Criminal Sentencing and Sentencing Advocacy (Graduate Certificate)

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Social workers, criminal justice professionals and recent graduates of psychology and other social and behavioral sciences perform a number of roles in the disposition and sentencing of public offenders. They also provide support for victims of crime during the criminal justice process.

The certificate program in criminal sentencing and sentencing advocacy assumes that in order for any professional to function effectively they must have a fundamental knowledge of the respective roles sentencing professionals play during various phases of the criminal justice process.

In keeping with this viewpoint, all students are required to take courses for practice as both a presentence investigator and a sentencing advocate. Those courses are seminars in courts and sentencing, in presentence investigations, and in alternatives to penal sanctions. After taking these required courses, they select an area of specialization that will further their expertise as either a probation professional, mitigation specialist or victim advocate. They take these courses from a range of electives available in the schools of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Social Work.

This interprofessional certificate program also provides participants with content on the relationship between mental disorder and crime and the way in which differential sentencing frameworks affect the sentencing of offenders suffering from mental disorders. This course is highly recommended for social workers desiring to practice as mitigation specialists and in criminal justice professions responsible for making recommendations about the appropriateness of sentencing alternatives.

Program Offered

Criminal Sentencing and Sentencing Advocacy (Graduate Certificate)

Offered by
Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions


Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Program Requirements

Required Core (9 credit hours)
CRJ 513 Seminar in Courts and Sentencing (3)
SWG 528 Presentence Investigations (3)
SWG 529 Alternatives Penal Sanctions (3)

Electives (6 credit hours)

Additional Curriculum Information
For electives, students should see the academic unit for the approved course list.