Introduction to Criminal Justice

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Course Number: CRIMLJUS 1130
Course Name: Introduction to Criminal Justice (Online)
Course Description:    A survey of the administration of criminal justice, including the structural components of the criminal justice system and the stages of the criminal process from the detection of crime and arrest through prosecution, adjudication, sentencing and correctional intervention; emphasis upon analysis of decisions and practices within the context of the entire criminal justice system.
Prerequisites:    None
Level: Undergraduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online

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

  • Understand the various components of the criminal justice system, including its origin, structure, functions, goals, and responsibilities.  
  • Classify crime, criminal response, and related issues.
  • Evaluate the relationships between the various components of the criminal justice system and the process of administering justice.
  • Identify local, state, and national offices and components of the criminal justice system.
  • Develop critical thinking skills through an examination of justice in the criminal justice system and its impact on society.
  • Develop and improve research and writing skills.

Unit Descriptions

  • Unit 1 provides an overview of the major themes of this course: what constitutes a crime and how the United States accomplishes justice. A discussion of how crime is measured is provided, as well as a brief overview of the various explanations of crime.
  • Unit 2 provides a review of a variety of topics related to police and policing, and includes history and structure; police organization and management; legal aspects related to police, primarily involving Fourth Amendment issues; liability and police misconduct; and problem-oriented and community-oriented policing.
  • Unit 3 provides an overview of the U.S. court system, including a look at the history, mission, key players, and flow of events in the criminal trial. Pleas and sentencing options are also examined.
  • Unit 4 reviews corrections in the United States, including the history and development of probation, parole, community corrections, and private prisons. This unit also looks at various correctional philosophies and explores the issues related to being a prisoner in the United States.
  • Unit 5 provides a brief overview of the juvenile justice system, primarily in terms of how it is different from the adult system.

Grading Information

Grades will be determined based on total accumulated points. Grades are not based on percentages, and, therefore, will not be rounded at the end of the semester. Your grade will reflect the points that you earned. The breakdown of points is as follows:

  • 4 exams (50 points each): 200 points
  • 1 research paper outline (15 points): 15 points
  • 1 paper (50 points): 50 points
  • 4 assignments (15 points each): 60 points
  • Participation: 35 points
  • Total points: 360 Points

The following grading scale will be used:

  • A = 342- 360
  • A- = 324-341
  • B+ =307-323
  • B = 299- 308
  • B- =288-298
  • C+ =274-287
  • C = 263-273
  • C- =252-262
  • D+ =238-251
  • D = 216- 237
  • F = 215 or below

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