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About the Program

Students in the criminal justice program will learn about the American criminal justice system: law enforcement, courts and corrections. They will learn basics of criminal law, criminology and juvenile justice.

The program strives to graduate students who will be assertive, bold, ethical, and positive practitioners in the future. They will be guided by balance, self-control, common sense, curiosity, sensitivity, education, and open, effective communication skills.

The foundation of these practitioners will be their integrity, desire to seek continued personal growth as a criminal justice employee and citizen, and ability to work cooperatively and loyally with cohorts, subordinates, superiors, and the public. Graduates should be prepared to offer leadership services to the community in return for the community's invested trust in them as criminal justice employees.

Graduates of the AAS in Criminal Justice degree program will have the knowledge and skills to:

• Demonstrate an awareness of the history and nature of the major components of the criminal justice system.
• Identify and analyze the origins of criminal behavior, society’s response to crime, and the consequences of crime to our society using multiple perspectives.
• Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills applicable in the field of criminal justice.
• Describe the process of conducting a criminal investigation, the process of arrest and pretrial detention, criminal trial procedures, and criminal punishment.
• Analyze and explain the relationship between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.
• Describe the organizational structure, practice, culture, and environment of the modern police organization.
• Analyze and explain the evolution of the U.S. correctional system.
• Evaluate current issues related to crime prevention and the rehabilitation of juvenile and adult offenders, including the concepts of parole and probation.

The strength of our criminal justice program is that all classes are taught by practitioners who are or who have actual field experience on patrol, at crime scenes, in the courtroom, and in our communities. We have responded to calls, served search warrants, performed in-depth investigations, made arrests and "protected and served". This street experience is NOT available at UNR or UNLV!


Program logo graphic.

  • Starting with the 2021-2022 catalog there will no longer be separate Law Enforcement and Corrections emphasis. All degrees earned will be an Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice.

About the AAS Degree
General Education Requirements (PDF*)
Program Requirements (PDF*)
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Relevant Additional Reading, Forms, or Other Information

Program Faculty

Dave Sexton, M.A.
Professor and Program Coordinator

Heather Plager-Heard, B.S.
Chief Elko County Juvenile Department and Adjunct Faculty Instructor

Kevin McKinney
Chief of Police, Carlin Police Department and Adjunct Faculty Instructor

Justin Barainca
Assistant District Attorney, Elko County and Adjunct Faculty Instructor

For More Information, Contact

Dave Sexton: 775.327.2265, david.sexton(a)

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