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CJ: Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

CJS - Criminal Justice Courses

CJS 101 - Introduction to Criminal Justice
3 credits/3 contact hours
This course explores the historical development, current operation, and future trends of criminal jus­tice. Emphasis will be placed on contemporary problems in the definition of law, the enforcement of law, strategies of policing, judicial systems, sentencing strategies and correctional practices. Content includes not only practices in the United States, but also other cultures and their systems of justice.

CJS 102 - Ethics and Leadership in Criminal Justice
3 credits/3 contact hours

This course is an exploration of professionalism and decision making in criminal justice through the lens of ethics, codes of conduct and leadership in organizations. The course will survey various ethical dilemmas and leadership theories. With this foundation, the students will examine their own decision making process, apply these concepts to current problems and issues facing criminal justice professionals and understand that ethical leadership should exist at all levels of the profession.

CJS 105 - Topics in Criminal Justice
3 credits/3 contact hours

This course investigates special topics and emerging issues within the criminal justice system. Topics discussed will be outside of those carried in the catalog on a regular basis. The course may be repeat­ed for credit when the topic varies.

CJS 120 - Criminology
3 credits/3 contact hours

This course will define crime and evaluate the various ways crime is measured. Students will be provided with an overview of the more popular criminological theories, emphasizing the biological, psychological and sociological schools of thought. In addition, crime control and prevention strategies as they relate to each theory will be examined in terms of theory, practice and effectiveness. Major crime typologies will be defined and discussed.

CJS 125 - Criminal Law
3 credits/3 contact hours

This course is an introductory study of criminal law in America; a study of the behavior that society has deemed to be unacceptable and worthy of punishment. The course will focus on the basic ele­ments of crimes and defenses. Substantive criminal law will be covered, which defines such crimes as murder, rape, assault, perjury, extortion and offenses against national security. The general principles of criminal liability, punishment, and criminal defenses based on self-defense, necessity, entrapment, diminished capacity and insanity will be discussed.

CJS 140 - Criminalistics
3 credits/3 contact hours

This course provides the student with the entry level forensic skills instrumental in conducting a complete and thorough criminal or civil investigation. Students will study the principles of effective crime scene management as well as what types of information can be learned from physical evidence as a result of laboratory analysis. The course is designed to prepare students in legal and practical documentation, collection, preservation and laboratory analysis of physical evidence discovered during a criminal investigation. Actual criminal investigations will be presented and discussed.

CJS 160 – Contemporary Corrections
3 credits/3 contact hours

The focus of this course is to introduce the student to correctional systems in the United States of America. Emphasis is placed on the historical development of correctional systems and practices, treatment of offenders, goals of corrections, and special needs of offenders in today’s systems.

CJS 170 Case Preparation
3 credits/3 contact hours

This course is designed to teach students the proper methods for handling an investigation and preparing a case for trial. Included in the course will be a review of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution; investigative and information gathering techniques; methods of evidence gathering and preservation; interrogation techniques; report writing; and pre-trial preparation and procedures. A review of courtroom procedures and conduct at trial will also be discussed.

CJS 180 Victimology
3 credits/3 contact hours

This course is designed to enhance students’ understanding of victimology through the specific 
examination of crime victims. Special attention will be given to the origin of victimology, the role of the victim, victim precipitation, and the concept of a victim-centered justice system. Discussion will include historical and current responses by the criminal justice system and the key sociological forces associated with victimization.

CJS 205 - Police Organizations
3 credits/3 contact hours

This course covers the principles of police organization, administration, and community policing, as well as the selection, training, promotion and socialization of officers. Topics will include: patrol operations, ethics and deviance, civil liability, police-community relations and personnel systems. The deployment of personnel, tactical operations and the use of specialized equipment will also be covered.
Prerequisite: CJS 101

CJS 210 - Juvenile Justice
3 credits/3 contact hours

The course will examine the impact of family, school, community and abuse on the conduct of juve­niles. Topics to be covered will include: the history of the juvenile justice system, including a review of the current status of the system and juvenile crime trend data; research examining the pathways that children and youth follow into delinquent behavior; theoretical approaches to delinquency, and the evolution of, and evidence behind, current policy and practice in the Juvenile Court System, juvenile corrections and probation. Gangs, delinquency, and violence in schools will also be studied.
Prerequisite: CJS 101 or CJS 120

CJS-230 Police-Community Relations
3 credits/3 contact hours

This course introduces police-community relations, examines trends, practices, social and individual effects of police work. Students will examine law enforcement operations, enforcement policy, and the different operations during civil disorders and disaster. The role of the police officer in achieving and maintaining public support, human relations, and positive relationships with violators and com­plainants will be covered. Prerequisite: CJS 101

CJS 240 – Criminal Investigation
3 credits/3 contact hours

Criminal Investigation introduces students to the fundamental principles and procedures employed in the investigation of a crime. Students will learn the procedures necessary for the proper handling of evidence and develop a working knowledge of the steps of investigation beginning with the initial security of the crime scene and concluding with the presentation of evidence and proper testimony in court. Emphasis is placed on the investigation of homicide, sex crimes, robbery and burglary. This course includes some hands on work designed to reinforce basic forensic skills.

Prerequisites: CJS 101

CJS 280 Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice
3 credits/3 contacts

This course is designed to acquaint the student with a variety of issues, some controversial, that con­front the criminal justice community. The emphasis will be on reading about these issues, speaking with current professionals in the field, and engaging in-depth discussion in a seminar setting.

Prereq­uisite: CJS 101

CJS 290 - Criminal Justice Internship
3 credits/3 contact hours
This course provides the student an opportunity to integrate classroom theory and knowledge with the daily practices of a criminal justice or social service support agency. The course is designed to promote professional development by providing challenging and valuable work experience and pre­pare students for future careers in the criminal justice field. In addition to field work, students will also be required to submit written assignments on a regular basis. Students are expected to spend a minimum of 135 hours working in the field and complete written assignments related to the experi­ence.
Prerequisites: Criminal Justice majors with at least 30 credits and a GPA of 3.0 in the Criminal Justice program, and permission of the department chair or his/her designee.