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Leadership and Decision Making in Criminal Justice

(3 cr.) - Session(s): Spring, Summer | Course Every Year

This course serves as a capstone course for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice degree, providing an opportunity for the integration of information offered in the program and its relationship to emergent issues. This course focuses on the relationship between leaders and various constituencies with a focus on effective and ethical leadership practices. Theoretical concepts regarding leadership in organizations, including its origins, aspects, and consequences will be examined along with problems and alternative solutions in criminal justice management. The case study method and current readings provide a mixture of practical and educational experiences intended to foster and disseminate new ideas for management strategies, especially as this is impacted by leadership styles, human resources, and the environment. Decision making and policy formulation in organizations will be examined and this will include goal setting and the planning process, rational models of decision making, evaluation of alternatives, prediction of outcomes, cost-benefit analysis, decision trees, uncertainty and risk assessment, and procedures for evaluation of outcomes.

Students will complete a significant project incorporating the major elements of the course in a written report Students completing this course will be able to: 

  • Identify and explain different theories of management and leadership and be able to apply them to current issues and settings in criminal justice administration
  • Describe pertinent aspects of leadership in an organization including employees, communication, decision-making, conflict management, power, and employee motivation
  • Describe the complexity of human behavior and how different beliefs, values and attitudes affect organizations and their culture
  • Describe group dynamics, teamwork and other aspects of group behavior
  • Critically evaluate and describe solutions to current issues in criminal justice organizations
  • Describe methods of evaluating and improving organizational performance
  • Describe ethical principles and theories to the decision-making mechanisms of actors and stakeholders within the criminal justice system
  • Analyze ethical dilemmas that are experienced by criminal justice actors

May only be taken after completing 18 hours in course work

Contact Information
141 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8593