Syllabus, Criminal Justice System


The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the nature and extent of crime, law, and criminal justice. Emphasis will be on the police and law enforcement, courts and adjudication, corrections, and contemporary challenges in criminal justice.   


By the end of the term, each student who has successfully completed the course will be able to:

1)  identify and discuss the most current issues, debates, and findings in the field of criminology and criminal justice (lecture discussions and exams)

2)  evaluate past and present practices used to control crime and deal with criminals (lecture discussions and exams)

3)  assess criminal law: substance and procedure (lecture discussions and exams)

4)  evaluate current police practices (lecture discussions and exams; term paper)

5)  understand the organization, role, and function of the police (lecture discussions and exams; term paper)

6) analyze issues in policing (lecture discussions and exams; term paper)

7) understand the court structure and personnel (lecture discussions and exams)

8) evaluate pretrial and trial procedures (lecture discussions and exams)

8)  evaluate the effectiveness of the various correctional programs, including probation, intermediate sanctions, and restorative justice (lecture discussions and exams)

9)  analyze the way in which social policy affects crime and the criminal justice system (lecture discussions, exams, and term paper)

10) apply concepts from the course to contemporary issues in criminology (term paper)

The method of assessment of specific learning objectives is in parentheses at the end of each learning objective.


Siegel, Larry J. and Worrall, John L. Introduction to Criminal Justice. Sixteenth Edition2017. Cengage Learning, Wadsworth Publishing. 


Attendance and Participation.  You are expected to attend all classes during the term.  Your grade for this section will drop for each absence. To calculate, divide your total days attended by the total days of possible attendance. That percentage may increase or decrease depending on your active engagement and participation in the class.

Chapter/Lecture Quizzes.  There will be a weekly quiz on what you have learned from the lecture and the reading materials assigned for each week. The quizzes will be closed book, but open notes. You are able to use your handwritten lecture notes and handwritten notes from your textbook, in outline form, from the reading assignment. I will increase the points for your lowest quiz to full points, which allows you to miss one quiz or make up for a low score.

Application and Analysis Paper. Click on this paragraph to find the description and the grading criteria for this paper. 

Incomplete.  I do not allow students to take an "Incomplete" for this course.  If you do not believe you will be able to finish the course, you should withdraw early to get any refund of your tuition that you are due. 

University Policy The University prohibits the use, possession, distribution, or sale of alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, firearms, explosives, fireworks, and other dangerous substances on University property.

The above schedule and procedures, and the course outline and reading list are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.



Weekly Quizzes, 165 points

Attendance and Participation, including final PowerPoint Presentation, 85 points

Term Paper, 50 points



A+  98% and up       B+  88-89%        C+  78-79%       D+  68-69%

A    94-97%             B    84-87%        C    74-77%       D    64-67%

A-  90-93%              B-  80-83%         C-   70-73%       D-   60-63%

© Karen Donahue 2017