Course Title: Identify and respond to client complex issues within a criminal justice environment

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2015

Course Code: JUST5709

Course Title: Identify and respond to client complex issues within a criminal justice environment

School: 365T Global, Urban & 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

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Sandra Reitano


Ph: 9225 2917

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:

VU20868 Apply foundation legal principles
VU20869 Work within the criminal justice system
VU20870 Apply writing and presentation skills within a justice environment
VU20871 Support the management of adult offenders within the Victorian correctional framework
PSPOHS401B Implement workplace safety procedures and programs
PSPETHC401A Uphold and support the values and principles of public service

And ONE of the following electives:

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

Course Description

In this course you will develop the skills and knowledge required to recognise, respond and refer clients presenting with a range of complex issues within justice contexts.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU20857 Identify and respond to client complex issues within a criminal justice environment


2.Respond to client complex issues within justice environments

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Models and scholarly debates are researched to inform selection and application of response strategies that address values, attitudes, beliefs and stigmas about working with client complex issues.
2.2 Ethical requirements for working therapeutically in the justice environment are practised in accordance with legislative and organisational requirements.
2.3 Critical self-reflection and professional discourse relevant to limitations of role of the justice worker when responding to a range of complex issues is undertaken in consultation with relevant people.
2.4 Collaborative relationships with a range of relevant professionals to facilitate and support client recovery and relapse prevention are developed and maintained.
2.5 Referrals are made to relevant support services and information is provided to both client and service personnel in accordance with ethical, organisational and legislative requirements.


3.Monitor and review response strategies

Performance Criteria:

3.1  Monitor and review response strategies.
3.2 Self-care strategies and frameworks for working with client complex issues are developed, practised and monitored.
3.3 Services support and resources are regularly monitored against planned goals and objectives.
3.4  Periodic adjustments to services, supports and resources, as required to best meet planned goals and objectives are implemented.
3.5 Outcomes are critically reviewed in consultation with relevant people, and where possible in conjunction with client and findings documented according to organisational and legislative requirements.
3.6  Findings are used to inform future practice.


1.Examine complex issues faced by clients presenting for justice services

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Complex psychological issues and associated behaviours that impact on youth and adult offenders and other clients presenting for justice services are identified and delineated.
1.2 Contemporary theories and discourse on the causes and treatment of psychological issues are critically analysed for application to practice.
1.3 Key complexities of alcohol and other drugs use by offenders and other clients presenting for justice services are critically analysed for application to practice.
1.4 Indicators of complex issues in individuals and strategies to assist them to recognise complex issues in themselves are identified, evaluated and practised

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, you will be able to:
•Recognise and respond to client complex issues according to organisational and legislative requirements
•Monitor and review response strategies to inform future practice
•Provide knowledge of current theories, approaches, debates and practices about effective responses to client complex issues in justice contexts
•Provide 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 discussion
  • research
  • independent project based work
  • group activities/projects
  • ’workshopping’ of student projects including peer/lecturer feedback
  • visits to galleries and events

Teaching Schedule

Week One:
Orientation to complex issues in criminal justice, including course guide and assessments.

What factors influence, shape and/or determine mental illness, substance abuse, addiction.

Revision of psychological theories, counselling theories and practices.

Relevant legislation and policies to complex issues

Week Two:
Historical and current perspectives on mental health treatment, programs and services.

Video presentation.

Formative assessment task - Journal

Week Three:
Acquired Brain Injury and Intellectual Disability

Activity – The Brain

Formative assessment task - Journal entry

Week Four:
Addiction and Substance abuse – treatment and current discourses.

Week Five:
Addiction and Substance abuse – treatment and current discourses (Guest Speaker)

Formative Assessment Task - Journal entry

Week Six:
Suicide and Self Harm

A case to consider

Formative assessment Task – Journal entry

Week Seven:
Summative Assessment One Due

Visit to NJC – Formative Assessment

Week Eight:
Visit to Dax Gallery – Therapeutic response strategies – Formative Assessment

Week Nine:
Mid semester break

Week Ten:
Summative Assessment Two Due

Week Eleven:
Issues related to violence including violent offenders.

Criminal justice programs – efficacy in treating client complex issues.

Week Twelve:
Ethical requirements and therapeutic work

Week Thirteen:
Self care and critical self reflections

Week Fourteen:
Guest speaker – Interviews, boundaries and strategies

Week Fifteen:
Debates and current discourses in criminal justice regarding complex issues

Practical activity in debates.

Week Sixteen:

Week Seventeen:

Week Eighteen:


Marking and Assessment period

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 the competency.

We expect that students engage in learning through a combination of lectures, individual reading and study, meaningful feedback on written work and structured activities that encourage critical thinking and the development of discipline specific knowledge and practical skills.

Students are active participants and this course prioritises learning by doing. It is essential that students take ownership of their studies and work on developing skills as independent learners in time allocated away from lectures and class time.

As a student you need to demonstrate both knowledge and practical skills relevant to the course content 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.

You will be required to sign an attendance sheet and if you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to advise your educator and complete any written tasks that may have been allocated.

Students are required to carefully plan and use their time productively and submit assessments as required. All assessments tasks should be researched and drafted well in advance of the set submission dates.

The course will use blended learning techniques, including; lectures, discussions, activities in class and learner directed activities supported by a range of resources available in class and on Blackboard system

You will receive verbal and written feedback on your work. This feedback also includes suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects. Student feedback at RMIT

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential. Student progress policy

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts



There is no prescribed text for this course. All required readings and case studies will be available either:
Via My RMIT/Studies Blackboard
Handed out in class as a hard copy
Accessible by CD/DVD
Via the internet/assigned website
Accessible via the RMIT Library

Other Resources

PowerPoint’s for the lectures will generally be made available AFTER the class; 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.

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.

Overview of Assessment

Assessments may incorporate a variety of methods including role plays, observations, lectures, tutorials, class discussion, reports, group/individual training workshops, and audio-visual presentations.

Assessment Tasks

All assessment tasks are based on the requirements of the performance criteria, range statements and the assessment guidelines of the course and include:

The assessable tasks are as follows:

Formative Assessment Task One; complete three journal entries, which will form part of your Summative Assessment Task One.

Formative Assessment Task Two; attend two field visits, which will form part of your Summative Assessment Task Two.

Summative Assessment Task One; Submit three journal entries and four written responses which will be provided in class. The combined word count will be 1500 words. This assessment task is worth 30% of your total grade.

Summative Assessment Task Two; a 2000 word REFLECTIVE essay regarding two topics that will be provided in class. The topics relate to the filed visits which you MUST attend in order to complete the required assessment task. This assessment task is worth 40% of your total final grade.

Summative Assessment Task Three; a GROUP activity. You will be required in teams of 6-8 to debate on an allocated complex criminal justice topic provided in class. These debates are worth 30% of your total final grade.

**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:

CHDCompetent with High Distinction
CDICompetent with Distinction
CCCompetent with Credit
CAGCompetency Achieved - Graded
NYCNot Yet Competent
DNSDid not Submit for Assessment

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

CACompetency Achieved
NYCNot Yet Competent
DNSDid Not Submit For Assessment

Assessment Deadlines
Any due date for any assignment is to be considered a deadline. You can submit work at any time prior to the submission date, but it must be into the Administration office by close of business (5pm) of the day the submission is due.

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 an ADVANCED DIPLOMA written assessment task/s – no less than 2500 words, 5 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 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.

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:
a) You believe an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,
b) You believe the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the Course Guide; or,
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 – 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