Human Rights and Criminal Justice Certificate program

Boost your criminal justice credentials.

As today’s world undergoes rapid social transformation, our approach to policing and criminal justice requires new and creative ideas to advance history in positive direction — one the values and practices human rights for all. Historic and current social movements, including national protests after the death of George Floyd, demand a stronger understanding of the relationship between human rights and criminal justice. 

UWL’s Human Rights and Criminal Justice Certificate provides alternative and powerful ways to understand this relationship in our post-modern social world. Paired with a university degree, students can use the certificate as an added credential when pursuing careers related to crime, criminal justice, at-risk youths, juvenile justice, and policing.

Careers in human rights and criminal justice

Students seeking careers in the criminal justice system, federal law enforcement, policing, the legal system as well as those careers working with local community organizations, non-profit organizations, and at-risk youths can benefit from this certificate program.

This program will especially be beneficial to those who want to make positive change in the criminal justice system and law enforcement in the U.S. and beyond.

What distinguishes the Human Rights and Criminal Justice Certificate program?

Interdisciplinary classes

The program offers a diverse range of classes that provide a critical analysis of human rights explored through the theoretical lenses of sociology and criminology, as well as philosophy, history and anthropology.

Unique program

UWL is the only school in the University of Wisconsin System offering students the chance to acquire tools and skills (e.g., data and approaches) in an emergent area of criminal justice, juvenile justice, and policing, among other careers.

Depth of study

Students can examine the relationship between human rights and economic justice, criminal justice, and capitalism, among other things. The concept of human rights is explored as it has been applied throughout time and history by examining cross-cultural comparisons of human rights, as well as human rights as a form of ethics and practice.

Instructor with experience

Dr. Peter Marina shares many of his own life experiences in the class. A sociologist, criminologist and author, Marina wrote “Down and Out in New Orleans: Transgressive Living in the Informal Economy,” a book documenting his experiences living among natives of New Orleans in a tourism-dependent city where commerce caters to upper-class citizens and travelers. Marina most recently authored "Human Rights Policing: Reimagining Law Enforcement in the 21st Century."

Sample courses