Criminal Justice Course Descriptions (CJ)

160 Crime and Punishment (4 credits; Fall and Spring) This introduction to various aspects of the criminal justice system includes law enforcement, the judicial process, and corrections and punishment. It also surveys sociological understanding of deviant and criminal behavior and of the historical changes in why and how we punish those who violate the law. 

US 208 Great Trials in History (4 credits) This University Seminar explores a dozen famous trials chosen to represent conflicts in different areas of intellectual and cultural/social history, including philosophy, religion, science, art, and literature. Subjects include Socrates, Galileo, the Salem Witch Trials, John Brown, Oscar Wilde, the Scopes Monkey Trial, Nuremberg, and Robert Mapplethorpe. Texts include books, films, articles, and websites. Note: US 208 can count toward the Criminal Justice, History and Philosophy majors and minors.

215 Organized Crime (4 credits; Fall) This course introduces students to organized crime, covering the history and development of American organized crime, characteristics, definitions, types and theoretical paradigms of organized crime, criminal activity associated with organized crime and domestic and international efforts to combat both American and transnational organized crime. It examines the evolution of organized crime and its impact on investigative strategies and law enforcement. The course will look at a variety of national and transnational organized crime groups.

220 Special Topics (4 credits; Fall, Spring) This course provides in-depth analysis, from a criminal justice perspective, of a substantive social issue confronting the criminal justice system. Topics vary from year-to-year. May be repeated for credit.

225 Criminal Investigation (4 credits; Spring) This course covers the legal, scientific, behavioral, and investigative aspects of criminal investigations. Topics include investigative theory and processes, collection and preservation of evidence, sources of information, interview and interrogation, uses of physical evidence and forensic science, specific types of criminal investigations including death, homicide, sexual assault, robbery, burglary, arson, explosives, computer and white collar investigations, and case and trial preparation. 

226 Crime Scene (4 credits; Fall) Investigation and Reconstruction (4 credits) This is an undergraduate-level course designed to provide the student with a foundation in crime scene investigation. The course is a complete and comprehensive look at processing a crime scene from the initial call to reconstruction of the crime scene for court presentation. 

230 Drugs and Society (4 credits; Spring) This course addresses the different explanations of drug use and abuse and the impact of drugs on the body and on brain functioning. It examines the connection between drugs and crime, covering drug-related policies in the United States and abroad, including the war on drugs. It examines alternative drug policies, including a discussion regarding how other countries view drug misuse and how they approach the problem in terms of programs and policies. Students are asked to critically examine drug policies and programs. 

240 Rehabilitative Practices and Policies (4 credits; Fall) This course examines the formal interventions intended to change the behavior of those convicted of crimes. In the past 30 years, the American criminal justice system has de-emphasized rehabilitation in favor of more expressive punishments aimed at retribution rather than rehabilitation. This course examines what rehabilitative practices work and the philosophy underlying rehabilitation as a goal of punishment. 

248 Women and Crime (4 credits; Spring) This course provides students with a perspective on the role of gender in crime and punishment. There are patterned differences in the roles males and females perform in the criminal justice system, in the crimes men and women commit, and in the crimes that victimize men and women. This course examines these questions from a historical and contemporary perspective, analyzing the changing legal status of women and the institutional response to women and victims and criminals. 

250 Policing and Society (4 credits; Spring) Police officers are the public face of the criminal justice system. This course examines the organization and administration of the police in the context of social and political changes. Attention also is paid to the social and social psychological dimensions of policing, the culture of police officers, the impact of policing in communities, and policies governing the work of police officers and officials. Offered in odd years. Prerequisite: CJ 160. 

255 Courts and Justice (4 credits; Fall) This course examines the structures and function of courts, the role of the courtroom workgroup, and the range of criminal sanctions. Students also identify and analyze issues of justice concerned with court-related policies and practices.

260 Prisons and Corrections (4 credits; Spring) The United States imprisons more people per capita than nearly all developed nations, and incarceration rates increased dramatically in the final quarter of the 20th century. This course examines the history of the prison as a means of punishment, the purpose and functions of prisons in modern society, and the successes and failures of the corrections system in the United States. In addition, the course considers shifts in the demographic profile of prisoners and the effects of increased incarceration on the home community of the incarcerated and the broader U.S. society. 

273 Criminal Minds, Criminal Roles (4 credits) This course investigates the use of structural, cultural and social psychological theory in explaining criminal behavior. One focus of the course is examining criminal behavior from a life-course perspective to examine why much violent crime is committed during adolescence, why some people become career criminals while others “age out” of crime, and the manner by which race, class and gender affect criminality, given this manner by which suburban American culture impacts youth delinquency. 

275 Comparative Criminal Justice Systems (4 credits; Fall) This course is structured around comparisons of how crime and punishment are dealt with in other cultures and nations. The goal is to provide insight into other cultures, help illuminate underlying aspects of geopolitical conflict, and place the U.S. criminal justice system in sharper relief. Comparisons are drawn on what constitutes a crime, the judicial processes for determining guilt, and theories and practices of punishment. Offered in odd years. 

290 Surveillance (4 credits; Spring) The increased intensity and extensiveness of surveillance is one of the defining characteristics of contemporary society. This course examines the role of surveillance in society, with special emphasis placed on surveillance as a means of criminal detection and social control. It considers a range of surveillance techniques, from hierarchical observation to CCTV monitoring of public space to the collection and sorting of personal data. Students are asked to consider these techniques in terms of sociological theories of power and social control. Offered in even years. 

310 Civil Rights, Civil Liberties and the Law (4 credits; Fall) In this course students will explore the origins, the history and struggle for civil rights. We will cover the impact that important social and political movements have had on changes in the law. In addition to the assigned texts, students will become familiar with Supreme Court decisions that have defined our constitutional rights in the modern era. The first part of the course will focus on civil rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's. The second half of the course students will study key provisions of the Bill of Rights, as well as Supreme Court decisions that have shaped these crucial protections against the power of the state.

325 Inside/Out (4 credits; Fall, Spring) This unique, experiential course is affiliated with the national Inside/Out program. The class meetings take place at a Philadelphia County prison. Half the students in the class of 24 will be Arcadia students (outside), the other half will be inmates (inside). Inside and outside students meet once a week to discuss readings related to criminal justice and to work on joint research projects. Students must be willing to abide by the rules and procedures of the prison and the Inside/Out program. Enrollment in the course is by permission of the Department only. 

340 Juvenile Justice (4 credits; Spring) This course addresses a variety of issues related to juvenile justice. It examines the juvenile justice system and all its components including the police, juvenile courts and juvenile sanctions. In it students discuss the benefits and drawbacks of various programs and policies aimed at reducing juvenile delinquency, including D.A.R.E., and trying juveniles as adults. Students also will examine the various theories about why juveniles engage in delinquency.

375 Theories of Deviance and Criminality (4 credits; Fall) Why people engage in deviant behavior, including criminal activity, has long been the subject of sociological inquiry. In this course, a variety of theoretical perspectives are considered, including functionalist, radical, social psychological and structural theories. Among the questions to be asked are: Why do people commit deviant and criminal acts? What acts are defined as deviant and criminal, and why? Who has the power to define acts as deviant and criminal? Students will be expected to understand the various theories and their implications, as well as to develop an understanding of their own theory of deviance and criminality.
Prerequisite: CJ 160.

377 Domestic Violence (4 credits; Spring ) This course focuses on the causes and impact of domestic violence, as well as strategies for its prevention, and treatment for both those who have been abused, and for for abusers. Each week students focus on a different aspect of family violence including partner abuse, child abuse, sibling violence, and elder abuse. This course examines how the criminal justice system responds to domestic violence as well, and how that response has changed over time. 


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