Faculty Leader: Ross Allen, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice

Travel Dates: March 6-18, 2024

Class Meeting Times: 12:30 – 3:30pm, Dates TBD

Course Number: 50:202:375; 56:202:675

Program Cost: $3,920

Comparative Criminal Justice is a course that is designed to teach students about the similarities and differences between the United States and the United Kingdom regarding the entire criminal justice system; courts, police (law enforcement), and corrections. This course, with the study abroad aspect, will serve as a way for students to see, firsthand, many of the things that helped shape and mold our criminal justice system while being able to learn about the development of criminal justice and how the criminal justice system is used throughout the world. This course is also designed to teach students about the history of the United Kingdom as foundational to understanding all components of criminal justice in America, the organization of the police, the structure of the courts, and the goals of punishment. Students will explore London, Edinborough, and Belfast to gain insight into the operation of the justice system as well as the political system, whose differences from the American political system create different implications for criminal justice.

To help facilitate the learning of the students, the United Kingdom provides an ideal setting for achieving the learning objectives. The travel aspect will give students a way to apply what they have learned abroad to what they have learned in the United States and in the class. By seeing different court processes, speaking to police officers, judges, and other criminal justice officials, and by touring various jails, castles, museums, and other related places, it will go a long way toward helping student visualize the different approaches in the United Kingdom and how the United States has used the United Kingdom Model in developing their own system.

Some of the highlights of the London part of the tour include: touring the Royal Courts of Justice and Inns of Court, visiting Old Bailey, touring Parliament, visiting Brixton Prison where we will be eat lunch cooked and served by offenders, meeting with Metropolitan Police, and visiting the Tower of London; tourist site visits to Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre; tower bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral; various museums; and much more. 

In Edinburgh, students will visit places such as the local Youth Offending Team, the University of Glasgow or the University of Edinburgh, attend a local court session, and tour Edinburgh Castle.

In Belfast, we will be sitting in on a criminal justice class at Queen’s University. This class will be based on a topical subject that relates to policing and it will help students learn about the similarities and differences on how policing works in the U.K. and U.S. Also, while in Belfast we have a wonderful event set up with the Law Society where will meet with a high-ranking member of the Belfast Organized Crime Task Force, meet with local barristers, meet with a sitting judge, the President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, and meet with parole and/or probation officers. 

For the three seminars to be held before the trip, students will learn about the criminal justice systems from the United Kingdom. Also, these classes will be foundational in helping students learn about the criminal justice system in the United States. In doing so, students will be able to see the similarities and differences in the systems and how those systems compare and contrast.

Program Cost Includes:

  • Airfare
  • Housing
  • International health insurance
  • Some meals and excursions

Program Cost Does Not Include:

  • Passport, visa, or airport entrance or exit fees (if applicable)
  • Vaccinations
  • Remaining meals

*Program cost is approximate and subject to change. Program cost is in addition to tuition.

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