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Introduction to Corrections

Course Code: CRIM 1170
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Criminology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course examines the current theory and practice of Canadian corrections. Topics include the history of corrections, sentencing, alternatives to incarceration, the incarceration process, correctional workers, institutional programs (e.g., work, education, security, social rehabilitation), community-based corrections programs and , community involvement in corrections. The functions and dysfunctions of corrections will be analyzed and current issues and reform initiatives will be reviewed.

Course Content

  1. Aspects of Corrections
    • Purpose and principles
    • Correctional jurisdiction in Canada
  2. An Historical Overview of Corrections
  3. Sentencing and Corrections
    • Options and justifications
    • Sentencing disparity
  4. Correctional Facilities
    • The operation of external and internal influences on correctional facilities
    • Key members of correctional facilities
    • Are institutions meeting their objectives?
  5. Classification, Case Management and Treatment
    • The classification process
    • The problem of measuring treatment success
    • The delivery of correctional treatment
  6. Intermediate Sanctions and Community-Based Corrections
    • Justifications for community-based programs
    • Types of community-based programs
    • Controversies surrounding community programs
  7. Current Issues and Challenges for Reform such as:         
    • Specialized groups: youth, women and  indigenous offenders
    • Mental health
    • Restorative justice
    • Diversity  
  8. Identify Possible Future Trends in Canada

Methods of Instruction

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:  lectures, seminar presentations, audio-visual materials, small group discussions and research papers.

Means of Assessment

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

  1. Short Answer Tests
  2. Exams
  3. Oral Presentation
  4. Research Project / Term Paper
  5. Class Participation

 An example of one possible evaluation scheme would be:

Attendance & Participation Tasks


Group Presentation or Debate (with written outline)


Annotated Bibliography


Term Paper (e.g. Argumentative Essay, Policy Development for a Corrections  Problem, Case Analysis, Journal, Blogs, Reflective Essay)


Midterm Exam(contains writing component such as short or long essay, critique, case analysis)


Final Exam (contains writing component such as short or long essay, critique, case analysis)




Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify the philosophy and purposes of corrections in Canada.                                               
  2. Discuss the historical development of corrections in North America, emphasizing the development of prisons.
  3. Describe pre-court diversion and community service as part of court dispositions for youth and adults as practised in Canada.
  4. Discuss the various sentencing options and how they influence corrections.
  5. Describe the philosophy, rationale, operation and evidence of success of probation in Canada.
  6. Identify key groups in (inmates, staff and administration) institutions and the nature of the relationship between them.
  7. Identify the range, rationale, and integrity of programs in correctional institutions, including educational, specialized intervention, prison industry, vocational and programs for specialized offenders.
  8. Describe post-institutional corrections, namely the conditional release process.  Discuss the philosophy, rationale and evidence of success of conditional release programs.
  9. Identify the possible and probable future trends in corrections in Canada.

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.