New Certificate helps students prepare to improve the Criminal Justice System

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Shoreline Community College campus entrance
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

The first of its kind in the nation, Shoreline Community College is launching a new Criminal Justice Advocacy Certificate (CJAC) this fall.

The fully online 15-credit certificate is designed for people working or planning to work in or alongside the criminal justice system who want to advocate for vulnerable populations and find effective ways to work with different professions to improve the criminal justice system.

The training is of particular relevance for those studying or working in the areas of sociology, legal studies, social work, psychology, counseling, healthcare, public health, law enforcement and corrections, community outreach, or community organizing.

Taught by a forensic social worker, the certificate uniquely focuses on the intersection of law and psychology. Class topics explore historical trends and current issues in crime and social justice, models of crisis intervention, de-escalation and conflict resolution, and criminal justice theory with a multicultural perspective.

“These classes explore how different professionals can work in tandem to help people in crisis who often cycle through the health care and criminal justice systems repeatedly. The curriculum is a forward-looking, systems-oriented approach to strengthening and reforming society’s responses to social problems,” said Associate Faculty Anura Shah, LICSW, MHA.

“The Criminal Justice Advocacy Certificate provides useful ways for professionals to deescalate situations and build new ways of responding to those in crisis. It’s an excellent choice for someone who wants to go into direct service work as well as for someone already working in a related field who wants to add a new advocacy-based skillset,” Shah added.

Additionally, as interest in new models of crisis intervention grows, the College is debuting a new online professional development series specifically intended to help mental health and social service professionals increase their understanding of the criminal justice system and its applicable laws. 

Registration is now open for the first course in the series, The Interprofessional Practice of Law Enforcement and Social Work, which takes place October 1-2, 2020.

The CJAC certificate classes begin on September 23 and are open to anyone who has applied to Shoreline Community College. Learn more about Shoreline’s Criminal Justice program and the Interprofessional Practice of Law Enforcement and Social Work continuing education course.

About Shoreline Community College 

Founded in 1964, Shoreline Community College offers more than 100 rigorous academic and professional/technical degrees and certificates to meet the lifelong learning needs of its diverse students and communities. Learn more at


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