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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: MSCJ 510
Course Title: Legal and Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Examination of topics in the areas of law, legal controls, and ethical issues in the criminal justice field. Areas such as corruption, misconduct, and related issues are discussed.

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.

Ethics in Criminal Justice: In Search of the Truth
By Souryal, Sam (Anderson Publishing)
Justice, Crime and Ethics
By Braswell, Michael C. (Anderson Publishing)
Course Objectives
  • To understand the numerous legal and ethical issues encountered by professionals in the criminal justice system.
  • To assess the necessity and desirability of reform on legal and ethical issues and to empower students in advocating the need for reform when necessary.
  • To evaluate the moral foundations of criminal guilt.
  • To evaluate moral problems in policing and moral issues in judicial processing and jurisprudence.
  • To understand the framework for analyzing and understanding the wide variety of important legal and ethical issues encountered in the criminal justice system.
    Measurable Learning
  • Assess current problems and issues relating to ethical behavior in the criminal justice system.
  • Distinguish morally right behavior from legally right behavior and describe the comparative implications for individuals working in the criminal justice system.
  • Evaluate the ethical issues faced by professionals in the criminal justice system.
  • Identify and apply competing ethical values, theories and concepts as they relate to the criminal justice system.
  • Analyze moral/ethical situations involving conflicts between the public and the criminal justice system and apply relevant principles to resolve these conflicts.
  • Construct and evaluate arguments concerning legal and ethical issues.
  • Appraise current literature and developments regarding moral, ethical, and legal issues in criminal justice.
    Topical Outline:
  • Law and ethics
  • Legal issues in law enforcement
  • Ethical issues in law enforcement
  • Legal issues in the court system
  • Ethical issues in the court system
  • Legal issues in corrections
  • Ethical issues in corrections
  • Reforms in development and implementation of legal and ethical standards

    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 15

    Library Resources:

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

    Prepared by: Joseph Carrier 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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