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Mohawk College launches Psycho-Social Criminology course

Last month Mohawk College celebrated the launch of Psycho-Social Criminology, a new general education course in the School of Community, Justice and Liberal Studies.


February 6, 2019
By Staff
The course was developed

The Psycho-Social Criminology course examines the diverse psychological and social factors within the discipline of criminology to explain why some people are predisposed to criminal behaviour, according to the course creators.

It also delves into organized criminal groups and the criminal minds of violent psychopathic offenders, including serial and mass killers. The course applies psycho-social theory and research to explain criminal behaviour using real world case studies. The course also incorporates the societal, media and judicial responses to crime, including victimology and the goals and effectiveness of criminal punishment.

It is currently the only day and evening in-class criminology course being offered as a general education course at Mohawk College.

The course was developed, researched and written by Dr. Kimberly Costello and Stephen Metelsky M.A. in 2018.

Costello has a PhD in psychology and she is currently teaching at Mohawk College in the School of Community, Justice & Liberal Studies. She has several publications in peer-reviewed criminology journals, such as Criminal Justice & Behaviour and the Journal of Interpersonal Violence. Her research interests in relation to criminal psychology focus on psychopathy and victimization.

Metelsky has a master’s degree in criminology, and he is currently teaching at Mohawk College in the School of Community, Justice & Liberal Studies. He is a freelance columnist with Blue Line magazine and an organized crime expert/media consultant with more than 20 years experience as a police (ret.) sergeant. Metelsky consults and writes for various media publications regarding true and organized crime. His research interests have focused on the following topics: anatomy of a school shooting: dissecting some common precursors, violent video games desensitize youth, terrorism: the ISIS effect/tackling a lone wolf and motivators of a confidential human source.

The Psycho-Social Criminology course entails a variety of subjects to immerse students in the study of understanding criminality and offender behaviour(s). Students will examine the following criminological topics and crime trends in this course, including, but not limited to:

•    Introduction to Criminology – History & Theory
•    Introduction to Organized Crime
•    Multicide/Mass Murder
•    Serial Homicide/Serial Killers & Offender Profiles
•    Spree Killers
•    Criminal Profiling/Behavioural Sciences
•    Psychopathy & Inside the Criminal Mind
•    Societal/Media Response to Criminality
•    Victimology
•    Criminal Sentencing & Punishment

“People undoubtedly have a fascination with ‘evil’ and extreme criminal behaviour,” says Costello, from the Fennell campus of Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ont. “Part of this fascination stems from a desire to understand the criminal mind. In our unique course, we bring Steve’s expertise in organized crime and my expertise in the psychopathic mind to give students a unique glimpse into the complex issues underlying the extreme criminal mind.”