Criminal Justice


The Criminal Justice (CRJ) program is designed to provide a solid foundational understanding of the American justice system.  Students are required to complete a range of major courses that blend academic learning with a highly emphasized experiential focus.  Under the instruction of a diverse faculty of practicing professionals, hands-on learning exercises are utilized to translate conceptual awareness into real world application of knowledge. Individual and team-based class-room learning is also augmented by internship opportunities in area agencies and offices.  The program is designed to meet the needs of both traditional and non-traditional students who seek to gain the education necessary to penetrate or advance within any number of justice professions.

Graduates of the Criminal Justice program will be well-positioned to:

      • Complete a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at a four year college or university
      • Apply to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy (MCJA) Law Enforcement Pre-Service Training Program OR Basic Law Enforcement Training Program
      • Seek entry-level employment in private security, law enforcement, corrections, and the courts

Examples of professional career opportunities include but are not limited to:

  • Municipal Police Officer
  • County Sheriff’s Deputy
  • State Trooper
  • Game Warden
  • Marine Patrol Officer
  • Fire Marshal
  • Corrections Officer Probation Officer
  • Dispatcher
  • Victim-Witness Advocate
  • Loss Prevention Worker
  • Fraud Investigator


Learning Objectives

Graduates of the Criminal Justice program will be prepared to:

  • Explain the core responsibilities of the police, courts, and corrections as each relates to the administration of justice within the American criminal justice system.
  • Describe the sequential movement of an individual accused of a crime through the various stages of investigation, adjudication, sentencing, and corrections.
  • Compare and contrast the adult and juvenile justice systems in modern American corrections.
  • Apply conceptual knowledge to the application of laws of evidence, search and seizure, and arrest.
  • Utilize current information and management tools to gather and evaluate data used by justice practitioners.
  • Analyze and employ ethically driven critical analysis skills in decision-making.



Cornel D. Plebani, Chair
Criminal Justice Department
(207) 974-4829 |

Cornel Plebani worked for more than a decade in the field of mental health in both clinical and administrative positions in the service of children, adolescents and adults with psychiatric issues. Throughout his professional career, he has worked in settings as diverse as psychiatric hospitals, community-based treatment facilities and the Adolescent Reception Detention Center at Riker’s Island Correctional Facility. He holds an undergraduate degree with dual concentrations in Psychology and Sociology from Drew University and an advanced degree in Forensic Psychology from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.  His particular academic and research interests include Violence and Aggression, Psychopathy, and the Psychology of Cult Indoctrination.

Christian Bailey1Christian Bailey, Instructor
Criminal Justice Department 

Christian Bailey has been a full-time law enforcement officer for 26 years.  Presently he is employed as a Sergeant for the Hampden Police Department.  Sgt. Bailey is a Field Training Officer, Maine Criminal Justice Academy Instructor, and former School Resource Officer.  He also holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice.

Jason Richards1Jason Richards, Instructor
Criminal Justice Department

Detective Sergeant Jason Richards earned his A.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Maine, his B.S. in Criminal Justice from Husson University and his B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Behavioral Science from Husson University.  He worked as a municipal patrol officer in the early 90’s with the Pittsfield and Skowhegan Police Departments.  He has worked for the Maine State Police since 2000 serving as a road Trooper out of the Troop D barracks and later as a Detective and currently as a supervisor in the Maine State Police Major Crimes Unit.    In addition to his primary role with the Major Crimes Unit, Sgt. Richards has also been an active member of the Maine State Police Evidence Response Team and is currently a Senior Certified Crime Scene Analyst through the International Association for Identification.

Chris ColemanChris Coleman, Instructor
Criminal Justice Department 

Chief Christopher J. Coleman has a Bachelors Degree in Criminology from the University of Southern Maine and has 25 years experience with the Maine State Police. Chris served as a Trooper, Detective, Sergeant, and Cadre Supervisor for three training academies. Chris also served as the Troop Commander for Troop J for five years and Commander for the Major Crimes Unit – North for three years. In addition, Chris spent 12 years on the Maine State Police Tactical Team and served as the Team’s Commander for two years. In 2014, Chris retired from the State Police and was hired by the City of Ellsworth and currently serves as the Chief of Police.

Folster Kaylee-5649 2013Kaylee Folster, Instructor
Criminal Justice Department 

Kaylee grew up in Old Town, Maine and is a graduate of Old Town High School. In 2008, she received her Bachelor of Arts in History and  Business Administration from the University of Maine at Farmington.  Kaylee attended Roger Williams University School of Law, in Bristol, Rhode Island, and graduated with a Juris Doctorate in 2011. She has been admitted to the Bar in Maine, Massachusetts, and the United States District Court for the District of Maine.  Kaylee is a member of the Maine State Bar Association, American Bar Association, Maine Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and John Waldo Ballou American Inns of Court.  Kaylee practiced with Pine Tree Legal Assistance after graduating law school.  She joined the Vafiades, Brountas, & Kominsky in April of 2013.

DarrylLyon6367webDarryl Lyon, Instructor
Criminal Justice Department

Darryl W. Lyon has served in the United States Military for over 26 years. He has held multiple command and staff positions including an Infantry Company Command in Iraq, Commander of Maine’s Civil Support Team (Weapons of Mass Destruction) and is currently the Maine National Guard’s Counterdrug Program Coordinator. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication from Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Arts in Communications Studies from the University of Maine and a Master of Business Science from Husson University.

Ewing1Joshua Ewing, Instructor
Criminal Justice Department 

Joshua Ewing has been a full-time law enforcement officer for 15 years, all of which have been with the Orono Police Department, where he currently serves as the Chief of Police.  Chief Ewing began as a Reserve Officer with Orono in 1999, and began his full-time career that same year.  He has also served as a Patrol Sergeant and Captain.  He attended the 253rd Session of the FBI National Academy in 2013.  Chief Ewing is also certified as a Maine Criminal Justice Academy Instructor, and has been a Firearms Instructor since 2004.

Lee Miller
Criminal Justice Department 

Lee Miller has been a full-time law enforcement officer since 2001.   Presently he is employed as a Captain for the Old Town Police Department.   Captain Miller holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Husson College.   Over the course of his career he has been a field training officer, drug recognition expert, fire investigator, crash reconstruction specialist, Maine Criminal Justice academy instructor, OUI instructor, radar instructor, and a cadre at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy.

Bill Mitchell
Criminal Justice Department

Bill Mitchell has been a full time law enforcement officer since 1984.  He holds an associate degree in Law Enforcement, a bachelor’s degree in management and a minor in computer science. He is presently employed by the University of Maine police department as a patrol officer. Bill is certified by the Maine Criminal justice academy as an instructor, a firearms instructor and an interactive use of force instructor, He also holds instructor certifications in chemical weapons, police baton, less lethal munitions, taser, active shooter, incident response to terrorist bombings and Multi-Assault Counter Terrorism Action Capability (MACTAC). He has also participated in counter terrorism training in Efrart Israel with members of the Israeli military (IDF).