Criminal Justice Program Offers Solid Foundation

November 17, 2014

Legal, law enforcement and corrections jobs are hot commodities in today's job market. The criminal justice program at Piedmont Technical College provides students with the training they need to get started in these exciting careers.

“We try to make the curriculum as hands-on as we can, because most of the time, students really grasp the concepts when they put them into practice,” said Josh Lindsay, program director.

PTC’s criminal justice associate degree program is designed to prepare professionally-educated and competent criminal justice practitioners for careers within the criminal justice system. The program covers a broad spectrum of criminal justice concepts and theories, including criminology, ethics, law, evidence and procedure, corrections, juveniles, as well as general education courses. The curriculum is designed from the ground up to offer students a wealth of practical experience.

To enhance this hands-on approach, the program has recently added a state-of-the-art criminal justice lab with 12 new computers, a driver training simulator and a firearms training simulator. The program also added a crime scene reconstruction program, a facial composite program, finger print kits, crime scene sketch kits, three digital cameras with photo document kits, two crime scene mannequins and duty belts.

“We wanted to make this program the best criminal justice program in the state,” Lindsay said. “There is no other college in the state of South Carolina that has some of this equipment, but we know these are things that will help our students be more productive when they go into the field.”

The firearms training system offers PTC faculty a high impact way to provide training opportunities that would be difficult or impossible to replicate in the real world, such as repetitive training in a controlled environment with instant feedback, after action review, force-on-force training and a diverse set of training environments. But Lindsay emphasizes that some of the equipment such as the firearm training simulator is used to educate the students, not train them.

“Once you start training people, there can be legal repercussions,” Lindsay said. “Our goal is to teach them more of the ethics of what they should or shouldn’t do.”

To further motivate students, the program and Piedmont Tech’s chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association (ACJA) recently partnered to hold the first Criminal Justice Games. The event was created to motivate the students to focus more on developing the skills necessary to be an exceptional practitioner in the criminal justice field. Students competed in several events including physical agility, crime scene investigations and completing an exam containing 50 criminal justice related questions within the shortest amount of time. There were a total of 25 students who competed in all 3 events.

“I want the word to go out that Piedmont Tech is producing more competent students,” Lindsay said. “We may not have large numbers because of the size of our population, but our students can be some of the most competent individuals going into the criminal justice field.”

For more information on the criminal justice program, contact Lindsay at (864) 941-8681 or at lindsay.j@ptc.edu