College adds justice admin degree

By Jessica Cejnar / The Del Norte Triplicate

Students attending College of the Redwoods for the fall semester will be able to pursue an administration of justice degree in Del Norte.

Counselors and instructors at the Del Norte Education Center hope to keep local students interested in a law enforcement career or a similar field from moving out of the area to obtain their degrees.

Del Norte students have been able to pursue an administration of justice degree with an emphasis on corrections, academic advisor Rory Johnson said. But up until now the standard administration of justice degree has only been offered at CR's main campus in Eureka.

"They have different courses," Johnson said, comparing the two programs. "Since I've been here, we have not had all the courses available to complete the standard AS degree in administration of justice."

Starting in the fall 2014 semester, students can take classes focusing on gangs and the inmate subculture, introduction to law enforcement and an introduction to evidence, according to a CR press release.

In the spring, administration of justice students can take classes on corrections, crime and delinquency, introduction to investigations and the control and supervision of inmates.

Two classes will be offered online. The rest will be taught at the Del Norte campus, according to the press release.Johnson said he and Ron Waters, director of the CR Emergency Response Training Center in Eureka, have been discussing bringing a standard administration of justice program to Del Norte County. They started working on the program in earnest about six months ago.

"Having one or both degrees could expand one's professional opportunities in the Administration of Justice field," Waters said in a written statement.

In addition to the courses offered through the program, students pursuing the standard administration of justice degree will have to take 13 additional units of electives, Johnson said. This can include courses in sociology, Spanish or physical education, he said.

Since Pelican Bay State Prison is nearby, CR's Del Norte campus has been able to use local talent for its Administration of Justice-Corrections program. The campus will again look to the community to provide course instructors, Johnson said.

"Chief Plack will be teaching intro to law enforcement," Johnson said, referring to Crescent City Police Chief Doug Plack.

Plack, who retires from the police force July 31, said he's taught at CR's police academy for the past 14 years. He has also taught college level courses in criminal investigations in Denver. Plack said 12 people have already signed up for his class as of

Wednesday.

"There's a lot of interest of individuals that want to go into law enforcement and advance in their educational career, but it's rather limited because of the remoteness of the area," he said. "The corrections side is up here because the prison's here."

Plack said someone with an administration of justice degree could become an officer with the Crescent City Police Department, the Del Norte County Sheriffs Office or the California Highway Patrol. They could also work with the national and state park systems, he said.

"It opens opportunity for advancement for these individuals (who) are interested in enhancing their college degree goals," he said.

Fall 2014 classes begin Aug. 23. For more information about the administration of justice program, visitwww.redwoods.edu.

Reach Jessica Cejnar at jcejnar@triplicate.com .

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