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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: MSCJ 533
Course Title: Topics in Criminal Justice
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Intensive study of specially chosen topical areas with special emphasis on the systems concept as it applies to problem solving in the management of criminal justice.
Text(s): The nature of the course does not facilitate the use of a particular text. The student is expected to integrate previous material and engage in research, statistical analysis, original writing and oral presentation of findings. The student may benefit from consulting one or more previous texts from MSCJ courses (i.e. Research Design) and by purchasing the APA guidelines.

Course Objectives
  • To understand problems and issues in the criminal justice system.
  • To knowledgably debate and discuss the improvement of effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement services.
  • To identify the most critical issues in police management as they relate to our criminal justice system, while offering workable and realistic solutions to them.
  • To apply research findings to real and hypothetical problems in the justice system.
  • To demonstrate critical thinking, research, writing and presentation skills on Criminal Justice issues and trends.
    Measurable Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify and apply generally accepted research techniques to issues in the Justice system.
  • Display technological skills connected to scholarly research and its preparation and analysis.
  • Distinguish between various types of research.
  • Conduct research and prepare a written literature review.
  • Describe and apply the legal and ethical constraints involved with human subjects’ research.
  • Collect and interpret data on relevant topics concerning the Justice system.
  • Formulate appropriate research questions through application of generally accepted techniques.
  • Apply recognized techniques of statistical analysis to assorted research questions.
  • Integrate previous MSCJ course work with generally accepted scholarly techniques and submit a written report and deliver an oral presentation synthesizing all of the above.
    Topical Outline:
  • Topical outline will vary according to the discretion of the instructor.
  • The meaning of administration
  • The death penalty
  • Gun control
  • Drug legalization
  • Mandatory minimum sentencing
  • Racial profiling
  • Police department accreditation
  • Police corruption and misconduct
  • Biological weapons
  • Issues in terrorism
  • Crime control and public policy

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 15

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at the Columbia College Stafford Library.  You may access them using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Michael Lyman Date: September 21, 2005
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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