cja303 | undergraduate

Foundations Of Criminal Justice

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This course is a survey of the criminal justice system, including the agencies and processes involved in the administration of criminal justice. It provides an overview of police, prosecution, courts, and the correctional system. The problems of the administration of justice in a democratic society are also discussed.

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

Course details:

Credits: 3
Continuing education units: XX
Professional development units: XX
Duration: 5

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    The Death Penalty, the War on Drugs, and the War on Crime

    • Compare the impact of the Drug Wars to the potential impact of the drug legalization.
    • Define and describe the War on Crime.
    • Debate the influence of the criminal justice system in achieving justice and reducing crime.
    • Define and describe the War on Drugs.
    • Evaluate arguments for and against the death penalty.

    The Future of Criminal Justice

    • Identify and analyze obstacles to fighting international crime and terrorism.
    • Compare and contrast the United States' criminal justice system to other systems.
    • Examine high-technology crimes, including computer crime.
    • Recognize the terminology associated with high-tech crime and computer crime.
    • Identify some of the challenges faced by the criminal justice system in the face of modern technology.
    • Explore the issue of multinational crimes and criminal justice.

    Criminal Law

    • Discuss modern criminal law, including its sources.
    • Recognize the types of defenses that may be acceptable under the United States legal system.

    Policing and Police Issues

    • Recognize the role of the police in contemporary society and be familiar with concepts such as community policing.
    • Examine the issues facing police departments in today's society, including the legal constraints faced by the police.

    Community Corrections

    • Identify the nature and purposes of community corrections.
    • Distinguish between probation and parole and examine the purposes of each.

    Institutional Corrections

    • Discuss the history of prisons and jails in Western society.
    • Explore prison society and the nature of inmate values and roles.
    • Identify the issues facing prisons and prison administrators today.

    Causes of Crime

    • Identify the major theories of criminal behavior.
    • Explain the manner in which theories of crime are constructed.

    Media Portrayal of Crime and Criminal Justice

    • Explore the influence of media on public perception of crime.
    • Assess the role of politics and entertainment in selective media coverage.
    • Evaluate the causes of inaccurate reporting.

    The Courts and the Criminal Trial

    • Outline the dual court system in the United States.
    • Describe the historical development of United States courts.


    • List the goals of criminal sentencing.
    • Identify the alternatives available to today's sentencing authorities.

    What is Criminal Justice?

    • Identify the major components of the criminal justice system and provide an overview of the criminal justice process.
    • Recognize the different perspectives of individual rights and public-order advocates.
    • Differentiate between the consensus and conflict models of the criminal justice process.


    • Explain the differences between major crime reporting programs in the United States.
    • Describe crime rates, arrest rates, and clearance rates in the United States.
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