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Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
Course Descriptions

 

Concentrations:

Lower Division

CRJS 100
Criminal Justice Foundations (3 units)

In this course, students explore the history and structure of the American criminal justice system, including police, courts, and corrections. Students explore the use of information technology, and the internet in the field of criminal justice. Students also become familiar with the online classroom, and learn the tools and skills to succeed in an online program. Note: All B.A. in Criminal Justice students will take CRJS 100 as their first course. This is a non-transferrable course.



CRJS 101
Contemporary Criminal Justice System (3 units)

This course surveys contemporary criminal justice systems in the United States with emphasis on the roles of law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Students analyze the components of and major players in the criminal justice system and apply what they learn to current issues and challenges. Students will address the duplication of police services in the United States from the local, county, state, and the numerous federal law enforcement agencies and make recommendations to make the system more cost effective, efficient, and streamlined.



CRJS 205
Law Enforcement in a Multicultural Society (3 units)

Law enforcement in contemporary American society is both exciting and challenging. This course focuses on the growth and changes in American policing from the 19th century to the present. Students examine the importance of race, ethnicity, gender, and class in law enforcement. They analyze the role of the police in society, various police agencies, the importance of technology, and other current practices and policies. Students also engage in practical discussions and exercises to explore long-standing, contemporary, and future law enforcement issues and challenges.



CRJS 210
Criminal Law and Procedure (3 units)

The legal nature of the criminal law is often more specific and complex than portrayed on television and in film. In this course, students study the philosophy of the law and important constitutional provisions. They examine the classification of crimes, legal definitions, and case law. Through a case method approach, students examine the elements of crimes such as homicide, sexual assault, battery, kidnapping and other criminal offenses. They also examine how justifications and excuses are used in defense of such crimes.

Upper Division

CRJS 300
Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice Reform (3 units)

Students in this course explore various aspects of the juvenile justice system and the population that it serves. Biological, psychological, and sociological factors in juvenile delinquency are considered. Students examine child and adolescent developmental theories as a backdrop for understanding predictors of and contributors to juvenile delinquency. The coursework includes a focus on contemporary ethical, legal (juvenile codes and case law), and diversity considerations. Students will analyze the reality of disproportionate minority juvenile confinement as well as national and local efforts to promote juvenile justice reform or the treatment of juvenile delinquency. Prerequisite(s): Upper Division Standing



CRJS 310
American Criminal Courts: Structure and Function (3 units)

The American criminal court system is both fascinating and complex. In this course, students examine how the court system operates at the local, state, and federal levels. They analyze the roles of judges, attorneys, and other judicial personnel. Students also analyze current challenges and policies related to the courts and judicial process, including issues regarding language, culture, and social class. Prerequisite(s): CRJS 100, CRJS 101, and Upper Division Standing



CRJS 311
Corrections in American Society (3 units)

There are a number of goals in sentencing individuals for their crimes, including deterrence and rehabilitation. This course examines the growth and changes in corrections from the 19th century to the present. Students examine the roles of jails, prisons, probation, and parole in combating crime. They analyze race, ethnicity, class, and gender as they relate to punishment, incarceration, diversion programs, rehabilitation, and social control. Prerequisite(s): CRJS 100, CRJS 101, and Upper Division Standing



CRJS 320
Crime and Criminology (3 units)

People commit crimes for a variety of reasons, and these crimes vary in their impact on victims and society. This course examines the nature and causes of crime and criminal behavior from a multidisciplinary perspective. Students study important theories of why crime exists and why individuals commit crime, including the roles of social class, ethnicity and gender in criminal behavior. Students apply theories and perspectives to actual crimes, and to crimes presented in vignettes and case studies.



CRJS 330
Writing and Interviewing Skills in Criminal Justice (3 units)

One of the most critical tasks in law enforcement is interviewing a diverse population of witnesses, victims, and suspects and documenting that information objectively. In this course students develop interviewing, note-taking, and report writing skills. They learn and practice communication skills and principles of interviewing designed to enhance self-awareness and professionalism. They explore ways of organizing information regarding incidents into effective written reports which will be admissible in courts.



CRJS 360
Inequalities, Human Rights, and Criminal Justice (3 units)

In the criminal justice field, it is important to treat people as individuals without profiling, stereotyping, and discriminating. At the same time, it is important to be sensitive to language and other cultural differences. Students in this course examine in depth the influence of race, ethnicity, gender, and class on crime and justice. Coursework focuses on how and why offenders, victims, and witnesses are treated differently, plus the dissimilar societal response to various types of crime. Prerequisite(s): CRJS 100, CRJS 101, and Upper Division Standing



CRJS 390
Research Methods and Data Analysis in Criminal Justice (3 units)

Understanding how data is collected and presented is an important tool for criminal justice professionals. In this course, students explore how statistics and research methods are used in the criminal justice field and how they are applied to contemporary problems in law enforcement, the courts, and corrections. Students also examine language and cultural issues in conducting criminal justice research in a diverse society. Prerequisite(s): CRJS 100, CRJS 101, and Upper Division Standing



POL 400
Latinos and the Law (3 units)

This course is an introduction to the Latino experience in the legal system beginning with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in the 19th century and continuing through contemporary time and the status of undocumented immigrants. Students in this course focus on important constitutional issues and cases that have impacted the Latino community. They examine how American society and the political system, operating within the framework of the U.S. Constitution, have influenced the civil and political rights of Latinos. Prerequisite(s): Upper Division Standing

Concentrations

Restorative Justice and Community Change

CRJS 420
Restorative Justice and the Community (3 units)

In this course, students explore theories and practices that focus on repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior to the victim and community and reintegrating the offender back into the community. Students examine strategies that transform the relationships among victims, offenders, communities and criminal justice agencies in a diverse society. Additional focus is placed on the importance of racial, ethnic, gender and cultural differences in dealing with crime and criminal behavior. Prerequisite(s): Upper Division Standing



CRJS 435
Police and the Community (3 units)

The police and the community depend on each other to keep neighborhoods safe. Students in this course examine the history, philosophy, and policies of community-oriented policing. Coursework focuses on police policies and practices in diverse communities. Students analyze community policing as a positive tool used by law enforcement. They explore how community policing can be used by the community and organizations to bring change to the policies and practices of police departments. Prerequisite(s): Upper Division Standing



CRJS 437
Community Organizations and Criminal Justice Issues (3 units)

The role of the community and various organizations is an essential component in reducing crime and preventing individuals from committing crimes. Students analyze community responses to crime and delinquency and policies that respect civil rights and create a safer community. They assess the challenges inherent in such efforts and discuss ways to mitigate obstacles. Students also explore the role of race, ethnicity, language, and gender in creating effective prevention and diversion programs and strategies that utilize community resources. Prerequisite(s): Upper Division Standing



CRJS 441
Victimology and Domestic Violence (3 units)

In this course, students explore the relationship between victims and offenders. They examine community and societal attitudes toward victims and domestic violence, and how these attitudes may vary across racial, ethnic, gender, and class lines. They also study the response of criminal justice agencies to victims of crime and domestic violence and legal and ethical issues related to working with crime victims. The course takes an interdisciplinary approach in analyzing the psychological, sociological, and economic impact of victimization and evaluates contemporary issues and problems in victimology. Prerequisite(s): Upper Division Standing

Crime and Criminology

CRJS 350
Drugs, Gangs, and Organized Crime (3 units)

Gangs and organized crime present significant criminal justice challenges both domestically and internationally. In this course, students explore theories and models related to gangs and organized crime, including types and membership of criminal groups and legal and community-based interventions. Students examine specific gangs and organized crime groups and their involvement in criminal activities. Prerequisite(s): Upper Division Standing



CRJS 441
Victimology and Domestic Violence (3 units)

In this course, students explore the relationship between victims and offenders. They examine community and societal attitudes toward victims and domestic violence, and how these attitudes may vary across racial, ethnic, gender, and class lines. They also study the response of criminal justice agencies to victims of crime and domestic violence and legal and ethical issues related to working with crime victims. The course takes an interdisciplinary approach in analyzing the psychological, sociological, and economic impact of victimization and evaluates contemporary issues and problems in victimology. Prerequisite(s): Upper Division Standing



CRJS 445
Crime Scene Investigation and Evidence (3 units)

Evidence that is legally obtained and thoroughly details the criminal activity under investigation is necessary for the successful prosecution of criminals. In this course, students explore crime scene assessment, interviewing and interrogation of witnesses and suspects, and use of informants and surveillance techniques in an investigation. Students examine legal and other issues involved in the collection of evidence. Prerequisite(s): Upper Division Standing



PSY 315
Psychological Disorders and Crime (3 units)

This course focuses on psychological disorders and criminal behavior. Students explore contemporary theories about the relationship of psychological disorders and crime and analyze associated data on the topic. They also examine developmental, biological, cognitive, and psychological factors that may contribute to criminal behavior. Prerequisite(s): Upper Division Standing