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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: CJAD 345
Course Title: Ethics and Morality in Criminal Justice
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Study of the decision making process in criminal justice as it relates to discretion, due process, truthfulness, corruption and discrimination. Prerequisite: CJAD 101.

Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): CJAD 101.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Fall.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Many suitable textbooks are available from various publishers and the following list is not comprehensive. Other textbooks may be judged by individual instructors to be more suitable in meeting course objectives. Many current textbooks have companion websites, and the instructor is encouraged to enhance the course experience for the student by utilizing available technology.

Justice and Ethics
By Braswell, Michael C., Belinda R. McCarthy, & Bernard J. McCarthy. (Anderson Press)
Criminal Justice Ethics
By Leighton, Paul & Jeffrey Reiman (Prentice Hall)
Course Objectives

• To broaden the student's understanding of and appreciation for ethical problems and issues in the criminal justice system. • To empower students in evaluating and advocating the need for reform when necessary. • To explore the conflict and distinctions between legal requirements, personal morality and ethical principles and beliefs. • To enhance student understanding of the ethical dilemmas faced by professionals in the Criminal Justice System. • To enable students to balance competing values, theories and concepts and apply them to ethical situations involving conflicts between Government and the individual. • To evaluate moral and ethical decisions based on one's cultural values and beliefs.

Measurable Learning

• Identify current problems and issues relating to ethical behavior in the criminal justice system. • Assess and evaluate the ethical dilemmas faced by professionals in the criminal justice system. • Apply competing values, theories, policies and concepts to real and hypothetical problems in the criminal justice system. • Analyze ethical situations involving conflicts between government and the individual. • Explain and justify moral and ethical decisions based on one’s cultural values and beliefs. • Construct and evaluate arguments on ethical issues. • Distinguish between ethical and legal principles. • Appraise current literature and developments regarding moral and ethical issues in criminal justice.

Topical Outline:
  • Introduction to ethics in criminal justice
  • Due process
  • The individual: discretion and decision making
  • Loyalty
  • Truth
  • Corruption
  • Use of force
  • Punishment
  • Race, gender, and discrimination
  • The institution: criminal justice administration
  • Ethics and the realities of life
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 30

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Barry Langford Date: November 6, 2008
    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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