Course Title: Apply psychological concepts and principles within justice environments

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2016

Course Code: JUST5715

Course Title: Apply psychological concepts and principles within justice environments

School: 365T Global, Urban and Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6124 - Advanced Diploma of Justice

Course Contact: Irene Pagliarella, Program Manager

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4581

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Melissa Brown

Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Successful completion of, or demonstrated equivalence to, the following units of competency:

VU20861 Apply criminal law within justice environments
VU20862 Work with family violence contexts within justice environments
VU20863 Work with culturally diverse clients within justice environments
VU20864 Work with conflict resolution and mediation processes within justice environments
VU20865 Apply management and leadership within justice environments

And ONE of the following electives:

LGACOM406A Investigate alleged breaches of legislation and prepare documentation
CHCAOD402B Work effectively in the alcohol and other drugs sector

Course Description

In this course you will develop the skills and knowledge required to identify and address psychological issues related to offenders and victims, within the criminal justice contexts, through recognition and immediate response of counselling and support, to long‐term response through referral and management of treatment programs.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20856 Apply psychological concepts and principles within justice environments


1. Research major social and psychological theories that explain offending behaviour

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Core concepts of personality theories are researched and analysed.
1.2 Core concepts of human development theories are researched and critically analysed.
1.3 Contemporary psychological theories and discourse that explain offending behaviour are examined for application to working with clients in justice contexts.


2. Apply counselling strategies to managing offenders in justice contexts

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Key stages in counselling process are identified. 

2.2 Core concepts of counselling theories and methodologies are examined and strategies developed to address offending behaviour.
2.3 Strategies for working with involuntary clients are explored
2.4 Parameters of own role in applying counselling strategies, informed by psychological theory, are identified in consultation with relevant people.
2.5 Counselling strategies for responding to immediate needs of offenders are determined and applied in consultation with relevant people and according to organisational and legislative requirements.


3. Develop, monitor and review treatment plan

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Key criminogenic and non criminogenic factors and behaviours prevalent in the offender population are critically examined to inform development of treatment plan.
3.2 Needs of specialised groups are delineated and incorporated into treatment plan.
3.3 Available treatment programs and referral options for both custodial and non custodial offenders are investigated and evaluated for inclusion in a treatment plan.
3.4 Treatment plan is monitored and outcomes reviewed to inform future practice.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, you will be able to:
• Develop and implement counselling strategies to address offender needs across a range of justice contexts
• Develop, monitor and review an offender treatment plan designed to address offender issues, assist with rehabilitation, and reduce probability of recidivism
• Provide evidence of knowledge of current theories, approaches, debates and practice developments on the application of psychological concepts and principles to justice contexts
• Provide evidence of knowledge of relevant legislative and statutory requirements

Details of Learning Activities

You will participate in a variety of learning activities (in class and out of class). These may include the following;

• class exercises to review discussions/lectures
• practical demonstrations
• analysis/critique of relevant reading material
• group projects
• peer learning
• guest lecture/presentation
• peer teaching and class presentations
• group discussionr
• independent project based work
• group activities/projects
• ‘workshopping’ of student projects including peer/lecturer feedback
• visits to galleries and events

Teaching Schedule





Weekly Topic






120 mins.


-What is psychology?

-Composition of the brain

-Nature v. nurture and impact on behaviour





120 mins.




Personality theories

-Psychodynamic theory

-Behavioural theory

-Cognitive theory

-Learning theory

-Humanistic theory

-Trait theory




120 mins.


Human Development theories

-Erikson Develop. Stages







120 mins.


Psychological Theories and discourse

-Psychoanalysis: Freud & Jung

-Humanist: Rogers, Yalom and Perls

-Cognitive: Ellis & Beck

-Learning: Bandura

-Behaviourism: Watson & Skinner

-Forensic psychology




120 mins.





*Study for the exam

PRACTICE ONLINE TEST “Who’s that theorist?” (F1)

* Visit Melbourne Museum’s “The Mind” exhibit. Take notes about the exhibit.





120 mins.


Exam on 15/3


Discussion on Summative Assessment 2




120 mins.


Counselling Process

-Egan’s 3 stage model

-Relationship & rapport building


-Establishing goals



-Statutory reporting req.’s





Mid-term Break





120 mins.

2.2 + 2.3

Counselling Theories & Strategies




-Motivational interviewing

-Cognitive behavioural



-Active listening

-Building rapport

-Open/closed questions

-Paraphrasing/ summarising/prompting




120 mins.

2.4 + 2.5

Parameter of own role and ethics

-Therapeutic jurisprudence


-Ethics in practice



-Relevant professional development


-Treatment options




120 mins.


Putting it together….

-Role plays

-Assessment 2

-Discussion on Assessment 3





120 mins.

3.1 + 3.2

-Criminogenic and non-criminogenic factors






120 mins.

3.1 + 3.2

-Working with specialised groups

Guest speaker (TBC)





120 mins.

3.3 + 3.4

Treatment programs and treatment plans





120 mins.





Work on research project presentations & treatment plan assignment




120 mins.


Research Project Presentations





120 mins.


Research Project Presentations

















End of Semester




NOTE: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the order is subject to change depending on class needs and availability of speakers and resources.

It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain competency.
You are expected to attend all scheduled classes and some classes will have sessions that are compulsory to attend (please see individual course guides). If you cannot attend a class you should advise your RMIT Educator, as RMIT monitors all student attendance.
As a student, competency is demonstrated through both knowledge and practical skills relevant to the course content and within the classroom environment. Engagement with educators and other students is critical to you maximising learning opportunities and achieving satisfactory results. Participation in classroom discussion and activities will allow educators to apply observational assessment during role-plays, exercises and assignments and provide you with feedback.
Absence from class can seriously limit your ability to pass or achieve good results. You may be asked to attend a meeting to explain more than three absences from a subject and enter into a negotiated plan of action with your Educator. This meeting is recommended as an early intervention approach that may possibly identify any underlying issues which may be affecting your attendance and identify support that RMIT may be able to give you.
Clearly, non-attendance at an assessment will result in failure of that assessment. If your academic progress is reviewed, a good class attendance may be helpful in showing evidence of your commitment to your studies in Justice.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

There is no prescribed text for this subject.


All readings and other resources necessary for this course will be available through Blackboard.
GUSS Skills Central ( is a site developed specifically for students in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT. It provides links to a range of resources for supporting student work on assessments and negotiating university studies more generally.

Other Resources

Powerpoint for the lectures will generally be made available AFTER the class on request, however these are not a replacement for attending lectures. Lectures may have additional information, activities or visual material, which will not be available through Blackboard.
It is essential that you access the Blackboard site at least once a week, as announcements and emails are considered an effective means of communication between educators and students.

Overview of Assessment

Assessments may incorporate a variety of methods including role plays, observations, case studies, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, reports, group/individual training workshops, audio-visual presentations, and interaction with individuals and/or groups within the forensic mental health sector.



Assessment Type

Word limit or equivalent

Assessment (Formative)

Range of in-class formative assessments including practice tests and in class presentation


Assessment One


Video role play and self critique essay

1200 words

Assessment Two


Case study and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Treatment Plan

1500-2000 words

Assessment Three

















If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online:;ID=c15i3ciaq8ca

Assessment Tasks

The assessable tasks are as follows:

Summative Task One; Students are required to submit a video role play displaying the application of counselling skills that have been acquired in the subject.  Students will also submit a self critique of their role play.

Due Date: 29/4/2016

Summative Task Two; A Case study and Treatment Plan and Counselling methodology for a client case scenario provided. This is a 1500-2000 word treatment plan with a minimum of 6 academic references. This is a Summative Assessment Task and is worth 40% of your final grade.

Due Date: 27/5/2016

Summative Task Three; An exam worth 30% of your final grade.

Due Date: 15th March 2016

Formative Assessment Task; A range of in-class and/or online quizzes need to be completed throughout the teaching schedule
**Students are reminded that to prove competency in this subject, they must satisfactorily prove competence in all assessment tasks.

Assessment Matrix

This is available via MyRMIT/Studies.

The assessments have been designed to cover all Learning Outcomes and will be graded in accordance with RMIT’s Mark Table which is as follows:

• CHD Competent with High Distinction
• CDI Competent with Distinction
• CC Competent with Credit
• CAG Competency Achieved - Graded
• NYC Not Yet Competent
• DNS Did not Submit for Assessment

Grades which apply to course delivered in accordance with competency-based assessment (not-graded)

• CA Competency Achieved
• NYC Not Yet Competent
• DNS Did Not Submit For Assessment

Assessment Format

As a student of the Justice VE program, it is expected that you adhere to the following criteria regarding essays/research/reports;
1. For ADVANCED DIPLOMA each written assessment task/s – up to 2500 words, 6 academic references and ONE in-text citation per paragraph.
2. A paragraph is usually between 200 – 250 words.
3. A sentence is usually between 20 - 25 words.
4. American Psychological Association (APA) Referencing Style is the EXPECTED referencing style for the school of Criminal Justice (VE).
5. We highly recommend that all students download a copy of the APA Referencing Guide which is available on the Blackboard or purchase a Pocket Guide to APA style from the campus bookshop.
6. APA Referencing system is to be used and all in-text citations must be recorded according to APA standards.
7. An academic reference is a scholarly source (journal articles that are peer reviewed, a published book, an approved government or organisation website etc.).
8. Written reports, research projects or essays are to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and familiarity with the prescribed or negotiated topics
9. It is expected that all submitted work will be well written, with clear and consistent grammar, expression and punctuation. It must be well structured and address the issues raised in the chosen topic in a logical ordered and organised manner.
10. Written submissions must demonstrate appropriate preparation, reading and research.
11. Double or 1.5 spacing and a font size of 10-12 must be used in either Arial or Times Roman. Do not submit double paged assessments.
12. All assignments to be submitted via the Drop Box (Building 37, level 2) and submitted via email to the Advanced Diploma email address to verify submission Assessments must be submitted by 5pm (close of business).
13. Written assessments will also be submitted with a Turnitin Report attached (as instructed by your Educator).

Other Information

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters:

Cover Sheet for Submissions

You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of submitted work, including online submissions. This signed sheet acknowledges that you are aware of implications of plagiarism.
Please refer to the following link for on-line submission statements;

Cover sheets do NOT form part of your word limit for written assessment tasks.

Assignment Submissions:

The submission of assessments on the due date is the responsibility solely of the student. Students should not leave assignment preparation until the last minute and must plan their workloads so as to be able to meet advertised or notified deadlines.
If you have not been granted an extension or special consideration, you need to submit any work that has been completed on the due date.
The penalty for assignments submitted late will be 10% of the maximum mark per day late or part thereof.
Weekends and holidays will attract the same penalty as weekdays.
Assignments that are late by 7 days or more will not be marked and will be awarded zero.


It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.
Applying for an Extension
Extension of time for assessment tasks may be granted where circumstances beyond your control prevent submission by the published due date. Speak with your teacher or course coordinator regarding applying for an extension.

Applying for Special Consideration
If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. For information about Special Consideration and how to apply, see:

Academic Integrity
Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship through respecting the work of others whilst having the freedom to build new insights, new knowledge and ideas. RMIT University upholds the values of academic integrity as fundamental to the scholarship undertaken by all members of its community. Whenever you refer to another person’s research or ideas (either by directly quoting or paraphrasing them) you must acknowledge your source.

If you are even in doubt about how to properly cite a reference, consult your lecturer or the academic integrity website:
The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing

Plagiarism and Collusion
Plagiarism and collusion constitute extremely serious academic misconduct, and are forms of cheating. You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. Plagiarism is not acceptable.
Examples of plagiarism include:
1. Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;
2. Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
3. Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
4. Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
5. Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
6. Copying a whole or any part of another student’s work; and
7. Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
8. Enabling Plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work is also an offence.

For further information, please see the RMIT Plagiarism Policy –;ID=sg4yfqzod48g1 – and the RMIT Student Conduct Regulations –;ID=r7a7an6qug93

Plagiarism Software
The originality verification software Turnitin may be used in this course. For details, see:

Complaints Procedure:
RMIT University is committed to providing a harmonious study and work environment for all students and staff. The University recognises your right to raise concerns about academic, administrative or support services without recrimination and has policies and procedures to assist in the resolution of complaints.
Most issues are resolved at the local level and you are encouraged to take steps to resolve your issue locally. The student complaint procedure details steps to take if your problem is not resolved or you believe the response you received is unreasonable.

Student Complaints Policy:
Student complaints Procedure:;ID=i1lexipvjt22
Student Complaints Form:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview