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Criminal Justice Courses

Course offerings reflect the 2020-2021 Elmhurst University Catalog. One unit of credit equals four semester hours.

An overview of the development, organization and function of the adult and juvenile criminal justice systems in the United States. Issues of prevention, control, prosecution and treatment of crime and violators will be discussed. The social and cultural factors that influence the creation of laws, the commission of crime and the operation of law enforcement, courts and corrections will be emphasized. Professional, legal and ethical concerns will be explored using case examples.

An examination of the role of the police in modern society. Topics include: interactions with minorities, racial profiling, police corruption and the use of force. Emphasis on accountability and remedies for strained relationships between the police and the public.

An examination of the historical foundations and ideological and pragmatic justifications for punishment and imprisonment; sentencing trends and alternatives to incarceration; organization and management of correctional institutions; inmate life and prison; treatment and custody; discharge and parole.

An examination of early and modern theories of criminality from the 18th century to the present. Emphasis on sociological explanations, including social disorganization, subcultural theories, strain and self-control. Associations among theory, research and policy will be highlighted.

Prerequisite: CJ 100 or SOC100.

An analysis and in-depth study of how multiple institutions within the social environment of contemporary U.S. society influence juvenile offenders. Special attention is given to issues and dilemmas in arresting, processing, charging, interrogating, prosecuting, sentencing/punishing and incarcerating juvenile offenders.

Prerequisite: CJ 100 or SOC 100.

A focus on the operation of organized criminal activities and white collar crime. Structure, participant characteristics, legal handling, investigation, prosecution and sentencing will be examined and compared.

Prerequisite: CJ 100.

An introduction to the logic and procedures for conducting social research. An examination of the foundations of social research, research design, methods of observation, data analysis and ethical issues in research.

Prerequisite: CJ 100 or SOC 100.

An examination of the evolution of criminal investigation as well as current investigative techniques and protocol. Students will explore the various stages of crime (the scene) via physical evidence, canvassing for witnesses, arrest and preparation for prosecution.

Prerequisite: CJ 100.

Gender and Crime focuses on explanations of the criminality of women, men and transgender people in the U.S. and the prison cultures associated with different genders. The course examines how dominant cultural norms and values reflect differential power relations between individuals in U.S. society and how these power inequalities act as root causes of crime. It explores how crime is used by individuals to appeal to, reject or change societal norms and relationships as well as how social control of such individuals is used to shore up support for existing societal norms and relationships.

Prerequisite: CJ 100 or SOC 100.

This course will introduce students to numerous types of social policies throughout the United States that often create inequalities within our society. Families and individuals experiencing contact with the criminal justice system often are also in contact with social programming so students will be exposed to this overlap. We will explore the process of policy making within the United States government and criminal justice organizations. They will be introduced to numerous principal U.S. social programs, like Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare, as well as criminal justice programs, such as mental health programs in prisons and jails and sentencing policies.

Prerequisite: CJ 100 or SOC 100.

This course is designed to provide an overview of the relationship between crime and community characteristics. It answers questions about why some communities have more crime and violence than others. The course has three main focuses. First, it provides a background of how cities in the United States developed into our modern day system. Second, the course provides a history of the theories surrounding the study of crime and place. Lastly, it covers current topics that affect communities.

Prerequisites: CJ 100.

This course explores the ethical and philosophical issues and moral dilemmas that face criminal justice professionals. These may include topics such as the principles of justice, utilitarianism, philosophical issues in sentencing, police and ethics, ethics and research, and the scope of state control.

Prerequisites: CJ 100.

An examination of the development and operation of United States criminal law, including legal terminology, crime definitions, criminal defenses, and the protections afforded by the Constitution. Criminal responsibility and the capacity to commit a crime will be covered. Specific areas of interest include jurisdiction, entrapment, insanity and mens rea, the exclusionary rule, Miranda warnings, warrantless searches and probable cause.

Prerequisites: CJ 100.

Topics vary depending on student and faculty interest. Some of these include police racial profiling, capital punishment, the courts, domestic violence, probation and parole and serial murderers. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisites: CJ 100. This course will count as one Criminology Course or one Criminal Justice course depending on the topic, as determined by the Department.

.50, .75 or 1.00 credit

Independent, guided field work in criminal justice. Field work involves work in an agency, organization or community setting using criminal justice theory to analyze and solve problems. A minimum of 196 hours on site is required during the term for 1.00 credit. Repeatable for credit.

Prerequisites: Two courses in criminal justice and consent of instructor. Upon request.

.50, .75 or 1.00 credit

A course in independent, guided research. Practical experience is acquired in the stages of designing and conducting a research project in criminal justice. Repeatable for credit.

Prerequisites: CJ/SOC 323 and consent of instructor. Upon request.

.50, .75 or 1.00 credit

An independent and concentrated reading course focusing on a specific problem area, field of specialization or thought of a major thinker in criminal justice. Repeatable for credit.

Prerequisites: Two courses in criminal justice and consent of instructor. Upon request.

.50 credit

This course gives Honors Program students the opportunity to design and implement a significant research project in the field of criminal justice, culminating in an appropriate public dissemination of research methods and findings. This research must build upon previous coursework taken within the major or minor, facilitating faculty supervision and guidance.

Repeatable for credit. Permission of the faculty supervisor and the director of the Honors Program required prior to registration.

An advanced seminar with topics that change each semester. This course focuses on a myriad of issues and topics within the criminal justice field. It serves as the culminating course for students to apply all of the content from previous criminal justice courses to one large course project. In addition to applying content, students will further develop their writing and presentation skills and prepare for entry into the field. Because of these goals, students should enroll in this course during their last semester.

Prerequisite: CJ 100.

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