Peat’s book, Case Studies in Corrections: Examples, Exercises, Discussion Points, and Practitioner Interviews, serves as a resource for students and instructors

Years of experience as both a criminal justice professional and a veteran corrections professor has helped guide Barbara Peat, Ph.D., to author several books focused on the criminal justice field.

Her recently published book, entitled, Case Studies in Corrections: Examples, Exercises, Discussion Points, and Practitioner Interviews, was inspired by Peat’s desire to produce a ‘hands-on’ book that would be an aid to both students and criminal justice instructors.

“In my classroom, I found a need for having exercises where the students can apply their knowledge using information from other classes, personal experiences such as employment, current events and their own position,” said Peat, associate professor and Director of the IU Northwest’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

The primary purpose of the book is to offer supplemental material to assist in understanding basic content on a variety of correctional topics, including: institutional and community corrections; adult and juvenile offender risks and needs; and administrative and management principles.

Each chapter allows readers to apply their understanding of the broader topic to individual fictional case studies.

Learning tools in the form of questions, discussion topics or assignments follow each fictional case study.

Peat says the format of this book encourages the reader to think deeper and apply the information they’ve learned through their course work.

“Students tend to remember the material better if they have some type of integration of book knowledge with application of their own position, supported by solid rationalization,” Peat explained. “Because, in a nutshell, that’s critical thinking.”

The book also explores criminal justice career development with sections dedicated to job shadowing, completing internships, attending job fairs, and developing a degree plan.

Peat felt this chapter was extremely important because she said some students aren’t sure what they are going to do with their degrees, while others struggle with transitioning from college to a career.

“The Career Development chapter not only provides the reader with information they need to make that transition from college to career, but also integrates what they (the reader) just learned through the previous chapters’ case studies.”

Peat explained that the rationale for this approach is to get the reader to start thinking about whether a profession in corrections is a good fit for them.

It was Peat’s goal to make her book more than a supplement for an Introduction to Corrections course. She envisioned her book being used in counseling courses dealing with offender populations, administration, social work, or sociology courses focused on juvenile delinquents.

“I think it’s important that those outside of criminal justice have an understanding of what corrections is all about,” Peat said. “We all need to know what everybody else’s job entails so we have a better appreciation for how things work. I believe this understanding can improve the relationships between the segments of social service employees.”

Other sections in the book include example reports so readers can see what an average probation violation report or a parole plan would look like, as well as a full section with interviews from practitioners. Both sections, Peat said, will provide the reader with a clearer glimpse into the criminal justice profession.

Peat’s book, published by Carolina Academic Press, will be available for purchase in early 2011. Peat also has another book under the same publisher, entitled Assessing Criminal Justice/Criminology Education: A Resource Handbook for Educators and Administrators. That book addresses a variety of issues dealing with assessments in higher education. Peat co-authored that book with collaborator Laura J. Moriarty.

Peat’s first book, published by Prentice Hall in 2004, is entitled From College to Career: A Guide for Criminal Justice Majors. This book enables students to explore career choices so they can make informed career decisions. It also provides instructors with a way to integrate course material into the career decision-making process.

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