Criminal Justice & Law

Introduction to Criminal Justice

For students considering a career in Criminal Justice, this introductory course is the best place to start! The Introduction to Criminal Justice course explores the intricacies of the American Criminal Justice system – past, present and future. Within the confines of the Constitution, this explores the criminal justice system as it is developed by state criminal codes and served by so many levels of personnel from police officers on the street to the attorneys, judges and investigators that comprise its inner-workings. Throughout this course, students will examine police methods and crime statistics as well as following the process all the way through from incident, to arrest, to court adjudication and corrections. Students will discover how laws are criminal laws are crated, how the court system enforces them, and how the American criminal justice system has evolved over the last 2 centuries. Students will confront a number of controversial issues including corrections, the death penalty, essential constitutional questions, the role of legal precedent and a look at the juvenile justice system as well.

This course introduces students to the criminal justice system and its three main components: law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. It reviews what constitutes a criminal offense, how crime is measured, and theories of crime causation. This course also looks at issues and challenges facing today’s criminal justice system and examines possible future directions.
Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Define key terms related to the justice system
  • Examine the justice system
  • Analyze concepts related to criminal law
  • Compare and contrast theories of crime
  • Evaluate the impact history has had on the American justice system
  • Examine issues and emerging trends in criminal justice

This class includes the following eText:
Schmalleger. (2011). Criminal Justice Today: An Introductory Text for the 21st Century; 11/E; ISBN: 0135074096

This course does not include tutoring.

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