Problem Solving & Interventions in Criminal Justice

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
CRIM 3340
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course will explore theoretical perspectives and practical skill sets for effective communication, decision making, and problem solving within a criminal justice context. Strategies for crisis intervention and conflict de-escalation and resolution will be introduced. Practical approaches for assessing, managing and intervening in various criminal justice situations will be examined. Challenges with diverse client groups will be identified and interventions surveyed. Student will have ongoing opportunities to develop and practice skills through this highly interactive course.
Course Content
  1. Communication Theories and Approaches in Criminal Justice Settings
  2. Tactical Interpersonal Styles and Objectives
    • Professionalism and Leadership
    • Rapport and Relationship Building
    • Assessment and Problem Definition
    • Goal Setting
    • Initiating Interventions
    • Termination and Follow up
  3. Problem Solving and Decision Making Models
    • Problem Solving Process
    • Direct and Indirect Clients
    • Responses and Remedies
    • Resources
    • Assessments
    • Evaluation 
  4. Crisis De-escalation and Conflict Resolution Approaches
    • Crisis De-escalation
    • Conflict Styles and Strategies
    • Individual and Group Facilitation
  5. Working with Diverse Clients 
    • Resistance, Hostility, and Aggression
    • Intellectual and Behavioural Differences
    • Youth/Minors
    • Addictions
    • Mental Health
  6. Affective Interventions
    • Non Verbal and Verbal Affect Cues
    • Focusing Techniques
  7. Cognitive Interventions
    • Reframing
    • Restructuring
  8. Behavioural Interventions
    • Social Modelling
    • Anxiety Reduction
  9. Stress Management
  10. Team Work and Leadership
Learning Activities

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:  lectures, simulated interview assignments, written assignments, case analysis, group discussion, role plays, in-class examinations, seminar presentations and audio-visual material.

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  Evaluation will be based on the course objectives.  The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester.


An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

Case Analysis  20%
Mid-term  20%
Role plays and group exercises      20%
Final exam  30%
Critical Thinking Portfolio  10%
Total 100%
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Describe various communication styles and approaches within a criminal justice setting.
  2. Demonstrate various interviewing techniques such as effective inquiring, basic conflict resolution and group facilitation.
  3. Identify general stages of interviewing and define objectives.
  4. Define intervention strategies and provide rationale for strategy selection with various client groups.
  5. Illustrate and apply current problem solving and decision making models and skills.
  6. Describe conflict resolution approaches.
  7. Illustrate various crisis de-escalation and intervention strategies.
  8. Explain basic affective, cognitive, and behavioural interventions.
  9. Outline appropriate contexts for basic affective, cognitive, and behavioural interventions.
  10. Describe effective stress management techniques.
  11. Deliver constructive feedback regarding interpersonal skills and approaches as well as receive feedback from others.
  12. Participate in team building, leadership and evaluation exercises. 
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

Texts and materials will be chosen from resources such as those in the following list.

Custom course materials including journal articles and case analyses will be required by the instructor.

The Skilled Helper:  A Problem-Management and Opportunity-Development Approach to Helping, (2019) (11th Ed.), by G. Egan and R. Reese. Cengage Education Ltd

Conflict Resolution for the Helping Professions, (2016), by A.E. Barsky. Oxford University Press.

Tactical Interpersonal Communication Skills for Justice Studies and Emergency Services Training, (2005), by J. Harper, Nelson Education Ltd. 

Elements of Crisis Intervention: Crises and How to Respond to Them, (2011), (3rd Ed.) by J.L. Greenstone and S.C. Leviton. Brooks/Cole.






Minimum 45 credits including CRIM 2140


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for CRIM 3340
Athabasca University (AU) AU COMM 2XX (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG CRIM 2XXX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU CRIM 2XX (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU CRIM 3XXX (3) or TRU SOCI 3XXX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU HUMA 3XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO SOCI 2nd (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) No credit
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV CRIM 265 (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC SOSC 2XX (1.5)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023