Criminal Justice Systems

Course Number: CRIMLJUS 7030
Course Name: Criminal Justice Systems (Online)
Course Description:    An extensive analysis of the functions, processes, and structures of the criminal justice system: interrelationships among the components of the system, with emphasis on law enforcement, courts, corrections, and juvenile justice are explored.
Prerequisites:    None
Level: Graduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online
Program: Master of Science in Criminal Justice

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to

  • Have an in-depth understanding of each component of the criminal justice system, one involving the interrelationships of individual components both to each other and to our larger society. Issues, challenges, and problems that confront the system today and will confront it in the future will be analyzed.

Unit Descriptions
Course Organization and Assignment Descriptions

Unit 1: Criminal Justice System Overview
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Differentiate between the consensus and conflict models of the criminal justice process.
  • Comprehend the various sources of crime data.
  • Articulate the process that occurs in building a criminological theory.
  • Understand the various criminological theories covered.

Unit 2: Law Enforcement
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Understand the historical developments of law enforcement in England and the United States.
  • Comprehend the various levels of law enforcement in the United States, differentiating between local, regional, state, and federal agencies.
  • Analyze various efforts to professionalize the police.
  • Understand the changing legal environment and its effect on police behavior.

Unit 3: The Courts
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Understand the unique characteristics of American court history.
  • Differentiate between federal and state court systems.
  • Understand the roles of professional courtroom actors and nonprofessional courtroom participants.
  • Understand the punishment rationales and the philosophical theories behind criminal sentencing.
  • Understand the truth-in-sentencing movement.

Unit 4: Community-Based Corrections
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Understand the history of penal philosophies.
  • Assess the various causes of prison riots.
  • Compare and contrast the various methods and practices of alternatives to incarceration.
  • Comprehend the major problems and issues confronting corrections today.

Unit 5: Juvenile Justice System and the Future of Criminal Justice
Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Comprehend the history and evolution of the juvenile justice system in the United States.
  • Analyze Supreme Court decisions and their impact on the juvenile justice system.
  • Understand the role of technology in crime fighting.
  • Analyze civil libertarians' concerns about government intrusions.

Grading Criteria for Activities

Assignment Possible Points
Outside Abstract & Critiques (5 @ 25 pts. each) 125 points
Assigned Reading Critiques (5 @ 15 pts. each) 75 points
Group Projects (1 @ 40 pts., 1 @ 20 pts.) 60 points
Internet Exercises (2 @ 25 pts. each) 50 points
Research Paper 100 points
Final Exam 100 points
Participation on Discussion Board 20 points
Total: 530 points

Grading Scale
A 498 - 530 points
A- 477 - 497 points
B+ 461 - 476 points
B 445 - 460 points
B- 425 - 444 points
C+ 408 - 424 points
C 392 - 407 points
C- 371 - 391 points
D+ 355 - 370 points
D 339 - 354 points
D- 318 - 338 points
F 0 - 317 points

This is a graduate-level course. Students must earn a "C" or better for the course to count toward graduation.

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