Faculty Focus: Ben Stevenson

Ben Stevenson Takes Students Inside the Corrections Field

By Amanda Agatstein |   October 2010

Ben Stevenson , Faculty

Criminal Justice
School of Undergraduate Studies

School of Undergraduate Studies professor Ben Stevenson brings his work as a Correctional Specialist III for the Montgomery County Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to center stage at UMUC.  In his courses, which include CCJS 360 Victimology, CCJS 350 Juvenile Delinquency, CCJS 352 Drugs and Crime, and  a new pilot class, CCJS 434 Reentry and Transition Issues in Corrections, Ben utilizes his corrections career to open up opportunities for students looking to enter the field.

"The benefit of working for the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Montgomery County," says Ben, "is that it allows my students to interact with correctional professionals, network for potential internships and see firsthand how we use evidence-based practices and services to serve our offender populations."

Ben also offers his own firsthand knowledge about corrections work. His classroom emphasizes hands-on learning rather than "out of the textbook" studying habits.

"With all my classes, I have my students conduct group exercises that use 'real-life' scenarios," says Ben. "They learn the practical application of skills that will be required within the criminal justice field."

Ben recently earned  two awards at the 2008 Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation Annual Awards. Individually, Ben was named Pre-Trial Division Employee of the Year for his work  handling domestic violence cases and for serving as the representative  of both the ALERT (Assessment, Lethality and Emergency Response) team and the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team. He also received a team award for Group Outstanding Performance along with the other members of the department's Pre-Trial Supervision Unit. 

As part of the ALERT team, Ben and his colleagues discuss high-risk cases and develop new ways of communicating between agencies to keep victims safe and hold offenders accountable. The Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team reviews past domestic violence deaths in order to prevent future violence,  improve community response,  and recommend changes in  state law, local law, or  current  practices.

"I'm honored to have received these awards and greatly appreciate the support that I receive from my colleagues," says Ben of the recent accolades. "However, I'm only one person,  and we ALL work extremely hard to promote public safety."