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Introduction to Criminal Justice - TCSU CJ 110


This course introduces students to the characteristics of the criminal justice system in the United States. Focus is placed on examining crime measurement, theoretical explanations of crime, responses to crime, components of the system, and current challenges to the system. The course examines the evolution of the principles and approaches utilized by the justice system and the evolving forces which have shaped those principals and approaches. Although justice structure and process is examined in a cross cultural context, emphasis is placed on the US justice system, particularly the structure and function of US police, courts, and corrections. Students are introduced to the origins and development of criminal law, legal process, and sentencing and incarceration policies.

Recommended Preparation

Successful completion of the freshman writing requirement.

Minimum Unit Requirements

3 semester units

Course Topics

1. Understanding the Criminal Justice System
2. Crime and Victimization
3. Law Enforcement
4. Courts and Sentencing
5. Punishment and Corrections
6. The Future of the Criminal Justice System

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of criminological theories used to explain crime and criminality;
2. Explain the methods, theories, and concepts associated with the sources of crime data, the emerging patterns of criminal activity, and the costs of crime;
3. Understand the history, development, and structure, and function of American police, courts, and corrections;
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the history, structure, and function of the police;
5. Convey an understanding of the process of adjudication;
6. Show an understanding of corrections including the roles of probation, parole, and community corrections; as well as the functions of prisons and jails;
7. Identify and describe special issues in the criminal justice system involving juvenile delinquency, drugs, and the future development;
8. Critically analyze and discuss issues of crime and justice from varying perspectives;
9. Utilize conclusions from scholarly research in creating informed positions on controversial issues in criminal justice;
10. Demonstrate the ability to raise critically relevant questions based on independent reading of criminal justice literature;
11. Effectively follow the appropriate writing style practiced in the social sciences;
12. Explain the definitions of crime; and
13. Understand the extent of the crime problem in America.

CAN Equivalent

CAN AJ 2 (Equivalency ends Fall 2009)

Descriptor PDF

Courses Approved (Coming Soon)


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Last Update: May 19, 2011