Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Common Pleas Judges Visit AU Campus

Judges Vercillo and Forsthoefel, of the Common Pleas Court, took time to come speak to Ashland University Students interested in the legal field. The Judges discussed the types of cases they see, the different divisions of the common pleas court, the differences between trial and appellate court systems and the importance of being informed when electing judges.

Judge Vercillo discussed his role as the Juvenile and Probate Court Judge, including the different types of cases that occur in each court. Probate Court cases typically involve estates, guardianships, trust cases, name changes, marriage licenses, and things of that nature. Juvenile Court involves cases with anyone under the age of 18. These cases can involve anything from neglect and abuse cases, to juvenile offender and criminal cases.

Judge Forsthoefel, on the other hand, oversees the General Division and Domestic relations dockets. The General Division involves civil cases (malpractice, property disputes, real estate titles, workers compensation, etc.) as well as well as the felony cases. The Domestic Relations Docket involves all disputes between married families (divorce, child support, custody, civil protection orders, etc.).

Both Judges Vercillo and Forsthoefel agreed that being a judge is a very demanding job, but it is ultimately very rewarding. Special thanks to both Judges for taking the time to come speak.

Recently Published Research by Dr. Allyson Drinkard

Dr. Allyson Drinkard, assistant professor of Criminal Justice/Sociology, has published an article in the Journal of Criminal Justice Education. 

This research explores the benefits of service-learning among a group of Midwestern college students.  Students enrolled in a section of a Juvenile Delinquency course served as volunteers at a juvenile detention facility and were studied using a pre-test/post-test survey design. 
This pilot project also included a comparison group of students in a section of the course which did not involve service-learning. 

The study compared service-learning to non-service-learning students in terms of attitudes regarding juvenile delinquency, punishment, and attributions of criminal behavior. We also examined any possible effects of service-learning on student academic skills, career goals and comfort level with delinquents. Overall, we found that the service-learning project was a valuable educational tool having a positive impact on a number of student outcomes. We discuss the implications of these findings for service-learning research and practice.

Ashland University's Marc Hedrick quoted in WalletHub Article

Criminal Justice Professional Instructor and Field Experience Coordinator Marc Hedrick was quoted in a WalletHub article about the most sinful states in America.

The article by Hedrick addresses a number of questions, including "What makes some states more sinful than others?"; "Should sport betting be legalized across the U.S. by the federal government?"; 'What are the most efficient measures that federal and state authorities can utilize to curb the obesity epidemic and is something like the 'soda tax' a valid approach?"; and "How can federal authorities combat human trafficking and is legalizing prostitution a good idea?"

You can see the article at -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice
Core Requirements:
Prerequisite: None
An overview of the philosophical, historical, and operational aspects of the justice system in the United States.
Prerequisite: None
This course is an overview of the process and institutions involved in the supervision, treatment, control, and incarceration of those individuals who have been adjudicated and sentenced by the court. Corrections in the United States encompass a variety of public and private institutions including: probation and parole systems, jails, prisons, half-way houses and post-release supervision.
Prerequisite: None
An introduction to the history of crime, the sociology of criminal law, the operation of the criminal justice system, including roles of police, prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges. Also considered are offender types; conventional, white collar and organized crime; theories of causation, victimology, prison, probation, and parole, and trends and issues in criminology. CJ/SOC credit.
Prerequisite: CJ 130
Study of the role behavior and life of the line officer within the police subculture and within society. Topics examined are the influence of coercive power, role behavior, subcultural influences, and personal issues relating to loyalty, stress, health, critical incidents, family, and faith.
Prerequisite: CJ 130
Analysis and evaluation of the growth of legal relationships between the individual and government with special attention to problems of law enforcement-law adjudication and the impact of their decisions on the citizen and the criminal justice system
Prerequisite: CJ 130, CJ 362, and Jr. or Sr. Status
This course will analyze ethical behavior and provide criminal justice practitioners with decision-making skills to enhance the practitioner duty performance and the public interest. The focus will be on making moral, rational, and responsible decisions which will lead to ethical professional behavior.  Must be taken at AU.
Electives (Need 18 credit hours)
Prerequisite: CJ 130
Provides the student with an opportunity to study the technical, theoretical and legal aspects of criminal investigation.
Prerequisite: CJ 130
Affords the student a concentrated study of the functions, operations and decision-making process of the American court system.
Prerequisite: CJ 130, CJ 200
A continuation of CJ 200. The course will focus on investigative theory and technique for major felonies including murder offenses, sexual assault, and theft related to crimes, recognizing that each crime category involves different processes to properly investigate that incident. The legal concept of forensic science and the differing roles of the coroner, forensic scientists, technicians, crime scene investigator, and the crime lab in investigations will also be discussed.
Prerequisite: None
A course planned to aid the student in the examination of juvenile delinquency as a social problem from the perspectives of control prevention and rehabilitation. Delinquency will be viewed as to definition, genesis and extent. The social institutions of families and schools will be discussed in detail. The juvenile courts, probation, parole, correction institutions and child placement programs are to be examined with respect to their effectiveness, philosophy and goals. CJ/SOC credit.
Prerequisite: None
Examines the historical and contemporary issue of gangs and cults in United States and focuses on gang and cult recruitment, subculture, beliefs, activities, signs, and symbols.  CJ/SOC credit.
Prerequisite: None
Victimology is the study of the role of the victim in criminology and the criminal justice system. Areas to be investigated include the relationship between victims and their criminal offenders, societies' responses to the victims, the victim's role in the criminal justice process and programs directed at assisting victims of crime. CJ/SOC credit.
Prerequisite: None
A seminar open to criminal justice majors/minors which will provide an opportunity to explore, in-depth, topics pertinent to or impacting on the field of criminal justice. This may include critical observations or historical, contemporary or future issues. Repeatable to a maximum of 9 hours.
Prerequisite: None
This course will look at what terrorism is and what a terrorist group is. This course will also examine theories explaining terrorist behavior and how economics, race, religion and other factors influence terrorism and motivate terrorist groups. The course will also look at the responses to terrorism, and particularly how it is being fought through the concept of Homeland Security.
Prerequisite: None
This course surveys major literary works that deal with crime and punishment and examines these works in terms of motivation, social milieu, culture and legal systems that affect our understanding of justice and the laws that attempt to achieve that justice.
Prerequisite: CJ 130, 227
This course provides the student with the context of corrections history and with the goals and philosophies of the correctional system.  The student will examine correctional administration and management using contemporary theory, research, and best practices.  The student will also examine issues such as offender classifications, rehabilitative and restorative initiatives, treatment programs, life-course and educational services, various institutional environments and levels, and the functions and management of correctional staff.
Prerequisite: CJ 130, CJ 362
Examination of the area of law balances governmental power and individual rights. Issues that address balancing controlling crime with due process rights include search and seizure, detention and arrest, interrogation, trial rights and sentences.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor
Provides an opportunity for CJ majors to observe and experience the criminal justice system in action. The student selects from a variety of agencies or organizations willing to offer this opportunity and, with the help and guidance of the field coordinator, participates in an experience designed to bring academic preparation together with the reality of being professional criminal justice practitioners. Experience may be taken for up to a total of 12 hours.
Prerequisite: CJ/SOC 242
 Advanced Criminology and Profiling is a case study approach to applying theory to the practice of criminology. The case histories of some infamous and not-so-infamous criminals will be examined for the purpose of applying criminological theory. Students will determine the probable cause(s) of those individuals' criminality.  CJ/SOC credit.
Prerequisite: CJ 130, 227
In this course, the student will explore restorative justice as a new model within the criminal justice system.  The student will develop a critical mindfulness to the healing wants and needs of victims and communities impacted by criminal conduct as well as the role of the offender in meeting these wants and needs.  The course will examine various applications of the restorative justice model in criminal justice systems around the world.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Retired Secret Service Agent Speaks to Ashland University Students

Stephanie Yoha, a retired Special Agent with the United States Secret Service, spoke to students about non-traditional routes for Criminal Justice as well as what her job was like working for the Secret Service. Yoha discussed how, before being a Secret Service Agent, she was a probation officer. She talked about how students need to focus on gaining that outside experience if they wish to work at the federal level.
Yoha talked about how her work as a probation officer helped her immensely with her transition into the Secret Service, and how that experience is essential to even be considered during the hiring process.

Stephanie talked about the various aspects of the hiring process, and how extensive and time consuming it is, noting that, in order to pursue this field of work, one needs to have
patience. It took Stephanie 2 years to finish the application process, and then after getting hired, she began training for several months. While this process can be very tedious, she said the job was very rewarding.

Stephanie talked about the various opportunities presented to her through her work, such as being able to travel the world and being able to meet so many people, including some of the presidents. She also discussed some of the drawbacks to the job, such as not being able to be with family, or have a social life. However, she said she was very grateful for all the experiences she had during her years with the Secret Service, and that she has no regrets.

Stephanie impressed upon the students that one cannot expect anything without working for it. Students need to focus on gaining outside experiences (both volunteer work and professional), maintaining good reputations (especially on social media), and continuing to succeed academically. Rewards come with time. The Criminal Justice Department would like to thank Stephanie Yoha for coming to speak, and we hope that you will consider coming to speak again in the future.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sgt. of Columbus Sexual Assault Unit visits AU

Sgt. Pelphrey, of the Sexual Assault Unit at the Columbus Police Department, spoke to students about the Special Victims Bureau Columbus PD has. He discussed the various different units that are a part of this bureau and what each of their roles are in investigations. The Sexual Assault unit was described in a more thorough manner. Sgt. Pelphrey discussed that the Columbus PD has two separate Sexual Assault Units, one for adult offenders, and one for juveniles. He also described the investigative process and the differences between the adult and juvenile investigative techniques. Sgt. Pelphrey concluded his presentation by discussing the various different employment and internship opportunities the Columbus PD offers, and discussed what qualities they are looking for when recruiting.

The Criminal Justice Department would like to give a special thanks to Sergeant, David Pelphrey for coming in to speak.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Criminal Justice Student Success Stories

Aimee Linville graduated in May 2017, with a degree in Criminal Justice. She transferred from a state university, finding that Ashland University gave her a lot more individual focus. Aimee proved herself academically strong. She was an Ashbrook scholar, who successfully defended her thesis on “Serial Offenders.”

Aimee took the LSAT and received numerous scholarship offers, from several schools. In the end, she chose to go to Case Western to pursue her Juris Doctorate, with plans to focus on corporate law.

McKensey Cross graduated in May 2017, with a degree in Criminal Justice. She transferred to Ashland University from another college. Mckensey did field experience at the Abraxas Youth and Family Services’ facility, in Shelby, Ohio. Abraxas specializes in counseling youth between the ages of 12 and 18 with mental health, substance abuse, behavioral disorders and sexual offending behaviors. After walking across the stage to receive her diploma, McKensey was able to start working at Abraxas.

Danielle Musgrove graduated from Ashland University, in May 2017, with a major in Criminal Justice. She did field experience with the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force and later with the Richland County Prosecutor’s Office. Due to her field experience with the Prosecutor’s Office, she got a job, just prior to graduation, working in a law office, in Mansfield, Ohio, as a paralegal.

Sabrina Long graduated from Ashland University, in May 2017. She did field experience with the Cedar Point Police Department. Immediately after graduation, she started working as a Corrections Officer, at the North Central Correctional Complex, in Marion, Ohio.

Dan Mevetz graduated in May 2017 with a degree in Criminal Justice. He had a job lined up upon graduation, as an insurance adjustor, with Homesite Insurance. He investigates house damage caused by a number of things, such as storms and theft.

Makayla Arnold graduated in May 2017 with a degree in Forensic Chemistry and a minor in Criminal Justice. She works at Charles River Laboratories, in Ashland as a Research Assistant, in the Analytical Department.

Tarin Cook, graduated from Ashland University, in May 2016, with majors in Criminal Justice and Family & Child Studies. She was hired the week of graduation! She is currently working at the oldest mental and behavior health agency in Cincinnati, as a qualified mental health specialist. Her official title is as an outpatient behavior and mental health case manager for St. Joseph Orphanage. She works with services such as juvenile probation, developmental disability services, wraparound services, and more. She was recognized as an "outpatient superstar" and was most recently nominated for a yearlong leadership program for supervisory positions.

Melissa Smith graduated, in December 2015, with majors in Criminal Justice and Psychology. She is currently a second year law school student, at Cleveland State University. She made the Dean's List in the spring semester and is currently working as a law clerk with the City of Euclid, in the Prosecutor's Office.

Auston Smith played football at Ashland University, and graduated in December 2015, with a degree in Criminal Justice. Just days after graduation, he was hired as a Juvenile Probation Officer, for the Montgomery County Juvenile Court. He is also pursuing a master’s degree, in Criminal Justice.

James “J.T.” Venus graduated from Ashland University, May 2015, with a degree in Criminal Justice. He was hired by the Middleburg Heights Police Department as a patrolman that same month.

Jonathan Heart graduated from Ashland University, in 2015. He works at U.S. Bank, as an Anti-Money Laundering Investigator, in Columbus.

Galsaira Ortiz graduated from Ashland University with a degree in Criminal Justice, in 2015. She currently works for Sterling Talent Solutions, located in Independence Ohio. She works in the dispute resolution team. In that position, she runs backgrounds, and if there is something incorrect or updated on a report, clients call and she investigates and makes amendments to the reports.

Alexandra Restelli graduated from Ashland University in 2015. She is currently pursuing a masters in social work and a PhD at The Ohio State University. In line with her criminal justice background, she is pursing this degree for offender rehabilitation to work with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. She is currently in their field placement, as a regional director for the southeast prisons in Ohio.

Don Leffler is a 2016, Ashland University Online graduate. He is currently the Detention Administrator, for The Marion County Juvenile Detention Center, in Marion, Ohio. He was promoted, due to the degree he received through the Online Criminal Justice Program. He says he “can't thank Ashland enough” for their online program.

Jacob Morris is a 2016, Ashland University Online graduate. He is currently serving as a detective with the Lorain Police Department in Lorain, Ohio. He takes great pride in being an Ashland alumni. In addition to his detective duties, he has been asked to lead the department's Community Police Academy. The Chief of Police wanted someone with a formal education to take over this very important duty. Detective Morris said, “… this is a major responsibility which shows that higher education in the CJ world is certainly worth pursuing!” Additionally, he’s in the process of completing a Master's of Science in Criminal Justice. Upon completion (August, 2017), he plans to seek part time employment as an adjunct criminal justice professor.