Criminal Justice-COAS | Introduction to Criminal Justice
P100 | 1374 | Bill Head
This course focuses on the administration of criminal justice. We
will explore the decision-making process whereby some citizens become
suspects, some suspects become defendants, some defendants are
convicted and in turn become probationers, inmates, and parolees.
This will be accomplished by examining the operational practices at
the major criminal justice decision-making stages (i.e., police,
courts and corrections). Contemporary problems and issues in criminal
justice administration will be highlighted and contrasted with the
unique history of American criminal justice. This is a required
course for all criminal justice majors, and also fulfills distribution
requirements for other schools in the College of Arts & Sciences.
The course will be divided into four roughly equal parts. Part One
will focus on some basic history and definitions of terms, as well as
an examination of the definition of crime. Part Two will focus
primarily on the apprehension of persons suspected of committing
crime, with a heavy emphasis on the role of the police. Part Three
will examine the workings of the courts and the actors (such as
prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys) who work in the judicial
system. We will also discuss sentencing
issues and the death penalty. Part Four will explore the correctional
system by examining some punishment rationales, prisons and their
history, and community corrections.
Readings: Cole/Smith, "American System of Criminal Justice", 9th
Edition, West Wadsworth, 2000.
Requirements: There will be four examinations (and a few pop
quizzes) in this course, corresponding to the four parts discussed.
Exams & quizzes will be primarily objective in nature (mostly multiple
choice with some true/false). The exam questions will be taken from
the textbook and from class lectures. Quizzes will be administered at
random during this course of the semester and may occur during lecture
or discussion sections.
Class Meeting: Two 50-minute lectures and one 50-minute discussion
section each week (MW, 1:25 - 2:15P, CH 122)