As long as human beings inhabit the earth, society will face the daunting challenge of dealing with criminal behavior by a disruptive subset of people. As a result, there will always be a strong, important need to fully understand and address this behavior in a fair, consistent manner.
Our criminal justice major covers all facets of criminal behavior, from the psychological and sociological aspects of crime, to law enforcement, criminal investigations and corrections.
“Our criminal justice major provides students with a complete overview of the criminal justice system and all the major elements of it,” says Katie Culotta, assistant professor of criminal justice. “It provides students with a theoretical understanding of criminal behavior, as well as the consequences of criminal behavior.”
A strong foundation
As a criminal justice major at Lakeland, you will be challenged with a large variety of courses. The major delves into basic understanding of our criminal justice system, scientific inquiry into the treatment and prevention of criminal behavior and the ethical behavior of those who work within the discipline.
“When criminal justice majors leave Lakeland College, they have a very strong foundation, in addition to the specialty courses that lend themselves to the students’ chosen area of interest,” Culotta says.
Criminal Justice Major (50 semester hours)
- One of the Following:
- PSY 200 General Psychology
- SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology
- CRJ 140 Introduction to Criminal Justice
- CRJ 242 Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice
- CRJ 332 Criminological Theory
- CRJ 344 Policing in America
- CRJ 345 Criminal Law
- CRJ 348 Corrections in America
- CRJ 370 Ethics and Justice
- CRJ 400 Internship in Criminal Justice (4 semester hours or 200 field experience hours)
- CRJ 492 Contemporary Issues in Crime and Justice: Senior Seminar (Writing Intensive)
- CRJS 232 Introduction to Criminology
- MAT 220 Probability and Statistics
- SOCP 220 Social Psychology
- SOCP 335 Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences (4 semester hours)
- Two of the Following
- CRJ 347 Criminal Investigations
- CRJ 355 Offender Assessment and Rehabilitation
- CRJ 450 Race, Ethnicity, and Crime
- CRJ 451 Effective Policing Practices
- CRJ 452 Effective Correctional Practices
- CRJ 480 Special Topics in Criminal Justice
- CRJS 341 Sociology of Law
Listed below are just some of the careers Lakeland College criminal justice students from recent graduating classes have landed:
- Police officer, Freeport Police Department
- Correctional officer, Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department
- Police officer, Minocqua Police Department
- Dispatcher, Calumet County
- 911 dispatcher, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department
- Correctional officer, Milwaukee County Jail
- Crisis intervention advocate, Safe Harbor of Sheboygan County
- Communications specialist/dispatcher, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare
Listed below are some of the internships that Lakeland College students have landed during their stay at Lakeland College
- Appleton Probation/Parole - Appleton, Wis.
- Cabrini Green Legal Aid - Chicago, Ill.
- Community Tax Relief - Chicago, Ill.
- Domestic Violence Center - Manitowoc, Wis.
- Door County Sheriff’s Department - Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
- Elkhart Lake Police Department - Elkhart Lake, Wis.
- Fox Lake Police Department - Fox Lake, Ill.
- Kane County Jail - St. Charles, Ill.
- Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution - Plymouth, Wis.
- Kohler Police Department - Kohler, Wis.
- Lutheran Social Services RAYS program - Sheboygan, Wis.
- Manitowoc Police Department - Manitowoc, Wis.
- Manitowoc Sexual Assault Resource Center - Manitowoc, Wis.
- Menasha Police Department - Menasha, Wis.
- Munising Police Department - Munising, Mich.
- National Security Agency - Fort Meade, MD
- Necedah National Wildlife Refuge - Necedah, Wis.
- New Holstein Police Department - New Holstein, Wis.
- Niagra Foundation - Chicago, Il.
- Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Department - Port Washington, Wis.
- Ozaukee Probation & Parole - Port Washington, Wis.
- Portage Sheriff’s Department - Portage, Wis.
- Plymouth Police Department - Plymouth, Wis.
- Shawano Police Department - Shawano, Wis.
- Shawano Probation/Parole - Shawano, Wis.
- Sheboygan County Corrections - Sheboygan, Wis.
- Sheboygan County Interfaith Organization - Sheboygan, Wis.
- Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Department - Sheboygan, Wis.
- Sheboygan District Attorney’s Office - Sheboygan, Wis.
- Sturgeon Bay Police Department - Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
- Two Rivers Police Department - Two Rivers, Wi.
- Walworth County Sheriff’s Department - Elkhorn, Wis.
- Wisconsin Department of Corrections - Sheboygan, Wis.
Name: Amanda Knoener
Hometown: Howards Grove, Wis.
Title: Services and shelter coordinator
Business: Safe Harbor of Sheboygan County
Amanda has seen devastating pain and deep despair. But she’s also witnessed incredible courage, resiliency and strength.
“I hear it a lot: ‘Your job must be hard,’” says Amanda. “But it’s one of those jobs you get true fulfillment from, knowing you’re making a difference in people’s lives. Some days are tough. Some clients are difficult to work with or not ready to make the commitment. Some have alcohol or drug addiction; they turn to these things to mask the trauma in their lives. But others are ready. You veer them onto the right path, and they go forward toward a better life. That’s very rewarding.”
Safe Harbor is a shelter for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. The nonprofit organization provides prevention education, crisis intervention and outreach services to victims and their families. Amanda’s job is multi-faceted. She coordinates the occupancy of Safe Harbor’s eight rooms, handles case management, guides victims through court proceedings (child support, divorce, criminal charges against abusers) and helps them find apartments and prepare for job interviews, among other duties.
“I’m not here to tell victims to leave, get a divorce or anything like that,” says Amanda, a 2011 Lakeland grad who double-majored in criminal justice and psychology. “We’re here to educate and provide a safe place. Statistics show that a victim will leave an abuser seven times before leaving for good. We want them to know they can come back to us at any time.”
Amanda, who says she’s always been “more of a giver than a taker,” arrived at Lakeland not knowing what her career path would be. She took an introduction to criminal justice class, loved it and stayed on that track.
She felt comfortable at Lakeland because “the students were nice and generous and the professors knew exactly who you were. They care about you. You’re not just a student to them.”
Amanda strives to treat those who seek refuge at Safe Harbor with that same warmth.
“They come in crying, upset, totally broken,” Amanda says. “Some come in with bruises, battered. You hold their hands through it all. You don’t want to see them fall, but sometimes they do, so you help them get back up. Then you see them get excited about a job interview or finding an apartment, and it’s like when your kids take their first step. You just want to start cheering.”
Criminal Justice at Lakeland
Traditional paths into a criminal justice career often involve law enforcement or corrections. But while a Lakeland College degree certainly prepares students for those fields, criminal justice degree holders are branching out into many other types of careers.
This major provides opportunities to explore specialized areas such as offender assessment and rehabilitation, criminal investigation, evidence-based “best practices” in criminal justice, race and crime and the understanding of violent crime.
“Working with juveniles, working with social programs or non-profit organizations that help prevent crime, victim advocacy and many other options exist,” says Culotta.