Degrees & Courses

Northern Illinois University
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and
Department of Sociology announce

SOCI 395/395H: PWE1
Central Florida, January 4-9, 2015
Illinois Field Trips, January 13-May 1, 2015


Critical Issues in Criminal
Justice Organizations


SOCI 395

Course Description
Students will participate in an engaged learning field school which examines and compares critical issues facing public, private and non-profit criminal justice organizations in the Northern Illinois area with those in Central Florida. Programs include Problem Solving Courts and specialized treatment programs that provide alternatives to incarceration for adult and juvenile offenders.

Course Requirements
Due to the highly intensive nature of this course, students are expected to have completed substantial readings by the first session. This course includes a field school in Florida during the week of January 4-9, 2015, with a combination of lectures, readings, guest speakers, and site visits to selected organizations in Florida. Students will be required to participate actively in one of several group research projects and present their group’s findings in a formal report to the appropriate local service providers. In addition to the Florida travel portion of the course, there will be several mandatory local visits scheduled in Illinois. Course required Mental Health First Aid Training will be provided by Linden Oaks at Edward Hospital. Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour training course designed to give members of the public key skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Just as CPR training helps a layperson without medical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a layperson assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis. Training will occur on February 7 and 14 from 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at NIU Naperville. Lunch will be included.

This year’s planned applied research projects include the Kane County Court Services and Juvenile Drug Court projects, DeKalb County C.L.E.A.N. Adult Drug/DUI Court Sober Living and Mental Health Court start-up projects, and the Sinnissippi Mental Health Center Program Evaluation Project. We will be assisting with the gathering and analysis of relevant criminal justice and treatment data, including current services offered, potential eligible populations, local governance issues, data collection and analysis capabilities and estimated costs of alternatives to incarceration (e.g. specialty courts, residential treatment programs, evidence based practices or probation programs).

An integral part of the course will consist of a theoretical and conceptual overview of evidence based practice movement for criminal justice organizations and the problem solving courts and restorative justice literature. We will apply basic sociological constructs to the real world of alternative sentencing.

Faculty Leader: Jack King, NIU faculty member and internship coordinator in the Department of Sociology since 1987, and problem solving courts consultant since 2004, will lead this course.

SOCI 395



Tentative Schedule of Visits (subject to adjustment and addition)
Most of the meetings and visits will take place prior to the beginning of the semester in Florida. Illinois visits will be scheduled to minimize conflict with other coursework and work and home life responsibilities. However the expectation is that substantial time will be allocated by the students to successfully complete the projects for the designated organizations.

Central FL. Treatment Courts
Volusia County FL. P.A.L. community programs
Cudas Unhooked Homeless High School Program
City of Aurora Youth Court
Northern Illinois Treatment Courts
Cook County WINGS Felony Prostitution Court

Escape the gray, winter days of Illinois in January at the Best Western Hotel and Suites in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.  Located directly on the Atlantic Ocean, balconies offer a breathtaking view of the ocean where you can sip a cup of coffee while watching the sun rise or enjoy the activities on the beach. The Seascape Restaurant has the coast's best view of the ocean. Rooms will be triple occupancy and are equipped with a kitchenette.

Academic Credit Option
NIU students may register for 3 academic credits for this program. Students choosing this option should register for SOCI 395/395H: PWE1 through MyNIU. This is a permit-only course, for more information and/or a permit number, please contact Jack King at (815) 753-6440 or Graduate students may also be eligible for independent study credit by contacting one of the graduate faculty members in the Department of Sociology. Regular off-campus tuition and fees will be applied to your NIU bursar account and are in addition to the program travel fee.

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to the Orlando (Florida) International Airport (MCO). Ground transportation to and from the Best Western Hotel & Suites and MCO will be provided as part of the package. An option to have NIU purchase airfare is available but cannot be refunded once purchased; airfare will be determined based on the date of booking by NIU. Recommended flights are via Southwest: January 4, 2015, 10:05 a.m. departure, #1346 and January 9, 2015, 2 p.m. departure, #538. Please note that you should arrive at the MCO no later than 1:30 p.m., Sunday, January 4, 2015. Return ground transportation will arrive at MCO approximately 1 p.m., Friday, January 9, 2015.


Register Now! Enrollment is Limited.


Program Fee: Only $650 includes Florida and Illinois service organization visits, ground transportation for program-related activities in Florida and Illinois, five nights lodging in Florida (triple occupancy), and all breakfasts. Please note that round-trip transportation to/from Florida, lunches, and dinners are not included in the program travel fee. The program fee does not include tuition and fees; you will be billed separately by the Bursar’s office.

Please Note: NIU’s fee for the package combines organization visits, accommodations, meals specified above, and program related ground transportation. Fee reduction(s) or refunds CANNOT be made for unused portions of the package. Round-trip transportation to/from Florida, lunches, dinners, and study materials are not included in the program travel fee. The program travel fee does not include tuition and fees; you will be billed separately by the Bursar’s office.

Payment: A non-refundable deposit of $250 is required with a completed registration form by Monday, November 24, 2014. A permit number will not be issued without full payment of the deposit. All program fees must be paid in full (no exceptions) by Friday, December 12, 2014.

Four Easy Ways to Register! 

  1. Call (815) 753-5200 to register and pay with a credit card.
  2. Fax completed registration form to (815) 753-5202 and pay with a credit card.
  3. Mail completed registration form and payment to: Northern Illinois University, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, External Programming, Monat 152, DeKalb, IL 60115.
  4. Bring completed registration form and payment in person to: Northern Illinois University, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, External Programming, 148 North 3rd Street, Monat Building, Room 152, DeKalb.