Criminal Justice-COLL | Introduction to Criminal Justice
P100 | 5842 | Spano
This course is a broad overview of crime, its measurement, attempts
at explaining criminal behavior, and the structure and function of
the criminal justice system. More specifically, the objectives of
this course are:
1. To show how the definition of what is a crime changes over time
and how other (more harmful) acts other than traditional street
crimes have not traditionally been defined as criminal.
2. To introduce you to how scientific inquiry is conducted on
criminal behavior or the behavior of criminal justice actors through
the usage of
theories as explanations.
3. To increase your understanding about the key distinction
between "law on the books" (in the form of official rules or laws)
and law in action (in terms of the actual behavior of criminal
justice actors) within the criminal justice system).
4. To introduce you to the structure and process of the criminal
5. To expose you to the prevalence and implications of discretionary
decisionmaking in the criminal justice system.
Class Meeting: Two 50-minute lectures (Tuesday and Thursday, 1:00-
1:50) and one 50-minute discussion section each week.
Distribution Credit: S & H
Instructor: Professor Richard Spano, Criminal Justice Department