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Problem Solving & Interventions in Criminal Justice

Course Code: CRIM 3340
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Criminology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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

Methods of Instruction

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. 

course prerequisites

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

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.