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Registration for the Fall 2019 semester begins June 25.  Watch your email for more details.

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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, intervention, and problem solving within a criminal justice context. This course will introduce strategies for negotiation, mediation, crisis intervention, conflict de-escalation and problem management. Practical approaches for assessing, managing and intervening in various criminal justice situations will be explored. Challenges with difficult client groups will be identified and appropriate interventions surveyed. Student will have ongoing opportunities to develop and practice skills and interventions through this interactive course.

Course Content

  1. Communication Styles and Approaches in Criminal Justice Settings
  2. Interviewing Stages and Objectives
    • Rapport and Relationship Building
    • Assessment and Problem Definition
    • Goal Setting
    • Initiating Interventions
    • Termination and Follow-up
  3. Problem Management Model
    • Problem Solving Process
    • Initial Awareness
    • Urgency
    • Initial Search for Remedies
    • Estimation of Costs
    • Deliberation
    • Rational Decision
    • Rational-Emotional Decision
  4. Conflict Management Styles and Resolution Approaches
    • Negotiation
    • Mediation
    • Conflict De-escalation
    • Group facilitation
  5. Problem Management Within Specific Contexts
    • Hostile or Aggressive Clients
    • Lower Functioning Clients
    • Youth Offenders
    • Clients with Addictions
  6. Affective Interventions
    • Non Verbal and Verbal Affect Cues
    • Focussing Techniques
  7. Cognitive Interventions
    • Reframing
    • Restructuring
  8. Behavioural Interventions
    • Social Modelling
    • Anxiety Reduction
  9. Crisis Intervention Strategies
    • Theories
    • Models
  10. Stress Management

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%
Interview assignment  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 skills and techniques such as effective inquiring, basic conflict resolution and group facilitation.
  3. Identify general stages of an interview and define objectives of each stage.
  4. Define intervention strategies and provide rationale for strategy selection with various client groups.
  5. Illustrate and apply current problem management theories and skills.
  6.  Describe conflict management styles and resolution approaches.
  7. Illustrate various crisis intervention strategies.
  8. Describe and 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 interviewing skills and approaches as well as receive feedback from others.

course prerequisites

CRIM 1100 and CRIM 1150

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.

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There is an upcoming curriculum change scheduled for .
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