Summer@Stonehill Pre-College Program: Criminology

CRM 120 | Critical Introduction to Criminal Justice | 3 credits | For rising junior, rising senior and graduating senior high school students


Course Description

An introduction to the major institutions of criminal justice from a social scientific perspective. Examines the structure and operation of police, courts, and corrections. Theories and concepts of sociology and other disciplines will be used to describe the workings of the criminal justice system and raise questions for critical analysis.

Critical Introduction to the Criminal Justice System is a course designed to explain how the criminal justice system works from the very first initial contact with police all the way through release from prison and every step in between.  The course has four distinct sections. The first is an overview of the whole system and discusses the possible causes of crime. The second focuses on law enforcement and how police departments are organized, how they work, and current issues in policing like use of force and corruption. The third focuses on the courts and details the pretrial and trial process step by step.  Finally, the fourth section focuses on corrections and explains probation, parole, prison life, and the re-entry process after leaving prison.   We will be using videos and speakers to supplement textbook readings as well as completing a group project that will examine a high profile court case.  Students will be able to choose the case they wish to research and present as well as whether they want to present the prosecution or the defense side of the case.

Our Summer@Stonehill Pre-College Program is a high-demand program with a competitive application process. Applications will be now be accepted until May 31, 2017 with supporting materials due by June 15.

Course Instructor

Pamela Kelley

Pamela Kelley

Assistant Professor of Criminology


  • B.A., Political Science, Rhodes College
  • M.P.A., Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Syracuse University
  • Ph.D., Northeastern University (ABD)

Why did you decide to study computer science and pursue a career in higher education?
I was actually a political science major as an undergraduate student with the idea of going into politics as a career.  Then I met my Advisor, who quickly became my career mentor. He was doing research in the criminal justice field and I found what he was doing so interesting I thought I would give it a try.  He hired me as a research assistant on a drunk driving study he was doing and then helped me get my first internship at the Shelby County  Pretrial Release Services where my duties included interviewing recently arrested individuals and presenting the interview results in court to the judge  After that experience I knew I wanted to work in the criminal justice field.  I knew I wanted to explore why crime happens, who is involved, and what can be done about it.  I also loved the research aspect of it and using data to develop strategies to address crime problems.  So, I began my career in corrections, moved to law enforcement, and then started my own research and evaluation consulting agency working with local police departments and District Attorney’s offices.   Taking my passion for research and data analysis and my knowledge of the criminal justice system into the classroom seemed the next logical step.  It also gave me a way to honor my mentor and try to be as good a role model for my students as he was for me.

What has been your greatest experience as a professor at Stonehill?  
I can’t possibly choose just one.  My fourteen years at Stonehill have been filled with wonderful students and great experiences.  I have a very close relationship with my students while they are here on campus and I love hearing from past students about the success they are having in the “real world”.  There is nothing better than opening my inbox and seeing an email from a former student telling me about a new job or what is happening in their life.   Being the data geek that I am. I also love when a student who has dreaded the required Statistical Analysis class comes to me after, or during, to tell me the class was “fun” and they learned a lot.   I usually think at that point, my job is done!

Who is your favorite author? 
John Grisham – who doesn’t love a good legal drama!

What is your favorite movie?
Lord of the Rings – any of them, preferably un-cut versions binge watched annually.

Where did you go to high school?
Lyman Hall High School, Wallingford, CT