Promoting the Study of Wrongful Convictions in Criminal Justice Curricula
Journal of Criminal Justice Education (2014) 25:2, 236-251, doi: 10.1080/10511253.2014.885070.
26 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2017 Last revised: 21 Feb 2018
Date Written: February 26, 2014
Criminal justice education promotes interdisciplinary learning, critical thinking skills, and ethical decision making. A course on wrongful convictions falls squarely within that paradigm, as it draws upon criminology, criminal justice, law, psychology, and forensic science to examine basic assumptions about the criminal justice system and the actors within it. In a wrongful convictions course, students learn to think critically about the criminal justice system, and what happens when it fails to function as it should. Students identify practice and policy reforms that improve the accuracy and reliability of the system. This article first considers the broad objectives of criminal justice education. It next situates the subject of wrongful convictions squarely within criminal justice education curricula. Finally, this article provides a comprehensive overview of an effective undergraduate course in wrongful convictions. It sets out clear goals, learning units, and potential resources for members of the academy who might be interested in developing such a course.
Keywords: wrongful convictions, criminal justice education
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