The Marginalization of Critical Perspectives in Public Criminal Justice Core Curricula

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Western Criminology Review, Volume 13, Issue 3, p.21-33 (2012)



Accession Number:




liberal education


Although critical perspective courses in criminal justice programs have grown considerably since the 1960s, the failure of contemporary public criminal justice programs to require critical perspectives in their undergraduate core curricula threatens to leave students without a framework for discussion of these issues within the greater context of their degree programs. Students must thus look to the other social sciences to further their knowledge in these areas, thereby perpetuating the neglect of criminal justice departments to present these views. Within most academic criminal justice programs, preference is given to the administrative facets of the criminal justice system and the theories and methods of social scientific research; for this reason, even general discussions of critical topics are limited. Furthermore, because many elective courses also focus on various aspects of the administration of justice, critical perspectives are conspicuously absent overall. This paper reveals the extent to which core, cognate, and other required critical perspective courses are marginalized within public criminal justice programs, and how, on average, private institutions require more of these courses. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]Copyright of Western Criminology Review is the property of Western Criminology Review and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)


Frederick, Brian Jay 1; Email Address:; Affiliations: 1 : University of Kent at Canterbury; Source Info: 2012, Vol. 13 Issue 3, p21; Subject Term: CRIMINAL law; Subject Term: REQUIRED courses (Education); Subject Term: GENERAL education; Subject Term: SOCIAL sciences; Subject Term: CRIMINAL justice administration; Author-Supplied Keyword: criminal justice pedagogy; Author-Supplied Keyword: critical perspectives; Author-Supplied Keyword: general education; Author-Supplied Keyword: liberal education; Number of Pages: 13p; Illustrations: 3 Charts; Document Type: Article