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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: MSCJ 524
Course Title: Criminal Justice Policy Development and Evaluation
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Examination of the development, implementation, and analysis of public policy. Students identify and evaluate public policies as they relate to the criminal justice system. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Graduate standing.
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.

The instructor may also want to consider directing the student to websites containing relevant codes and cases, such as or other legal sites maintained by governmental or not-for-profit entities.

Criminal Justice Policy Making, Federal Roles and Processes
By Stolz, Barbara (Praeger Publishing)
Criminal Justice Policy and Planning
By Welsh, Wayne and Philip Harris (Anderson Publishing Co.)
Course Objectives
  • To understand and appreciate the issues, process and dynamics involved with development and implementation of Crime Policy.
  • To understand the significance of and relationships between the competing stakeholders in the crime policy process.
  • To expand upon the roles served by the various governmental entities in developing, implementing and interpreting crime policy.
  • To apply assorted methods and theories to evaluate real and hypothetical policy problems in the Criminal Justice system.
  • To enhance critical thinking, research and oral and written communication skills on crime policy issues.
    Measurable Learning
  • Describe the process through which United States domestic crime policy is developed and the constraints existing at the policy development stage.
  • Identify the constraints and obstacles existing at the policy development stage.
  • Explain the difficulties encountered during the implementation of domestic crime policy.
  • Distinguish between the crime policy formulated by the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government and defend the policy role of each branch of government.
  • Identify crime policy formulated at the federal, state and local levels of government and differentiate between the purpose and impact of policy action or inaction at each of theses three levels.
  • Describe and apply available methods, theories and procedures in developing, analyzing and evaluating crime policies.
  • Interpret and apply existing and proposed crime policy to real and hypothetical fact situations.
  • Distinguish between policies, programs and projects and give examples of each at the macro and micro level.
  • Construct and evaluate arguments for and against proposed and existing crime policy.
  • Describe crime policy successes and failures and justify your conclusions on these issues.
  • Explain the human and financial resource issues inherent in crime policy formulation and implementation and discuss the ramifications of policy intervention in light of these resource constraints.
  • Appraise current literature, materials and developments in crime policy.
    Topical Outline:
  • The study of public policy
  • Overview of crime policy
  • Crime policy in the legislative branch
  • Crime policy in the executive branch
  • Crime policy in the judicial branch
  • Crime policy at the federal, state and local levels
  • Policy implementation
  • Policy evaluation
  • Policy successes and failures
  • Future trends in crime policy

    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: Barry Langford 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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