Honors | Introduction to Criminal Justice
P100 | 1479 | D. Rome

The honors section is designed to provide an overview of the field
within a seminar setting. Through the use of lectures, films, guest
speakers and group discussions, we will explore the many interesting
challenges that confront our system of criminal justice. In the
beginning, our energy will be devoted to understanding the diverse
theories of criminology that attempt to explain why people commit
criminal acts. It will also be important for us to review the basic
concept of criminal as it defines the underlying framework for the
operation of the justice system. Our major emphasis will be on the
three primary components of the criminal justice system: law
enforcement, the courts and corrections. Descriptions of the various
agencies will  be presented and the practices of police officers,
prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys, prison wardens and probation
officers will be examined. Current issues such as policebrutality, the
insanity defense, plea-bargaining, capital punishment and prison riots
will be analyzed. One of the most important goals for the course is to
understand how discretion is used and sometimes abused throughout the
justice process.

Reading will consist of approximately 40 to 50 pages per week, with at
least three homework assignments during the first half of the
semester. There will be three exams. Each exam will be made up of
multiple-choice items and essay questions. Students will also be
required to write a research paper on one of the topical areas
discussed in class.