The Importance of Discussing Crime Victimization in Criminal Justice Courses: An Empirical Assessment of a New Curriculum to Enhance Student learning

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Victimization and the costs of crime sometimes can be an afterthought in courses on crime and criminal justice, which often are focused on offenders. However, shifting attention to victims of crime potentially motivates students to better understand the causes and consequences of criminal victimization, thereby improving the learning of course concepts and producing better-prepared criminal justice practitioners. A new curriculum kit on understanding crime victims was implemented in two of three sections of a criminological theory course, with the third section acting as a control group having a unit on “offenders” instead of “victims.” In short, the kit did improve student knowledge of crime victimization, but so did a lecture on offenders. Interestingly, students exposed to the kit coupled with a service learning component continued to improve knowledge of crime victimization throughout the course, while the control group did not. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-52
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Law

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