The School of Criminal Justice is located in Newark, the largest city in the state of New Jersey. Founded in 1666, Newark continues to be a commercial and industrial center, located approximately 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan.
The School of Criminal Justice shares the Center for Law and Justice at 123 Washington Street at Rutgers University-Newark with Rutgers Law School and the chancellor's office. This facility provides state-of-the-art classrooms and libraries for both the criminal justice and law collections, and incorporates cutting-edge computer and multimedia technology. The building opened in 1999.
In 1968, the state legislature authorized and directed Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, to establish a School of Criminal Justice. The act states:
The legislature finds there is a need in New Jersey for academic contributions to the administration of criminal justice through teaching, research, and leadership, including the training of administrators and those requiring scientific background in this field, by study and searching inquiries into crime causation, juvenile delinquency, law enforcement procedure, criminal rehabilitation, and judicial doctrine relating to the trial of criminal cases, which dictate establishment of a school of criminal justice.
Thus, in authorizing the school, emphasis was given by the legislature to needs in three areas: instruction, research, and leadership. Similarly, the planning committee for the school, in its report to the president of the university, recommended equally weighted essential objectives of research, teaching, promotion, and outreach. The committee reported these objectives as both urgent and appropriate:
1. Address research into all aspects of the criminal justice system, both to increase our knowledge in general and to provide data on which to base institutional change.
2. Produce qualified teachers/scholars of criminal justice studies to staff training and educational programs created throughout the state to focus on criminal justice.
3. Train a pool of highly educated personnel available for planning, policy determination, and administrative positions within the criminal justice system.
4. Engage students through both academic studies and outreach programs in the criminal justice system.
5. Upgrade, educationally and professionally, practitioners now working within the criminal justice system.
6. Provide opportunities for improved training and education of entry-level personnel.
In addressing instructional needs, the committee emphasized the education of qualified teachers/scholars in this field, as well as the education of personnel for planning, policy determination, and management of criminal justice. The committee recommended that the instructional staff of the school concentrate on graduate education for practitioners within the criminal justice system, or for other individuals interested in focusing on criminal justice concerns, with such instruction leading toward graduate degrees. It emphasized the need for a broad perspective on the interactions of the elements comprising the criminal justice system and stressed an integrative approach in the improvement of the functioning of the criminal justice system.
In 1995, the school assumed responsibility for undergraduate instruction in criminal justice at Rutgers-Newark. Compatible with the graduate program, the undergraduate program's emphasis is on providing undergraduates with a broad educational foundation focused on issues of crime, deviance, law, and justice. These students, too, are exposed to research, community outreach, and criminal justice reform as part of their instructional program.