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CJT 151 -- Introduction to Criminal Justice

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

COURSE DESCRIPTION -- A survey of the history, philosophy, and social development of police, courts, and corrections in a democratic society.  Identification and operations of local, state, and federal agencies will be covered with criminal justice orientation.  


Required Books and Software:

You will need 1 textbook for the course.  The title is: 

Gaines, Larry K., among others.  Criminal Justice in Action.  United States:  Wadsworth Thomson Learning, latest edition.  Only the hardcover edition will work;  do not buy the paperback.    

In this course, you will have to download documents.  These documents will be Microsoft Office 2000 WORD files.  Therefore, you must have WORD installed on your computer.

They are 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. 

Learning Objectives:

To provide an overview of the criminal justice system by  delving into current, high-interest topics that illustrate the role that the legislature, police, courts, and corrections play in American society.  Additionally, to furnish extensive information on various criminal justice careers. 

Course Policies:

As a distance learning course, CJT 151 should prove to be fun -- but also quite challenging.   Students must complete all course requirements as outlined in the following section in a timely manner; that is, by meeting the deadlines.  There will be a lot of reading assignments, homework activities, questions for the midterm and final examinations, and work on the project.  A strict schedule for these activities must be set.  Otherwise, students will "self-destruct" by stressing out with an impossible amount of work just before a deadline or by withdrawing from the course partway through it or by failing the course.  As your instructor and facilitator, I am here to help you with any difficulties you encounter but, ultimately, the responsibility for mastering and applying the concepts lies with the individual students themselves.


Week 1 -- Web Site Scavenger Hunt;  Introductions

Week 2 --  Criminal Justice Today;  Measuring Crime

Week 3 -- Criminal Law

Week 4 -- Police:  Agents of Law and Order;  Policing:  Organizations and Strategies

Week 5 -- Police and the Rule of Law;  Challenges to Effective Policing

Week 6 -- Courts and the Quest for Justice

Week 7 -- Pretrial Procedures:  The Adversary System in Action;  The Criminal Trial

Week 8 -- Homework Packet Due;  Midterm Examination Due

Week 9 -- Punishment and SentencingProbation and Community Corrections

Week 10 -- Prisons and Jails;  Life Behind Bars

Week 11 -- The Juvenile Justice System

Week 12 -- Project Due

Week 13 -- Final Examination Due

Requirements and Grading Policy:

The grade for this course will be based on:

FINAL EXAMINATION..............30%