versus private facilities.

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWqs_igPIBI

Quiz 4

The quiz consists of 20 questions over Chapters 9 & 10. This assignment is due by midnight Sunday.

Dropbox Assignment 2

Read your assigned chapter. By synthesizing information from your assigned chapter and the assigned article, discuss modern correctional alternatives.

  • Chapters 11 & 12

  • Website/Article: Go to the American Correctional Association’s website and download and read the article titled, “A New Era in Inmate Re-entry.” The article can be found at the following URL: https://www.aca.org/publications/ctarchives1.asp#Feb09

Key Terms

Justice Department, Federal Bureau of Prisons, medium security level, high security level, privatization, electronic monitoring, growth industry.

Discussion 6

There has been much talk in the corrections community during the past 10-15 years about private prisons and how they may be cheaper and more effective to run. But there are questions about the welfare of inmates, possible abuses of inmates and training for correctional officers. For this week's discussion, discuss the pros and cons of private prisons.

Video/Article Review

Watch the video featuring Massachusetts Correctional Commissioner Harold Clarke speak about the role of inmate reentry. Commissioner Clarke addresses some of the most difficult issues associated with the prisoner reentry initiative.

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_gP39XP7Jc

Quiz 5

The quiz consists of 20 questions over Chapters 11 & 12. This assignment is due by midnight Sunday.

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.
  •     Chapters 13 & 14 
Key Terms

Good time, mandatory release, parson, reprieve, parole, technical violation, furlough, reintegration, halfway house, execution, capital punishment, deterrent, just deserts.

Discussion 7

The death penalty has posed heated debates for generations. What is the goal of the death penalty and is it being achieved? Also discuss whether the death penalty should be abolished or not. Post by midnight Wednesday. Include information from your text, and the video located in the Resources topic of this week's Content area module.


Watch the 30 minute video titled: Life in Prison. This documentary examines three California prisons and their aging inmate population who are serving life in prison. Consider how practical it is to continue to incarcerate these aging offenders and whether justice is best serviced by the enormous cost to taxpayers.

URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alcK_QBE7h8

Quiz 6

The quiz consists of 20 questions over Chapters 13 & 14. This assignment is due by midnight Sunday.

Dropbox: Research Paper


Key Terms

Convicted offender, ex-con, jailhouse lawyer, Megan’s Law, expungement, population at risk, functionally illiterate.

Discussion 8

Discuss the factors that impact “Prisonization.” This assignment is due by midnight, Wednesday. Include information from your text, and the assigned article.

Final Exam

The Final Exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions over Chapters 9-16. You have 60 minutes to complete the exam. This exam must be completed by midnight SATURDAY.

  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.


Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

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

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

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. You cannot post Discussions after the midnight Wednesday deadline. You can and should continue to read them, however.

Quizzes and Dropbox assignments must be submitted by the Sunday midnight deadline. You can (and are encouraged to) submit them any time during the week, but they will not be accepted after the deadline.

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 Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. 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.