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The Sentinel

The Student News Site of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Sentinel

The Student News Site of John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Sentinel

A Correctional Education Course That Is Only Offered at John Jay

Alexandra Cortese
Outside Haaren Hall

COR 395: Educating Behind Bars: Policy Implications, Programs, and Issues in Correctional Education is a corrections course only available in John Jay and the only one of its kind in the United States. 

The course COR 395 was composed in 2015 by Dr. Kimora to give students insight into rehabilitative methods concerning prison educational programs. 

Dr. Kimora, a professor in the Honors and Masters program John Jay, a member of the University Faculty Senate, and a Faculty Coordinator in the Corrections Department shared her journey and experience while teaching the course. 

“I started in a summer session and I wondered if there was interest, but there was!” she said. “They [the students] loved that this was the first correctional education course in any college/university in the United States,” said Dr. Kimora. 

When asked to elaborate on what the field of correctional education entails, Dr. Kimora shared her insights. 

“It includes educational programming that we use to teach parolees, probationers and those in jail or prison,” she said “This includes cognitive skills,” said Dr. Kimora.

Dr. Kimora

COR 395 is not limited to facilitating prison educational programs and helping those who are in prison enhance their cognitive skills, as this course also teaches students to enhance their cognitive skills. Dr. Kimora added how these skills can be used throughout one’s life and in other educational pursuits.

“Cognitive skills are skills that aid a person’s rational thinking,” she said. “That means the students learn about anger management, social skills, critical thinking skills, and ethics,” said Dr. Kimora. 

COR 395 is particularly fulfilling, since at its conclusion students have the opportunity to mail the completed textbook to the author and earn a certificate to teach a cognitive skills training program. 

Dr. Kimora has taught at many different colleges throughout her career. She composed this course specifically for John Jay because she considers the college to be at the forefront of criminal justice related matters. 

“I composed this course because John Jay College is a leader in criminal justice,” she said. “It seems fitting to include a course in correctional education since that needs to be a part of Corrections courses at John Jay,” Dr. Kimora said. 

Because of the growing interest in correctional education courses, COR 395 will be expanding into other programs within John Jay. 

Dr. Kimora explained why this expansion is being facilitated within John Jay’s administration.

“That [the expansion of correction programs] is imperative because more and more students want to learn about correctional education,” she said “I taught a correctional education course once in the Honors program already,” said Dr. Kimora.

Dr. Kimora also shared how her work, which she has been engaged in for several decades, has allowed her to encourage incarcerated people to change for the better.

“It is so much fun educating those who have committed crimes,” she said. “If they get educated in the proper way, that helps build community and that helps us all,” Dr. Kimora said.

The unique course of COR 395 aims to educate John Jay students on how treating others dignity and having hope are fundamental practices in the field of correctional education.

Dr. Kimora elaborated on the purpose of COR 395.

“They [incarcerated individuals] are human and they can change,” she said. “I see it all the time” said Dr. Kimora.

Registration for COR 395 is open for the fall 2024 semester. COR 395 will be an online asynchronous course taught by Dr. Kimora. Only John Jay students may register for the course via schedule builder in CUNYFirst.

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About the Contributor
Alexandra Cortese
Alexandra Cortese, Editor-in-Chief

Alexandra Cortese is a junior at John Jay College. She is majoring in law & society and is minoring in English literature.

Alexandra has previously served as the Web Editor for The Sentinel during the 2023 spring semester, as the Managing Editor for the fall 2023 semester, and is now the Editor-in-Chief. Alexandra’s love for writing motivates her to still write freelance and has been doing so since September 2022.

Alexandra is also a member of The John Jay Honors Program, Sigma Tau Delta international English honor society, and was a research assistant at The Legal Disruption Project during the Fall 2023 semester. 

Alexandra’s favorite story she has written is “Greek Life at CUNY.” She feels Greek life is controversial and her story pushes the envelope on that subject matter in the voice of John Jay students. Alexandra’s story dives into the stained reputation of Greek life and how John Jay sorority and fraternity members are challenging that narrative by emphasizing diversity, equity concerns, and community service.

Alexandra hopes to capture the vibrant community within John Jay in her role as editor-in-chief.

Alexandra’s favorite quote is “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I'm Possible!” - Audrey Hepburn.

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