Tales of Justice

White House proposed budget highlights Criminal Justice fields

  • Alvernia Criminal Justice

How the federal government allocates budget resources and sets policy priorities can have a big impact on jobs and career tracks for Criminal Justice students.

A look at the Office of the President draft of a proposed 2016 National Budget offers a glimpse of that spending and priorities, including Criminal Justice reform. “The president is committed to ensuring the criminal justice system is safe, fair, and trustworthy for all Americans,” according to the budget.

As Alvernia Bachelor’s of Criminal Justice students study the National Budget, they might connect particular Alvernia courses that align with President Obama’s agenda.

The Criminal Justice system section (on page 44) of the Budget focuses on three areas specifically:

The first section highlights Attorney General’s Smart on Crime, an initiative first announced in 2013 that focuses attention on improving public safety and the fair enforcement of Federal laws.

This section also highlights a new position, titled the Prevention and Reentry Coordinator, who would be assigned to each U.S. Attorney’s office.

Alvernia course to consider:

  • CJ 221 Research Methods I for Criminal Justice introduces students to fundamental issues associated with the application of scientific methods to criminal justice problems. Students survey various types of research methods, ethical considerations, and data analysis techniques.

The Budget proposes $97 million for a Community Policing Initiative designed to “build and sustain trust between law enforcement and the people they serve.” This money, the Budget says, will be used to “expand training and oversight for local law enforcement, increase the use of body-worn cameras, provide additional opportunities for police department reform” and more.

Alvernia course to consider:

  • CJ 235 Community Policing emphasizes “community policing as a continuing departmental philosophy in which the police and the community form a partnership to identify and solve crime problems.”

Last, the Budget proposes funding to focus on combating recidivism.

“Statistics indicate that more than two-thirds of state prisoners are re-arrested within three years of their release and half are re-incarcerated,” the Budget says, “High rates of recidivism mean more crime, more victims and more pressure on an already overburdened criminal justice system.”

Alvernia courses to consider:

  • CJ 272 Probation and Parole, which includes discussion of probation and parole philosophy, programs and practices, theories, case law history, system components, supervision, presentence investigations, specialized programs, innovative sentencing, training issues, and probation and parole standards.
  • CJ 274 Corrections and Rehabilitation, which looks into the correctional field covering incarceration, institutions, probation and parole, modern correctional counseling, case method, and techniques of supervision.

While the U.S. Federal budget will be edited, changed and debated (likely quite heatedly) over the course of the next several months leading up to October, it is no question that criminal justice changes, reforms and new measures will be a high-priority item for both Congress and the Office of the President.

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