Fontbonne is excited to announce the launch of a new four-year Criminal Justice program and new program director, Dr. Jeanie M. Thies. Utilizing an innovative and unique, multidisciplinary approach, the new program will explore social justice, criminal psychology, law enforcement, criminology, and corrections. Opportunities to think critically about issues such as diversity, social inequalities and more are embedded in the courses.
The Criminal Justice program’s most distinctive features will be its examination of criminal justice within a sociological framework. Students can better understand the situations and actions that lead people to crime by concentrating on communities and individuals and how they interact with the criminal justice system. The program aims to build skills in empathy, advocacy, and finding equitable solutions across the criminal justice system. Students will also learn how changes can be made within communities to prevent these outcomes.
The program actively prepares students for professional careers and further education in the criminal justice discipline. Students may pursue various roles, including – but not limited to, victim advocacy, criminal justice administration, and public safety. They may also further their education by attending a police academy, law school, or completing a master’s degree in social work or criminology.
High school graduates, undergraduate transfer students, and practicing professionals who wish to earn a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can expect to benefit from the program’s small class size, hands-on learning opportunities, and interactions with the program’s highly experienced director, Dr. Jeanie M. Thies, Professor.
“The Criminal Justice program is an opportunity to delve into a part of our culture where you can make a difference,” said Thies.
“The program is intended to expose you to multiple perspectives in the world of criminal justice. The goal is to challenge your personal frame of reference and to develop a passion for building a more just society.”
Thies holds a Ph.D. in Political Science, an M.A and a B.A in Psychology. She began her career as a correctional psychologist with the Missouri Department of Corrections, where she provided direct treatment services to incarcerated people. Thies returned to school to pursue a Ph.D. after nine years with the Department of Corrections. She has over 15 years of higher education teaching experience and brings robust consulting, research, and field knowledge to the Fontbonne Criminal Justice program.
“I hope to leave my students more informed citizens, who are better prepared to understand and respond to the problems in our society,” added Thies. “Anyone who is curious, solutions-seeking, and service-minded will find this program perfect for learning how to turn those skills into professional careers, service paths, and academic careers.”
“Fontbonne’s strong liberal arts background lends the new program a well-grounded and multifaceted approach to criminal justice and, by extension, social work,” said Renata Sledge, chair of the department of social work. “We are excited to launch this unique learning experience and approach to the field.”
Fontbonne’s Department of Social Work, of which the Criminal Justice Program is a part, is a department of the College of Education and Allied Health Professions. The College is home to other departments, including Communication Disorders and Deaf Education, Education and Special Education, and Nursing.
If you are interested in learning more about the Criminal Justice Program, please visit fontbonne.edu.