Indiana University Northwest

SPEA J331-Syllabus


Indiana University Northwest





FALL 2013


Instructor Name: Dr. Monica Solinas-Saunders
Phone: 219.980.6661


See the **Course Guide/Schedule**for
session themes, readings, resources, and all assignment due dates.

Course Description
This course is a survey of contemporary systems including the analysis or federal, state, and local corrections; adult and juvenile facilities and programs; probation, parole, and other intermediate sanctions. Issues related to race, ethnicity, and gender will be explored. An overview of career opportunities in corrections will be also provided. As this course will be completed entirely online, students are expect to also demonstrate an ability to work in a cyber-learning environment in which they will interact regularly with the instructor and the other students enrolled in the course. Students are also expected to demonstrate the ability to work in groups as instructed during the semester. 

Course Goals and Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, a student should be able to:

  1. Articulate the different philosophies of punishment and how each influences current trends in corrections;
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of challenges faced in corrections when working with different populations of offenders;
  3. Contrast and compare the similarities and differences in how the justice system approaches juvenile and adult offenders;
  4. Demonstrate a command of the terminology used in corrections;
  5. Explain how theories are applied in research on inmates, prisons, and reentry issues through the analysis of case studies, interactions with agents of the Criminal Justice System, offenders, and ex-offenders.

Course Materials 

Required Text
1. Richard Seiter (2011) “Corrections: An Introduction” 3/E, Pearson, Prentice Hall. ISBN-13: 9780 135060827.

2. Barbara Peat (2010) “Case Studies in Corrections: Examples, Exercises, Discussion Points, and Practitioner Interviews”, Carolina Academic Press, 2011. ISBN-13: 9781 594609230.


*Additional Course Readings will be assigned to complement the assigned texts and to facilitate course objectives.

Grading Information 

Grades will be determined as shown in the following assignment chart.  Detailed descriptions of assignments are available below and from the assignment links in the chart. Due dates are detailed in the Course Schedule.


of Grade

Individual class participation


Midterm examination


Homework Problems




Final examination






Class Policies Regarding Graded Work 

**The following policies are in effect for all individual deliverables throughout the semester, unless noted otherwise. **

***Late Work***


Late work will not be routinely allowed. You must have a documented excuse (death in the family, medical emergency, or immediate family emergency) to miss a test or an assignment.

***Original Work***

All the work submitted for this course must be YOUR OWN. This means that you are not allowed to plagiarize others’ work. Plagiarism is the most common academic misconduct violation, and some students, who have been disciplined for plagiarism, have said they were not aware that they had plagiarized their work. Be aware that ‘not knowing’ does not excuse academic misconduct – every student is responsible for knowing the rules. If you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism, please make sure to ask me. The penalties for academic misconduct include - but are not limited to - lowering a grade on an assignment, lowering a course grade, or failing a student for a course. The IU Northwest “Code of Students’ Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct” defines six areas of academic misconduct: cheating, fabrication, facilitation, interference, plagiarism, and violation of course rules. See the “Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct” for a more detailed description of these prohibited activities and actions  


SPEA has very strict policies on ‘Incompletes’. Incompletes can be issued only to those students who have completed at least 80% of the coursework with a passing grade (not less than D) who are compelled by extenuating circumstances to abandon the course prior to the end of the semester.

NOTE: The instructor will keep students apprised of assignment grades via the online class Grade book. Students are responsible for contacting the instructor if they do not receive any grade by 10 days after the assignment submission date.




Course Requirements

There will be:

10 online forum: 10 points                 = 100 points                                        10%                

1 Midterm                                           = 300 points                                        30%

10 homework: 20 points each            = 200 points                                        20%

10 quizzes: 10 points each                  = 100 points                                        10%

Final examination                               = 300 points                                        30%

Total for course -------------------------------------------------                                --------

                                                            1,000 points                                        100%

**All due dates are noted in the Course Guide/Schedule**


IU Academic Policies

This course is governed by IU academic policies in the following areas:

  • Grading Guidelines
  • Writing Standards
  • Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
  • Course Evaluations
  • Students With Disabilities


A (90-100) = Excellent
B (80-89) = Good
C (70-79) = Average

D (69-60) = Below Average
F (69 or below) = Failure
FN = Failure for nonattendance
I = Incomplete
W = Withdrew



Show respect for your fellow students, the instructor, and all the Criminal Justice agents (including offenders and ex-offenders) with whom you will interact during the course of the semester.  Because of the nature of the topics discussed in class, some students enrolled in Corrections courses occasionally demonstrate intolerance and hostility against those who do not share the same perspective(s). Remember that as a social scientist you will be asked to assess the pros and cons of any existing perspective in the Criminal Justice System and outside the Criminal Justice System throughout your career; therefore, it is necessary that you demonstrate your ability to accept all the perspectives discussed in class (both in the cyber online environment through the forums and in the traditional classroom) to pass the course. Given the diversity that we all bring, we may not always agree, but we must treat each other with respect.


Additional Information 


The home page of Oncourse has links, video tutorials and several tips and updates to help you navigate the website. IU has prepared a reference page containing links to information about a variety of resources to help you function successfully in your online Oncourse class.

Right to Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities

Indiana University is committed to creating a learning environment and academic community that promotes educational opportunities for all individuals, including those with disabilities. Course directors are asked to make reasonable accommodations, upon request by the student or the university, for such disabilities. It is the responsibility of students with documented physical or learning disabilities seeking accommodation to notify their course directors and the relevant campus office that deals with such cases in a timely manner concerning the need for such accommodation. Indiana University will make reasonable accommodations for access to programs, services, and facilities as outlined by applicable state and federal laws.

Campus support office:

Student Support Services, HH 239, (219) 980-6798
Student Support Services




Topic for J331





Introduction & History of Corrections in America

Chapters 1&2 of Mays & Winfree


Forum: Introductions


Sentencing and Criminal Sanctions

Chapter 3 of Mays & Winfree

Forum Discussion 1

Quiz 1

Homework 1


Probation and Community Corrections

Chapter 4 of Mays & Winfree  AND chapter 3 & 6 (pp TBA) of Peat

Forum discussion 2

Quiz 2

Homework 2


Jails and Detention Facilities

Chapter 5 of Mays & Winfree

Forum Discussion 3

Quiz 3

Homework 3


Institutional Corrections

Chapter 6 of Mays & Winfree AND chapter 2 of Peat

Forum Discussion 4

Quiz 4

Homework 4


Jail and Prison Inmates

Chapter 7 of Mays & Winfree

Forum discussion 5

Quiz 5

Homework 5


Gender Issues in Corrections

Chapter 12 of Mays & Winfree

Forum discussion 6

Quiz 6

Homework 6


Exam review & MIDTERM EXAM


Race, Ethnicity, and Corrections

Chapter 13 of Mays & Winfree

Forum discussion 7

Quiz 7

Homework 7


Parole & Prisoner Reentry

Chapter 8 of Mays & Winfree AND Chapter 6 of Peat (pp. TBA)

Forum discussion 8

Quiz 8


Corrections Law and Inmate Litigations

Chapter 11 of Mays & Winfree

Homework 8


Careers in Corrections

Chapter 9 of Mays & Winfree

Forum discussion 9


The Administration of Corrections

Chapter 10 of Mays & Winfree AND Chapter 5 of Peat

Quiz 9

Homework 9




The Juvenile Justice System (Guest Speaker)

Chapter 4 of Peat and Power Point Presentation.

Forum discussion 10

Quiz 10

Homework 10


Tour to Correctional Facilities



FINAL EXAM (in class)

****The instructor reserves the right to modify this course schedule as needed throughout the semester