Course Title: Apply psychological concepts and principles within justice environments

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2017

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

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:



Core concepts of personality theories are researched and analysed


Core concepts of human development theories are researched and critically analysed


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:


Key stages in counselling process are identified


Core concepts of counselling theories and methodologies are examined and strategies developed to address offending behaviour


Strategies for working with involuntary clients are explored


Parameters of own role in applying counselling strategies, informed by psychological theory, are identified in consultation with relevant people


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:


Key criminogenic and non-criminogenic factors and behaviours prevalent in the offender population are critically examined to inform development of treatment plan


Needs of specialised groups are delineated and incorporated into treatment plan


Available treatment programs and referral options for both custodial and non-custodial offenders are investigated and evaluated for inclusion in treatment plan


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

Students will participate in a variety of learning activities, both in class and out of class.
In class activities will incorporate
Face to face lectures, simulated workplace scenarios, practical demonstrations and role-plays that identify with professional practice within the criminal justice system
· Individual oral and written questioning, and student-led group discussions and/or presentations, will exemplify your contextualizing of the class topics, and validate your learning of knowledge and skills required to identify and address psychological issues related to offenders and victims, within criminal justice settings.

Out of class activities will Incorporate 

· Readings, researching case studies, completing remaining in class activities, and preparing for in class group presentations/discussions

Teaching Schedule


Session One:

Introduction to psychology in criminal justice environments – it’s relevance and application to criminal justice
Course guide overview and time management strategies for students
Nature v Nurture and impact on behaviour


Session Two:

Overview of Assessments
Introduction to Contemporary schools of psychology;

Personality theories:
· Psychodynamic theory
· Behavioural theory
· Cognitive theory
· Learning theory
· Humanistic theory
· Trait theory


Session Three:

Core concepts of major psychological theories and links to offending behavior.


Session Four:

Psychology and the mind.
Composition of the Brain.
Emotions, thoughts and memories.
Concepts of normality and abnormality


Session Five:

Psychological Theories and discourse:
· Psychoanalysis: Freud & Jung
· Humanist: Rogers, Yalom and Perls
· Cognitive: Ellis & Beck
· Learning: Bandura
· Behaviourism: Watson & Skinner
· Forensic psychology


Session: Six

Summative Assessment One – Concept maps.


Session: Seven

Application of Psychological theories and methodolgies within criminal justice environments

Counselling processes
· Egan’s 3 stage mode
· Relationship & rapport building
· Assessment
· Establishing goals
· Termination
· Confidentiality
· Statutory reporting req.’s

Session: Eight

Parameter of own role and ethics:
· Therapeutic jurisprudence
· Referring
· Ethics in practice
· Accountability
· Reporting
· Relevant professional development
· Research
· Treatment options

Mid semester break


Session: Nine

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Application in criminal justice


Session: Ten



Session: Eleven

Treatment Planning
Criminogenic factors – risk, need and responsivity principles


Session: Twelve

Working with specialised groups


Session: Thirteen

Treatment programs and specialised groups.


Session: Fourteen

Summative Assessment Two – CBT plans


Session Fifteen

Exam Revision


Session Sixteen

Summative Assessment Three - Exam

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

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

Formative Assessment Task; A range of in-class and/or online quizzes need to be completed throughout the teaching schedule to assist with the demonstration of competency in the Summative assessments.

Summative Task One;

There will be a three short written tasks (300 words each) to be completed and are worth 10% each. This is a Summative task worth a combined total of 30% of your total grade. (You can choose 3 of the following; One concept map of your chosen theory, one short piece of research relating to a major psychological perspective, an obituary/ biography of a major contributor towards a major perspective of psychology or a crossword of terms and definitions relating to a chosen psychological perspective).
Further information will be provided in class.

Due Date: Week 6

Summative Task Two;

A Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Treatment Plan and Counselling methodology for a client case scenario provided. This is a 1500 word treatment plan with a minimum of 5 academic references. This is a Summative Assessment Task and is worth 40% of your final grade. 

CBT and Treatment Planning will be discussed in class.
A range of academic resources will be provided on the Blackboard.
Due Date: Week 13

Summative Task Three; 

A final exam worth 30% of your final grade. 

Students will be provided with a revision class.
Due Date: Week 17

Assessment Matrix

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:



Competent with High Distinction


Competent with Distinction


Competent with Credit


Competency Achieved - Graded


Not Yet Competent


Did not Submit for Assessment

DNS - Did Not Submit for Assessment

Other Information

Program inherent requirements

Inherent requirements refer to the abilities, knowledge and skills you must demonstrate to:
achieve program learning outcomes
work effectively as part of a team in classroom and work-integrated learning (WIL) settings
perform effectively in classroom and WIL settings without undue risk to your own or others' health, safety and welfare.
Depending on your program of study, inherent requirements may include:
verbal and non-verbal communication skills
reading, writing and number skills
concentration, memory and problem solving
mental wellness and behavioural stability
vision, hearing, touch and smell
physical skills, such as gross and fine motor skills.
If you have any injury, illness, disability, impairment, condition or incapacity that may affect your ability to perform the inherent requirements of your program of study, we encourage you to discuss this with the Program manager to enable RMIT University to identify whether there are any reasonable adjustments that would enable you to perform program requirements. RMIT University wants to place you in the best possible position to use your knowledge, skills and attributes effectively in your program of study.

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 work submitted in hardcopy. For every piece of work submitted online you will complete an e-Declaration. The signed cover sheet or e-Declaration acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications.


Examples of other information that could be included in this section are listed below. Please discuss with your Program Coordinator/Manager. Information needs to be consistent across the whole program.


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 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:


Assessment Appeals

If you believe your assessment result or final result is wrong please contact the course coordinator and provide the reason why you think your result is incorrect. Valid reasons for seeking a review of results include:

  1. a) You believe an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,
  2. b) You believe the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the Course Guide; or,
  3. c) You believe the assessment did not comply with University Policies on Assessment (i.e. an error in process has occurred).

Full details of the procedure (including appeals procedure) can be located at this RMIT site:


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:

  • 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;
  • Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
  • Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
  • Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
  • Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
  • Copying a whole or any part of another student's work; and
  • Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
  • 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 (unresolved) – 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:


Working with Children Check – This course requires a Working with Children Check

Police Check – This course requires a satisfactory police check

Course Overview: Access Course Overview