BLOOMFIELD, N.J. – The Bloomfield College Board of Trustees approved a new Bachelor of Arts degree program in Criminology and Social Justice at its last meeting of the spring semester held on April 1, 2022. Preceding the Board action, the program proposal was reviewed and approved by the faculty of Bloomfield College on March 3, 2022.
The new Criminology and Social Justice (CSJ) program is scheduled to launch on the Bloomfield College campus in September, 2022. The innovative program will train students to become familiar with criminological theory and how it applies to our understanding of crime, social responses to perceptions of crime and deviance, and the processes necessary to achieve racial, gender, environmental, and institutional justice locally and globally.
“It is our goal to educate and foster civic-minded citizens who will work towards equity and human dignity in all of their chosen career paths,” said Michael A. Palladino, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. “Through this new major, students will be prepared to become agents of change towards a more just and equitable society.”
Student outcomes outlined for Bloomfield’s new CSJ program include graduates fully comprehending three key objectives, including: (1) the biased and complex nature of how justice systems carry out mandates and how these affect individuals and communities, (2) a theoretical understanding of the causes and inhibitors of crime in society that includes ordinary street crimes as well as crimes caused by complex social systems (such as justice systems, social welfare systems, and financial institutions) and legitimate institutions; and (3) in depth knowledge of possible avenues to safeguard communities from crime and citizens from human rights abuses from agents and entities with power.
According to program faculty, with “criminology” as the central focus, the new CSJ program is differentiated from other “criminal justice” degree programs. The U.S. Occupational Outlook Handbook describes criminology as a subset of the field of sociology. Sociologists who specialize in crime may be called criminologists or penologists. These workers apply their sociological knowledge to conduct research and analyze penal systems and populations and to study the causes and effects of crime. Sociologists may specialize in a wide range of social topics, including, but not limited to education and health, crime and poverty, families and population, and gender, racial and ethnic relations.
“An example of what our new CSJ grads may do as professionals is to research and explain how specific laws or policies impact disenfranchised populations. Their criminological know-how and insight into systemic social injustice will frame how they help administrators, educators, lawmakers and social workers solve social problems and formulate public policy,” explained Antony Leberatto, Ph.D., assistant professor of criminology and sociology.
Applications for the new Criminology and Social Justice program at Bloomfield College are anticipated to open on the College website in June 2022. Questions about the newly formed program should be directed to Professor Leberatto at Antony_Leberatto@bloomfield.edu.