Criminology – cja323 (3 credits)

Criminology is an introductory course in the study of crime and criminal behavior, focusing on the various theories of crime causation. This course highlights the causes of crime, criminal behavior systems, societal reaction to crime, and criminological methods of inquiry.

This undergraduate-level course is 5 weeks. This course is available as part of a degree or certificate program. To enroll, speak with an Enrollment Representative.

Criminology, Social Policy, and Future Directions

  • Discuss the rise of the victim's movement and related programs.
  • Identify specific historical crime-fighting measures adopted by the federal government, including relevant legislation.
  • Discuss public policy in the area of crime prevention and control.
  • Identify specific strategies used in the battle against crime.
  • Describe future crimes and the role of the criminological futurist in social policy development.

What Is Criminology?

  • Explain the purpose of criminology and the functions of criminologists.
  • Define crime and deviance and explain the relationship between deviance and criminality.
  • Examine how crime control social policy is related to public perceptions of crime.

Social Structure , Social Process, and Social Development Theories

  • Identify the central tenets of social structure and social process theories.
  • Discuss the core principles of social process theories.
  • Describe the essential beliefs of social development theories, including life course theories.
  • Explore the policy implications of social structure, social process, and social development theories.

Conflict Theories

  • Identify the central tenets of conflict theory.
  • Differentiate between the various forms of conflict theory.
  • Analyze the policy implications of conflict theories.

Types of Crime

  • Describe the characteristics of personal and property crimes in the United States.
  • Differentiate between white-collar, corporate, and organized crime and explain the development of those concepts.
  • Explore the history of drug abuse in America and the extent of current illegal drug use.
  • Examine strategies that have been proposed for dealing with the drug problem.

The High-Tech Offender

  • Recognize how technology and criminality are interrelated.
  • Identify the types of computer crimes and the laws against them.
  • Describe some techniques used in computer crime-fighting.

Research Methods, Theory Development, and Patterns of Crime

  • Examine the economic and social dimensions of crime.
  • Discuss the history of statistical data collection about crime and the analysis of such data.
  • Describe and explain the major contemporary sources of crime data and their limitations.

Classical and Neoclassical Thought

  • Identify the major principles of the classical school of criminological thought.
  • Differentiate between classical and neoclassical criminology.
  • Describe the policy implications of the classical school.

Biological Roots of Criminal Behavior

  • Identify the fundamental assumptions of crime causation made by biological theorists.
  • Explain constitutional factors of crime causation.
  • Discuss the policy implications of biological theories.

Psychological and Psychiatric Foundations of Criminal Behavior

  • Identify the central principles of psychological criminology.
  • Describe the various psychological and psychiatric theories about crime.
  • Explore the impact of psychological and psychiatric theories on the law and social policy.

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