Survey Of Criminal Justice – cja490 (3 credits)

This course is a survey which explores the organizational differences and jurisdictions of local, state, and federal law enforcement, judicial and corrections agencies; and the related processes involved in the criminal justice system. It surveys the historical aspects of the police, the courts, and the correctional system, as well as explains the foundational relevance of these components to the overall functioning of the criminal justice system. Additionally, special issues and challenges faced by each of these areas will be considered.

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.


  • Describe the concepts on which probation and parole are based.
  • Explain the justifications for community-based corrections programs.
  • Identify various types of prisons.
  • Compare the roles of jails and prisons in the American correctional system.
  • Identify prison inmate characteristics.

Special Issues

  • Analyze the impact of global crime.
  • Define delinquency and status offenses.
  • Compare and contrast juvenile courts and adult courts.
  • Explain the effect of technology on the criminal justice system.

Criminal Courts

  • Describe the historical development of U.S.courts.
  • Differentiate the roles among members of the courtroom work group.
  • Outline the steps in the criminal trial process.
  • Evaluate various forms of punishment.
  • Compare and contrast the philosophical reasons for sentencing criminals.

The Criminal Justice System

  • Define crime and its relationship to law.
  • Describe governmental structure and its relationship to criminal justice.
  • Identify choice theories of crime and their underlying assumptions.
  • Describe the components of the criminal justice system and the criminal justice process.
  • Evaluate the differences between major crime reporting programs in the United States.

The Police and Law Enforcement

  • Analyze the role of the police in contemporary society.
  • Describe the historical development of police agencies and their jurisdiction.
  • Identify various types of law enforcement agencies and the components of each.
  • Describe constitutional amendments related to policing.

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