Criminal Justice-COAS | Introduction to Criminal Justice
P100 | 1726 | Kearns


This course is an introduction to the administration of criminal
justice.  Its focus is the structure, functions, and processes of
the criminal justice system.  The principle components of the
justice system – the police, courts, and corrections – as well as
the complex interrelationships among these organizational components
and tensions between them will be examined.  We will explore the
processes that constitute each step of the criminal justice system
from decision to arrest, to sentencing, through reentry as well as
definitions of crime and law, the nature and extent of crime, and
the constitutional foundations of law and justice.  The impact of
external influences – such as politics and the media - on the goals
and functioning of the criminal justice system will be analyzed
along with historical and international perspectives on the
administration of justice.  Issues of theory versus practice will be
illuminated in the criminal justice system at each step of the
process, and our considerations of the criminal justice system will
be contextualized within models of the criminal justice system such
as due process versus crime control.  Finally, contemporary issues
and trends such as sentencing policies, emerging issues in prisons,
the “war on drugs”, and the death penalty will be explored.

Readings TBA

Class meeting:  Daily, 10:20-11:15

Instructor:  Amy Kearns, criminal justice department