Featured Criminology and Criminal Justice Classes

CCJ plans to offer a full lineup of classes this Fall. Here are a few that might interest you:

CRJ 324     Serial and Mass Homicide     3 Credit Hours

The phenomenon of multiple homicide, especially mass shootings and serial murder, is of special interest in the field of criminology. Perpetrators of such acts and their methodologies can be studied for the purpose of primary and secondary prevention. 

CRJ 363     Crim Justice Syst and Policy     3 Credit Hours

The structure and processes of criminal justice administration in America, including analysis of current issues in police behavior, courts, and corrections.

CRJ 404/504    Sentencing

This course will familiarize students with the history, structure, and performance of America's sentencing system. Sentencing is the process by which criminal sanctions are imposed in individual cases following criminal convictions. The course examines the laws and policies that guide the determination of punishment in the court system. Topics include the theoretical underpinnings of sentencing, with an application focus on capital punishment; determinate and indeterminate sentencing systems; sentencing guidelines and departures from the guidelines; mandatory minimum sentences; and “3 strikes” and other habitual offender statutes. Students will engage in a graded practical exercise using sentencing guidelines to learn how to calculate sentences based on various facts. 

CRJ 408     Police and the Community     3 Credit Hours

This course examines the diverse roles of the public police and how to achieve effective community policing. After reviewing the evolution of community policing, this course focuses on understanding police mission and culture, involving the community, proactive policing, implementing community policing, communicating with a diverse population, the challenge of gangs, forming partnerships with the media, and building partnerships in the community. 

CRJ 416     Criminal Law     3 Credit Hours

A survey of the major judicial, executive, and legislative decisions in the field of criminal law.

CRJ 418/518    CJ Research Methods     4 Credit Hours

Full Title: Criminal Research Methods This course provides an introduction to methods of data collection and analysis, as well as a discussion of research design and the philosophy of social science, within the context of the field of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Attention is give to quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies.

CRJ 460/560     Law & Culture     3 Credit Hours

This course explores the ways in which legal norms, and processes are shaped by the societies in which they are created. Issues discussed may include the role of culture in criminal defenses, conflicts between religious and secular law, and how race, gender and ethnicity impact engagement with the law as lawyers and as clients. The class addresses anthropological and sociological theories about the nature of law and disputes, examines related studies of legal structure in non-Western cultures, and considers the uses of sociology and anthropology in studying our own legal system. By examining individual legal institutions in the context of their particular cultural settings, students can begin to make cross-cultural comparisons and contrasts. In doing so, the class confronts the challenge of interpreting and understanding the legal rules and institutions of other cultures while assessing the impact of our own social norms and biases.

CRJ 469/569     Juvenile Delinquency     3 Credit Hours

The analysis of juvenile delinquent behavior in relationship to the institutional framework of society. Emphasis on the extent, causes, and methods of juvenile delinquency in the United States.

CRJ 471/571     Int'l Criminal Justice Systems     3 Credit Hours

Description, analysis, and evaluation of selected criminal justice systems throughout the world. Course focuses on the various systems, theories, structures, methods and functions, including common law systems and socialist law systems. (YR).

CRJ 472/572     Correctional Systems     3 Credit Hours

Analysis of the legal, social, and political issues affecting contemporary correctional theory and practice. Topics covered include the history of corrections; the nature of existing institutions; the functions and social structure of correctional institutions; and alternatives to institutional incarceration, probation, and parole.

CRJ 475     Digital Evidence     3 Credit Hours

This course is a detailed approach to how computers and networks function, how they can be involved in virtually any type of crime, and how they can be used as a source of evidence. Students will analyze relevant legal issues and specific investigative and forensic processes related to technology. This course examines how deductive criminal profiling, a systemic approach to focusing an investigation and understanding criminal motivations, is utilized to locate and apprehend offenders.

CRJ 487/587     Forensic Science     3 Credit Hours

This class is a study of the increasing use of scientific evidence in criminal cases, gathered by crime scene investigators (CSI) and/or later developed in a crime laboratory. After a review of the history and development of forensic scientific evidence, the class will study the standards used by courts to prevent the admission of so-called "junk science" and the emergence of DNA as a new model for forensic science evidence. Several common forms of scientific evidence, beginning with DNA, will be studied, including fingerprints, handwriting, hair, bite marks, ballistics, fire and arson debris, and blood stains. The study also includes the forensic use of social sciences testimony, including the reliability of eyewitness testimony and several forms of abuse "syndrome" testimony. Each of these forms of evidence will be described and then compared to the "junk science" standards and to the most recent information about their reliability. The class will examine the impact of forensic science evidence or jurors and the so-called "CSI Effect". The reaction of courts, attorneys and police to juror expectations for scientific evidence will be reviewed. Finally, the class will review the impact of DNA exonerations and the National Academy of Sciences report on the reliability of forensic science evidence and how judges and appeals courts are responding to those challenges, particularly the current controversies concerning over the validity of such violence.