Becker Professors Present at Annual Massachusetts Criminal Justice Conference
Kevin Woods, chair of the department of criminal justice and legal studies, and professor of criminal justice and sociology, and William Castro, assistant professor of criminal justice and law, attended the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Justice Education (MACJE) annual conference on April 10. The conference, titled “Innovations in Criminal Justice,” was hosted by the Criminal Justice Department at Worcester State University and took place during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
Professors Woods and Castro also participated in a session called “Collaborating with Federal Agencies to Promote Student Learning” in which they both discussed the partnerships they incorporate into their Becker classrooms. According to Professors Woods and Castro, these presentations showcased how Becker criminal justice majors are “relevant, connected, engaged, and world ready.”
Professor Woods focused on his partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office for Victims of Crime, and the Victim Assistance Training (VAT Online) he included in his “Victimology and Victim Services” course (Fall 2012 and 2013 semesters). In this class, students have the opportunity to enroll and complete this self-paced training for victim assistance practitioners and receive a certificate of completion from the DOJ’s Office of Victims of Crime. Professor Woods included results to date—he said that 100 percent of his students who have participated have successfully completed this training.
Professor Castro shared his collaboration with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, with which he worked in his “Homeland, Private and Public Security” course this semester. As part of this class, students participated in a series of online self-study interactive courses offered through FEMA and resulting in certification in the Incident Command System (ICS). “All emergency responders must be certified in ICS upon employment,” said Professor Castro. “Having students certified now in the baseline/core ICS modules is of value to the Becker student as future employers will not have to spend time or money in training them.”
The Massachusetts Association of Criminal Justice Education was established in 2010. The mission of the MACJE is to enable its membership to provide an informed, powerful, cohesive voice to influence state legislation, policies and funding to provide opportunities for professional support, collegiality and strategic leadership for the continuous improvement of criminal justice education and practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.