Criminal Justice

CJSN 100 Introduction to Criminal Justice (3 Credits)

This course provides an overview of the American Criminal Justice System. Topics include how laws are created, the history and types of law enforcement; structure of the court system; and the changing philosophies of the American Correctional System. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to relate the basic principles of the American Criminal Justice System; the goals of the police; the history of the system; how the system protects the rights of all persons; and the constitutionally imposed restrictions on the system. This course will acquaint the student with the history and philosophy of law enforcement, the various agencies that comprise the criminal justice system, the relationship between the Constitution and the criminal justice system, and the various processes of the system.

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CJSN 103 Introduction to Criminology (3 Credits)

Introduction to Criminology provides the student of criminal justice an introduction to the study of crime in the United States. As an introduction to criminology, this course explores basic questions concerning human nature, human behavior, deviance, criminality, the controversies concerning determinism and free will, personal and social responsibility, and crime as deviant or normal behavior. The main focus of the course will revolve around the causation and measurement of crime, patterns and trends in crime, crime types, criminological theories, and how the theories are related to public policies and the criminal justice system.

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CJSN 107 Fundamentals of Criminal Law (3 Credits)

This course is about principles underlying the criminal law in the United States as well as the classification of crimes, criminal states of mind, factors affecting criminal responsibility, the stages of a criminal act, and various types of criminal offenses against the person and property. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: define terms of law and concepts that accompany them; read criminal law statutes, discuss and analyze the basic principles of criminal law, the history and development of criminal law (substantive and procedural law) and the practical application of criminal law; discuss the classifications of crime; discuss and explain the elements of crimes and the penalties attached thereto according to state law.

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CJSN 203 Ethics in Criminal Justice (3 Credits)

Criminal justice professionals have the power to make discretionary decisions that impacts the offenders, victims, and society. This course exposes students to ethical issues associated with the police, prosecution, courts, and correctional systems. Thus, the goal of this course is to prepare students in identifying and critically examining ethical issues and dilemmas in the criminal justice system by applying ethical decision models.

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GSON 332 Crime and Juvenile Delinquency (3 Credits)

This course will present a theoretical framework about the nature and extent of Crime and Delinquency. Departing a congenital or Lombrosian explanatory model, the course instead attempts to furnish a set of sociological understandings of the factors which may predispose specific individuals and/or groups to engage in behaviors frequently deemed “deviant” by functionaries of the criminal justice system. Specifically, the course will deal with some basic "facts" about delinquency. It will answer four questions: 1) what is delinquency and, in particular, how does it differ from adult crime? 2) How much delinquency is there? 3) Is delinquency increasing? And 4) what types of people tend to commit delinquent acts? After answering the above questions, the course will focus on what is probably the most frequently asked question about delinquency: "What causes juveniles to break the law?" It will examine the four major sociological theories or explanations of delinquency: strain, social learning, control, and labeling theories. The course also examines the extent to which delinquency is caused by individual traits (e.g., low intelligence, negative emotionality), family factors (e.g., "broken homes," poor discipline), school factors, delinquent peer groups and gangs, and other factors. In the final section of the course, we will ask "How can we control or prevent delinquency?" We will spend the first part of this section examining what the juvenile justice system (police, juvenile court, juvenile correctional agencies) does to control delinquency. Three questions will guide our analysis: 1) How do these agencies operate- what do they do to control delinquency? 2) To what extent do these agencies violate the rights of individuals and groups in their efforts to control delinquency? And 3) How effective are these agencies and what can they do to be more effective?

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CJSN 105 Introduction to Corrections (3 Credits)

Introduction to Corrections provides an overview of the role of a modern correctional system within the American criminal justice system. This course focuses primarily on the trends and developments in all components of a correctional system for the treatment of juvenile and adult offenders. It also covers both institutional and community sanctions, and offers the student thought-provoking, unbiased examinations of such topics as assisting felons during the re-entry process, reducing recidivism, the death penalty, and surveillance. Additionally, the course will provide students with a frontline view of careers in the corrections field.

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CJSN 110 Court System and Practices (3 Credits)

This course examines the role of the judiciary in the criminal justice system. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to discuss: the structure of the state court system; the prosecution of offenders; the basic right to counsel; the concept of pretrial release; the purpose and function of the grand jury; the procedural processes of adjudication; types and purposes of sentencing; the rules of evidence; rules concerning trial procedure; and the disposition of criminal cases. By focusing on court systems and the rules of procedure, the student will better understand why particular cases are filed in certain courts, and why certain procedures are required, while others are prohibited. Studying procedural law enables students to have a more complete understanding of the criminal process, from arrest through appeal. This course is designed to transfer to four year colleges and universities offering degrees in criminal justice or related disciplines.

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CJSN 120 Introduction to Police Studies (3 Credits)

Introduction to Police Studies will provide an overview and analysis of the American system of law enforcement, examining the origins, development, roles, and operations of policing in contemporary society. Students will develop a detailed understanding of the problems arising between citizens and police from the enforcement and non-enforcement of laws, from social changes, and from individual and group police attitudes and practices.

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GSF 100 Introduction to Forensic Science (4 Credits)

This course provides the non-science major with an introduction to the forensic sciences. The lecture portion of the course establishes a foundation for understanding how the natural sciences are applied to matters of legal concern, concentrating on the concepts and techniques on which forensic science is built, including crime scene processing, physical evidence collection, microscopy, and the analysis of fingerprints, firearms and DNA evidence. The laboratory portion of the course provides an opportunity to learn “hands-on” by using common analytical techniques. Upon completion of this course, the student will understand the role that a forensic scientist plays in the criminal justice system.

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GSON 335 Selected Topics in Social Deviance (3 Credits)

The concepts of social deviance, pathology, social disorganization, value conflict, and labeling are examined. A critical assessment of social causation, labeling, stigmatization and the scientific methods of determining deviance are considered. Sociological theories of deviant behavior are applied to alcoholism, drug abuse, criminality, delinquency, suicide, sexual deviance and mental illness. Institutional responses to deviants are discussed.

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