Academic Politics and the History of Criminal Justice Education

Academic Politics and the History of Criminal Justice Education

Academic Politics and the History of Criminal Justice Education

Academic Politics and the History of Criminal Justice Education

Synopsis

The rise of academic criminal justice programs from their beginnings at the University of California in the 1930s through the split into academic and vocational models during the later decades are described in this work. Academic politics and politicians are emphasized. The academic infighting in developing programs, and input from various other disciplines to the field are described. The work is addressed to professors of criminal justice, criminology, sociology, political science, and education.

Excerpt

Academic criminal justice--the studying and teaching of crime, police, law and legal processes, and corrections--is of recent origin in higher education. Beginning in the 1920s and 1930s, and accelerating in the 1970s, it has become a significant academic mainstay in second- and third-rank colleges and universities.

Considerable semantic confusion surrounding criminal justice needs clarifying. Particularly in the popular mind the phrase frequently means law and legal processes; this historic interpretation is still used in many European countries today, but it is too narrow and does not take into account the academic politicians at the center of this study. in addition, as this story will show, criminologists have long tried to lay claim to the field. Many of the early people in criminal justice called themselves criminologists. the distinction between criminal justice and criminology must be kept clear. the former, indeed, does include criminology but exands to encompass the study of the agencies that combat crime. Although the phrase criminology is used a lot in this history, this work is not about classic criminology, or the sociologically based study of crime and its treatment. This is the history of an academic field that began as law enforcement or police science and developed to encompass issues and agencies addressing crime.

On one hand, the events and circumstances that brought it into existence and propelled it to its present place are unique and revealing. On the other, it has merely revived a plot whose script was written long . . .

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