Syllabus for CJT 253:  Criminal Investigations

THIS IS A SAMPLE SYLLABUS!  IT MAY CHANGE SEMESTER TO SEMESTER!

The course requirements, relevant assignments and readings are outlined in the material that follows on this page.

BOOKS OBJECTIVES POLICIES
ASSIGNMENTS GRADES  


Required Books

     O’Hara, C. and O’Hara, G. (2003).  Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation, 7th edition; Springfield, IL:  Charles c Thomas.

  This text is available at the College Bookstore. You may buy books in person or have them shipped to your home.   Contact the bookstore by phone, email or in person. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  A study of the fundamental principles and procedures employed in the investigation of crime.  Emphasis is placed on the investigation of specific crimes, the identification of sources of information, and the procedures necessary for the proper handling of evidence.  The course is designed to develop a working knowledge of the steps of investigation, beginning with the initial security of the crime scene and concluding with the presentation of evidence and proper testimony in court. 

COURSE OUTCOMES:  Upon successful completion of the course, the student should be able to do the following:

1.       Identify the methods of investigation.

2.       Explain the purposes of interviews, interrogations, identifications and statements.

3.       Identify the use of information files, informants, surveillance and undercover officers.

4.       Describe the investigator’s notebooks, report writing and testimony in court.

Week 1 Ch 1 HW/DB  
Week 2 Ch 2/3 HW/DB  
Week 3/4 Ch 4/5 Hw/DB  
Week 5/6 Ch 6/7 HW/DB  
Week 7/8 Ch 8/9 HW/DB Project
Week 9 Ch 10/11 HW/DB  
Week 10 Ch 12/13 HW/DB  
Week 11 Ch 14/15 HW/DB  
Week 12/13 Ch 16/27 HW/DB  
Week 14 Ch 28/29 HW/DB  
Week 15 Ch 30 HW/DB Final

COURSE GRADING SYSTEM:

Homework Assignments              (10 points each)                         100 points

Discussion Board Assignments     (10 points each)                         100 points

Quizzes                                      (20 points each)                         100 points

Final Examination                       Week #15/Final Exam Week        100 points

**Extra Credit Assignments-See “Projects/Extra Credit Assignments”

COURSE EVALUATION:

A                           360-400 points

B                           320-359 points

C                           280-319 points

D                           240-279 points

F                           Below 240 points

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Homework assignments will involve research of a given topic found in an article, which is to be located on the INTERNET/newspaper/journal or magazine. Student will summarize the article and compare the information in the article to the information provided in the course.
  2. Homework assignments MUST be at least 2-3 paragraphs in length.
  3. Homework assignments MUST include an exact INTERNET reference, if using an internet source.  Reference must be completed in APA format-See “Recommended Books” or go to APA website for help.
  4. If the homework assignment is not completed accurately and completely, then the student will be given ONE opportunity to completely correct the assignment.  If the student fails to complete the assignment correctly and completely the second time, then the student receives a “0” for that particular assignment.
  1. Homework assignments will be due on a weekly basis, posted in the weekly “Announcments”.
  2. Homework assignments will be turned in via the DROP BOX ONLY.  If turned in elsewhere, IT WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AND THE STUDENT WILL RECEIVE A “0” FOR THAT PARTICULAR ASSGINMENT.
  3. NO LATE HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED WITHOUT WRITTEN DOCUMENTATION.  NO EXCEPTIONS!

DISCUSSION BOARD ASSIGNMENT REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Discussion Board assignments will be group discussions on topics, provided by the professor, and completed in the Discussion Board.
  2. Discussion Board assignments must include 2 “critiques/feedback” of fellow students’ analyses, in addition to the student’s individual answers.
  3. If the student does not complete the Discussion Board completely and accurately-to include the 2 “feedbacks”, then the student will receive a “0” for that particular assignment.
  4. Discussion Board assignments will be done on a weekly basis, posted in “Discussion Board” and weekly “Announcements”.
  5. NO LATE DISCUSSION BOARD ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE EXCEPTED WITHOUT WRITTEN DOCUMENTATION.  NO EXCEPTIONS!

**NO PERSONAL MESSAGES ARE TO BE POSTED IN THE DISCUSSION BOARD FOR ANY REASON!  IF DONE, THEN THE STUDENT WILL BE REPRIMANDED PER STUDENT DISRUPTION-SEE STUDENT CONDUCT IN STUDENT HANDBOOK.

*EXTRA CREDIT ASSIGNMENT OPPORTUNITIES:  (Student MUST choose one project from the following choices which MAY add up to 5% to the student’s final grade.)

**ONLY STUDENTS WITH A “C” OR BETTER AND HAVE COMPLETED ALL OF THE REQUIRED ASSIGNMENTS ARE ALLOWED TO COMPLETE AN EXTRA CREDIT ASSIGNMENT**

  1. Current Issue Paper:  Student may choose a current issue in the field of criminal investigations and write a 3 page paper on the topic.  Paper must include crime (for example, arson, burglary, robbery…), history of the crime, definition of the crime, state law regarding definition of the crime, case example, investigative techniques used in an investigation of such a crime and any other significant information, as deemed by the student.  (12 font, 3-5 pages, cover page, 5 resources listed in APA formatted bibliography).  (Use APA reference or go to the APA website.)
  1. Ride-a-long:  student must go on a 4 hour ride-a-long with a local police department, during the same semester of the course.  Student will note observations and learning experience and compare information obtained during the ride-a-long to coursework information.  Upon completion of the ride-a-long, student will write a 3 page (12 font, double spaced with cover sheet) paper on their ride-a-long experience.  Paper will be graded for content.
  1.  Critiques:  Student will research the Internet for 5 websites, related to some topic(s) regarding criminal investigations.  Student will complete a typed, one page analysis of EACH website. (Total of 5 pages.)  Student must include a cover page and APA formatted bibliography.  Critiques will be graded for content. (12 font, double spaced with cover sheet and bibliography in APA format-use reference or go to the APA website.)

**All extra credit assignments will also be graded on grammar, spelling and sentence structure.

**All extra credit assignments MUST be turned in the Digital Drop Box.  No exceptions.  If the student fails to turn in the assignment in the Digital Drop Box by the assigned date, then the student will not receive credit for extra credit.

quizzes:

  1. Quizzes will be given on a bi-weekly basis.
  2. Student must complete quizzes in the “Course Documents” section of the course.
  3. If the student fails to complete the quiz by the required time and date, then the student will receive a “0” for that particular quiz. 
  4. Only students with legal written excuses may make up the quiz.  NO EXCEPTIONS!

FINAL EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS:

  1. The student will take the final exam, during the last week/final week, at a designated time.  The exam will be posted under “Course Documents”.  IF THE STUDENT FAILS TO TURN IN THE EXAM BY THE REQUIRED DATE/TIME AND PLACE, THEN THE STUDENT WILL RECEIVE A “0” ON THE EXAM.  NO EXCEPTIONS!