Criminal Justice Courses
CRJ 101 The Legal System - 3 credits
The Legal System introduces the student to the concept of crime; explaining and defining the legal system from the point when a crime is committed through to the disposition, or sentencing. It examines how the individual components of the system; law enforcement; the courts; and corrections, influence society’s overall response to crime. An understanding of the legal process is one of the building blocks of developing an understanding of the social causes, consequences, and responses to dysfunctional behavior.
CRJ 106 Criminology - 3 credits
This course is designed to introduce the student to the systematic study of crime and the criminal justice system, including the police, courts and prisons. This course will examine ideas such as social control, the social causes and social definitions of crime as well as society’s reaction to crime and criminal behavior. It also focuses on the impact issues such as race, gender, ethnicity and social class have on crime. Policy decisions regarding the police and law enforcement, the courts, juvenile offenders, crime victims, and the various functions of punishment including retribution, social protection, rehabilitation and deterrence are also examined. The course is designed to be taught in three distinct units. The first unit will examine what is crime; how is it defined; why is it measured; and how is it measured. The second unit will deal with the study of crime theory. We will discuss the origins of crime theory, and evaluate the major biological, psychological, sociological and environmental theories. The third and final stage will examine crime typologies and the profiling of criminal offenders.
CRJ 110 Introduction to GIS and Crime mapping – 3 credits
This course is designed to introduce the student to one of the most popular pieces of criminal justice technology in the field today. The ability to analyze information geographically is important not only in the field of criminal justice but also in fields such as psychology, social work, business, marketing, public health, and a wealth of others. Developing an understanding of the geographic distribution of a wide range of events, conditions, and patterns is essential in developing interventions and strategies that that are effective at addressing the distribution issue. This course will introduce the student to the mapping software and allow the student to begin to understand how to geographically display a variety of different social conditions and community information.
CRJ 201 Addictions, Psychopathology and Crime - 3 credits
The primary objective of this course is to identify the influence substance use, abuse, and addiction has on behavior. Specific content areas will compare and contrast the behaviors observed in children, adolescents, and adults; misconceptions of substance abuse; the challenges associated with the measurement of substance use and abuse; and the classifications of drugs.
CRJ 206 Class, Race, Gender and Crime - 3 credits
This course explores the social relationship between class, race, gender and crime. It attempts to account for differences in crime social boundaries, social make-up and social status. It further examines the behavior of law itself and how the making of laws is influenced by class, race, and gender.
CRJ 210 Advanced Crime and Community Mapping – 3 credits
This course is designed to advance the skills that were obtained in the introductory mapping course. The course assumes that the student has a basic understanding of the GIS mapping software and is intended to present for discussion advanced topics such as map animation, hot spot analysis, creating buffers, distance analysis, and querying maps. Once completed the student will be able to demonstrate an advanced level of understanding as to how to map community incidents and information.
CRJ 211 Criminal Justice Ethics - 3 credits
There is perhaps no more appropriate place for the study of ethics than in the criminal justice profession. In order for a society to have a system of enforcement of social rules and norms, it must first establish a standard measure of ethical behavior. This course will examine how a society establishes moral and ethical behavior; the challenges faced by the establishment of a system of enforcement; and the dilemmas faced by those charged with enforcement. It will examine the ethical issues raised by things such as Megan’s Law; hate crimes; gun control; legalization of drugs; DNA testing; and racial profiling. It will also examine the individual ethical dilemmas faced by the people who are considered criminal justice professionals.
CRJ 212 Problem-Oriented Policing – 3 credits
Over the past four decades the function of law enforcement has changed dramatically. Police are no longer simply expected to respond to crime: they are now expected to prevent it. This course will focus on one of the founding concepts of this movement: problem-oriented policing. This style of police organization focuses on the identification and resolution of community problems, and the partnering between community agencies and police; rather than on traditional arrest and patrol practices. Students will learn the concepts behind the practice of problem-oriented policing and will learn how to apply them in an attempt to solve community problems.
CRJ 301 Juvenile Justice - 3 credits
Mass media coverage of some of America’s most violent episodes, perpetrated by the youth of our society, has renewed the debate over the adequacy of the juvenile justice system. This course will examine the juvenile justice system at great length, focusing on; the major differences between the adult and juvenile systems; the rehabilitative nature of juvenile justice; the balance of treatment versus punishment; the legal framework for the juvenile justice system; evaluating juvenile misbehavior; and the effectiveness of court intervention and punishment. Students will be exposed to concepts and issues most often debated by criminal justice advocates and opponents and analyze the appropriateness of both ends of the debate.
CRJ 306 Corrections - 3 credits
The American corrections system is currently incarcerating individuals at unprecedented rates, despite the fact that crime has decreased over the past decade. With over 13 million Americans admitted to the nation’s jails and prisons each year the effect on society is significant. This course, taught from an environmental criminology perspective, examines how incarceration influences behavior, and identifies the most effective methods to control inmate behavior. Content areas include: how architecture, expectations, conditions of confinement, classification, and situational crime prevention measures impact inmate behavior.
CRJ 311 Crime and Place - 3 credits
This course focuses on the social ecology of crime in that it examines the relationship between crime, victimization and the environment. Ecological theory examines spatial and temporal patterns of criminal conduct and victimization. This course also examines community and environmental strategies which have been developed to reduce the likelihood of criminal behavior.
CRJ 316 Crime and Public Policy - 3 credits
This course explains how crime; the public perception of crime; and the political reaction to crime influence public policy in the United States. Each component of the criminal justice system will be examined, including; the courts; police; the prosecutor; and corrections; evaluating how public policy effects each component.
CRJ 321 Criminal Justice Field Experience - 3 credits
The field experience is designed to provide the student an opportunity to integrate and reconcile theoretical concepts and principles learned in other social science and criminal justice courses and apply them in work environments within the criminal justice profession. The field experience initiates the beginning of the lifelong professional learning process through which the student must learn to navigate.
CRJ 325 Criminal Justice Research Methods and Design - 4 credits
Provides criminal justice professionals with the understanding of a scientific, analytical approach to knowledge building. Examines the concepts of theory development, conceptualization and hypothesis formulation across criminal justice fields of practice. The content includes research design, sampling, instrumentation, methods of data collection and analysis as well as descriptive inferential statistics and critical analysis of empirical research. The student will develop an original research project.
CRJ 326 Criminal Justice Field Experience Seminar - 3 credits
The Field Experience Seminar is designed to assist the student in processing the experiences one has at the field experience assignment. The seminar is taken concurrently with the field experience and provides an opportunity to integrate and reconcile theoretical concepts and principles learned in other social science and criminal justice courses and apply them in working within the criminal justice profession.
As students enter the field as interns their concerns will be more on practical issues. As a result, the course is designed as an open discussion forum allowing the professor and students to examine practical issues and discuss their integration with classroom concepts. The integration of these concepts is the central purpose of the course.
Students will be asked to link professional events to theoretical concepts and will be asked to examine these events within the context of professional and personal ethics.
CRJ 331 Leadership in Criminal Justice - 3 credits
The Cedar Crest curriculum has been carefully designed to produce female graduates who are well prepared to assume leadership roles in the criminal justice profession. This capstone course for the criminal justice major is the culmination of that experience and is intended to allow each student to develop a greater understanding of the challenges faced by the women who choose to pursue these positions.
During the course of the curriculum, careful attention is given to developing the student’s critical thinking and problem solving skills in an attempt to better prepare them for a role in criminal justice management. A student’s preparation would be incomplete, however, without an understanding of the challenges and barriers faced by women in this profession.
To accomplish this goal, students will be required to produce a research paper examining the unique challenges faced by women who attempt to pursue management positions in any given sector of the profession. Each student will be asked to choose a specific occupation of interest and conduct a literature review examining the role women assume in that profession and the obstacles they must overcome to excel. Additionally, each student must perform field research designed to validate the literature review by discussing with professionals the challenges they have faced in their pursuit of managerial responsibility. By requiring such a project, Cedar Crest strives to produce professionals that understand the challenges posed by such a demanding profession, and by doing so, will better prepare them to assume higher levels of responsibility.