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Course Syllabus
COURSE DESCRIPTION

    Crime has captured the interest and heightened the concern of the American public.  It has become top priority among the nation's major social problems that require immediate attention and more effective solutions.  Crime is a violation of norms, more formally, the criminal code, upheld by society.  Society, in turn, employs mechanisms of formal social control to protect the rights of its constituents and to impose sanctions on those who either violate or uphold these norms.  Our understanding of the presence and persistence of criminal activity is enhanced by the knowledge and appreciation of the formal mechanisms, also known as the criminal justice system.  The study of criminal justice involves a rational approach in understanding the workings of the institutions, the actors, the organization structure, and the processes concerning the control, prosecution, adjudication and prevention of criminal activity.   A dual approach will be used in our analysis and understanding of the criminal justice, namely, the “real” or “what it is like”  and the “mythical” or what is it believed to be, or how are supposed to regard it.”   This duality, as we will discover throughout the course is what has made our criminal justice system a problematic, i.e. more the problem than the solution to the incidence and persistence of criminality in our society.  

    Among the specific objectives that this course aims to accomplish are the following:

    (1)     To introduce students to the study of crime in the context of the criminal justice system as viewed from the sociological perspective- its relevant concepts, features and issues, and the major theoretical considerations that can possibly lead to better understand it and, more importantly, to set parameters in searching for solutions and remedies;

(2)     To familiarize them with pertinent as well as recent data and other information sources that depict issues concerning the efficacy and intervention of the criminal justice institutions in in its effort to resolve increasing criminal activity;

(3)     To conduct projects and/or write critiques on printed materials (newspaper accounts, news weekly articles and other publications) and on popular films directly related to the course topics;

(4)     To view our subject matter from a cross-cultural perspective that may lead to insights on how other societies deal with the problem of crime.  

The Criminal Justice System will be explored in five parts, namely;

PART 1:  In Part 1 we will examine crime in America.  We will briefly touch on the basic functions of each component of the criminal justice system, discuss the definitions of crime and different kinds of crime, and then explore the causes of crime.

PART 2:  This part of the course will focus on the begining stages of the criminal justice process, exploring policing and police decision-making.  We will explore the history and structure of policing, police management, and legal aspects of policing.

PART 3:  This section of the course will address adjudication.  Here will will examine the operation of the court system by examing the courtroom work group, all stages of the court process, and progression of cases through the system.

PART 4:  This section of the course will explore corrections.  We will discuss probation, parole, community corrections, prisons, and jails.  We will also give considerable attention to life in male and female institutions.

PART 5:  In the final section of the course, we will examine special criminal justice issues.  These issues include juvenile justice, drugs and crime, multinational criminal justice, and the future of criminal justice.


TEXTBOOK

Frank Schmallenger.  CRIMINAL JUSTICE TODAY. (Seventh Edition),  Prentice-Hall. 2001.  The author has a Companion Website for the book and an APBnews website, a news resource on crime and criminal justice issues. Other useful resources for every chapter are the WebExtras and the LibraryExtras.  



COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

    Students are expected to attend lectures and are encouraged to participate in class discussions.  They will be held responsible for the assigned chapters drawn from the textbooks and from other materials and resources assigned throughout the semester.  This may include journal articles from printed journals and periodicals as well as from online sources, data sources and statistical materials, video documentaries relevant to the topics discussed.   Students will be expected to make class presentations on assigned or researched material and this will be the basis for class discussion.  Students are also encouraged to access and retrieve learning materials and other types of information from online and other media sources that may serve as added information and knowledge to the class.  

    Course requirements will include the following: (1) three short (typewritten) papers reacting to or critiquing selected material relevant to specific issues; (2) three tests which will include materials discussed in class; and (3) a “comprehensive” final examination that will cover only those chapters and materials/resources covered in the course.  All these efforts will be evaluated and the overall grade will be determined by the percent weights shown in the table below:
COURSE REQUIREMENTS
Percent of Final Grade
3 Short Papers
33%
3 Tests
33%
Final Examination
33%

The grade scale for the course is as follows:

LETTER GRADE
NUMERIC GRADE
A
92 - 100
A-
87 - 91
B+
82 - 86
B
77 - 81
B-
72 - 76
C+
67 - 71
C
62 - 66
D
58 - 61
F
Below 58

A class session is the main learning venue for this course.  Students are encouraged to participate in the learning process.  They are encouraged to raise questions, comment on issues and react knowledgeably to assigned materials during the class sessions.  They are also expected to exhibit behavior appropriate as university undergraduates.  Class discussions will be conducted to enable students to express their views, comments, and opinions.

    Class attendance is required to participate in the discussion and will be monitored.  An accumulation of FOUR unexcused absences can jeopardize the student's status in the course and can result to possible disqualification. MAKE-UP tests and/or exams will be given to students with reasons and excuses supported by appropriate documentation considered justifiable by the professor. Students are responsible for the materials covered for the missed test and/or exam.  The make-up test will NOT be the same as the regular one.   Also, the professor has the option of asking essay questions rather than the regular objective format.  The student must contact the professor as soon as possible for failure to take tests and/or exams, and for failure to submit assigned work.  Make-up tests and exams will be given only on designated dates during the semester for all sociology courses.  Check the Make-up Schedule for the specific dates, times, and venue.  The student will be required to fill up a form and the professor will, in turn, authorize and endorse it.  Otherwise, a grade of “0" will be given to that particular test or exam.  Assigned work will have to be submitted on or before the designated deadline.  If this is not met, the student will not get a grade for this work.  No “extra credit” work is permitted.  Students are responsible for materials covered and discussed during a class session.

Any complaint about grades or matters pertinent to the course should first be brought up and discussed with the professor.  He is in the best position to resolve any problems that a student has about the course.  This can be discussed in his office (College Hall, Rm 530) during appointment hours, or after the class session.  It is advisable to clarify problems early.

 
INCOMPLETES AND ACADEMIC DISHONESTY

    Incompletes must be negotiated PRIOR to final exams.  An incomplete will be given for medical reasons or extreme crisis.  It is the student's responsibility to remove this incomplete in the agreed upon time period specified.

    Academic dishonesty like cheating in exams and quizzes and plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students who violate this policy will be sanctioned appropriately in accordance with university policy.

Week
Topic
Chapter
1
What is Criminal Justice?
1
2
The Crime Picture
2
The Search for Causes
3
3
Criminal Law
4
4
Policing: History and Structure
5
5
Police Management
6
6
Policing: Legal Aspects
7
7
The Courts
8
8
The Courtroom Workgroup and the Criminal Trial
9
9
Sentencing
10
10
Probation, Parole, and Community Corrections
11
11
Prisons and Jails
12
12
Prison Life
13
13
Juvenile Justice
14
14
Drugs and Crime
15
15
Multinational Criminal Justice
16
The Future of Criminal Justice
17
FINAL EXAMINATION