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Criminal justice education has steadfastly become the education of choice for many aspiring and current practitioners in the criminal justice enterprise. Many colleges and universities offer degrees in criminal justice and the curricula is quite varying in nature among universities. Some criminal justice departments offer curriculum that is more practice (vocational) focused while others are more academic/theoretically focused. We argue in order to effectively prepare criminal justice practitioners that curriculum should be a multi-disciplined approach, which includes a balanced theoretical grounding. We present the notion that theory and critical thinking skills are important in the holistic development of criminal justice practitioners. We conclude the paper with a three-pronged recommendation for criminal justice education.
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Keywords: Criminal justice education; Criminal justice programs; Critical thinking; Curriculum; Historical themes; Purpose of criminal justice education

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Criminal Justice, 201 Benton Hall, Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas 66621 2: Department of Criminal Justice, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas 67260

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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