Skip to main content

Search Bar Icon Close Menu

Master Syllabus

Print this Syllabus « Return to Previous Page

Administrative Unit: Criminal Justice Administration and Human Services Department
Course Prefix and Number: MSCJ 525
Course Title: Comparative Criminal Justice Systems
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Examination of criminal justice systems worldwide. Includes exploration of means of establishing cooperation toward mutual goals despite structural, historical and ideological differences. 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.

Comparative Criminal Justice
By Fields, Charles B. and Richter H. Moore, Jr. (Waveland Press)
World Criminal Justice Systems: A Survey
By Terrill, Richard (Anderson Publishing)
Comparative Criminal Justice Systems: A Topical Approach
By Reichel, Philip L. (Prentice Hall)
Course Objectives
  • To understand and appreciate the comparative issues, processes, diversity and differences among world criminal justice systems.
  • To understand the comparative structures, approaches and limitations upon selected world criminal justice systems.
  • To expand upon the comparative roles served by law enforcement, the courts and corrections in selected world criminal justice systems.
  • To compare assorted methods, procedures and theories employed by other countries to the American Criminal Justice system.
  • To enhance critical thinking, research and oral and written communication skills on issues dealing with worldwide criminal justice systems.
    Measurable Learning
  • Explain the origins of designated worldwide criminal justice systems.
  • Describe and compare the evolution of and philosophical underpinnings for designated worldwide criminal justice systems.
  • Analyze, compare and apply the tools developed for measurement of criminal activity and victimization in selected worldwide criminal justice systems.
  • Describe and compare the roles, policies and procedures employed by law enforcement, the courts, and corrections in selected worldwide criminal justice systems.
  • Construct and evaluate arguments for and against proposed reforms in selected worldwide criminal justice systems.
  • Explain, evaluate and apply important theories regarding comparative criminal justice issues.
  • Describe the relationship between philosophy, theory law and practice in selected worldwide criminal justice systems.
  • Appraise current literature, materials and developments regarding juvenile justice issues.
    Topical Outline:
  • Introduction - Why study comparative criminal justice
  • Crime and criminality - A comparative view
  • Historical development of criminal justice systems
  • Law enforcement functions and organizations
  • Police and the community
  • Constitutional constraints
  • Criminal procedure
  • The law, courts and trials
  • Sentencing
  • Corrections and punishment
  • Juvenile justice systems
  • Contemporary dilemmas and influences

    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: 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.

    Office of Academic Affairs


    Request info