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Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

CJAD 345: Ethics & Morality In Crim Just

Course Description

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

Prerequisite: CJAD 101 and ENGL 111

Proctored Exams: None



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Pollock, J. M. (2017). Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions in Criminal Justice (9th ed.). Cengage Learning.
    • [ISBN-978-1-305-57737-4]

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

In 1829, Sir Robert Peel set forth in his Principles of Law Enforcement that “The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of police existence, actions, behavior and the ability of the police to secure and maintain public respect.” This statement has never been more meaningful than it is today.

It is imperative that criminal justice organizations develop strong ethical guidelines and that the professionals who fill the ranks understand and exemplify those ethical values through their daily duties and contacts with the public. As media increasingly sheds light on instances of corruption and excessive use of force in the field of criminal justice, the need for reform extends beyond dealing with each case. In the arena of criminal justice, many participants do not have the luxury of lengthy reflection before making critical decisions that impact human lives.

Information provided in this course, focusing on theory, case studies, and practical application of ethical theory, gives you the opportunity to practice making tough decisions from the safety of the classroom. It is hoped that this experience will lead to wise decision-making in any situation, whether it be the criminal justice employee in the midst of a high stress situation or the non-criminal justice employee confronted with any stressful situation.



Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the conflict and distinctions between legal requirements, personal morality and ethical principles and beliefs.
  2. Articulate the ethical dilemmas faced by professionals in the criminal justice system.
  3. Describe the ethical issues involved with conflicts between government and the individual.
  4. Articulate the distinction between ethical and legal principles.
  5. Explain prominent ethical theories and principles.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussion Introduction (1) 10 1%
Discussions (16) 240 24%
Ethical Theory-Principles Essays (2) 200 20%
Research Paper 300 30%
Quizzes (6) 150 15%
Exams (2) 100 10%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Weekly Discussion 1 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Scenario Discussion 1 15
Introduction Discussion 10 Sunday
Quiz 1 25
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Weekly Discussion 2 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Scenario Discussion 2 15
Research Paper Topic Selection Discussion - Sunday
Ethical Theory/Principles Essay 1 100
Quiz 2 25
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Weekly Discussion 3 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Scenario Discussion 3 15
Quiz 3 25 Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Weekly Discussion 4 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Scenario Discussion 4 15
Midterm Exam 50 Sunday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Weekly Discussion 5 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Scenario Discussion 5 15
Ethical Theory/Principles Essay 2 100 Sunday
Quiz 4 25
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Weekly Discussion 6 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Scenario Discussion 6 15
Quiz 5 25 Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Weekly Discussion 7 15 Wednesday/Sunday
Scenario Discussion 7 15
Quiz 6 25 Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Research Paper 300 Wednesday
Weekly Discussion 8 15 Wednesday/Saturday
Scenario Discussion 8 15
Final Exam 50 Saturday
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Discussions

You will have two discussion topics each week. The Weekly Discussion will focus on a subject from the readings and other learning resources for that week. I expect you to research the topic before posting your initial thoughts. In the Scenario Discussion, you will review a scenario from the text and provide your input as to “how best” to address a particular issue. You are expected to review the scenario and make an initial post on what course of action you might take to resolve the issue presented. Our goal with the Scenario discussions is to arrive at a consensus on how best to respond to the scenario provided. Dissenting opinions should be supported by relevant data such as a Supreme Court decision.

Your initial post to either discussion question should be a full paragraph of at least 8-10 sentences; all of the sentences should support your main claim. Your post must be thorough, well written, and relevant to the discussion topic. Your initial post should include a reference from a credible source. You are encouraged to utilize a source outside of our current text or a video link not provided in the course. If the textbook is used as a source, your citation should include the section and page number where the information can be found. The entire post should be written in your own words. One or two sentence posts will not meet the criteria of a thorough and relevant post.  In either discussion, you will not be able to see the posts of other students until you have completed and submitted your initial post to the assigned group discussion.

Your two responses to others’ posts in each discussion should also be well developed, at least 5-7 sentences, fully explaining your response to the classmates’ posts. Make responses that add to the conversation and take it further; simply posting “I agree” or “good job” does not help develop ideas.

All discussions will take place in the Discussions area. Discussion topics will open on Monday and close on Sunday, except for Week 8, which ends on Saturday. Your initial posts for both discussions are due by 11:59 PM Central Time (CT) on Wednesday and at least two responses in each discussion to classmates are due by 11:59 PM CT on Sunday. During Week 8, the two responses are due by 11:59 PM CT on Saturday.


Ethical Theory-Principles Essays

You will write two essays over a topic provided in Weeks 2 and 5 of the course. You are expected to write professionally with correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar, developing your topic and providing solid examples from our readings, your own research, or your own experiences to back up your statements.

Your work should be double-spaced, 12-point sans serif font, with 1-inch margins all around. When citing resources, you must adhere strictly to APA style (all papers must include a title page and reference page, although you will not be required to provide an abstract). The paper must have a minimum of 2 full double-spaced pages of meaningful discussion (title page and reference page do not count as part of those pages). The paper must include a minimum of 3 references (outside of the course text), with at least one reference from peer-reviewed academic journals (peer-reviewed references should be highlighted in bold type in the reference list). You must not write in first person. All papers must be in a .doc, .pdf, or .rtf format.

All assignments must be your own original work and you are not allowed to turn in papers for this course that you have used previously for another course (even if it is from taking this very course during a previous session). All papers will be evaluated for originality by Turnitin. Should the instructor deem the “Originality Index” score too high (50% or above), the paper may not be accepted.

Each essay is worth 100 points. Essays will be due to the dropbox folder by 11:59 PM CT on Sunday of Weeks 2 and 5. Emailed essays will not be accepted.


Quizzes

In Weeks 1-3, and 5-7, you will take a 25-question, multiple-choice and true/false quiz over the week’s readings. You will have 40 minutes to complete the quiz and you will only receive one attempt. You may use your book to help you find the answers, but your time is limited so you must be very familiar with your textbook to find the answers quickly. Each question is worth 1 point and each quiz is due by 11:59 PM CT on Sunday.

Exams

You will take a midterm exam in Week 4 and a final exam during Week 8. Each exam will consist of 50 multiple choice and true/false questions from all of the assigned readings throughout the course (Midterm: Chapters 1-7 and Final: Chapters 8-14). You will have 75 minutes to take each exam and will be given only one attempt. You may use your book to help you find the answers, but your time is limited so you must be very familiar with your textbook to find the answers quickly.

  • The Midterm Exam will open Monday of Week 4 at 12:01 AM CT and is due by 11:59 PM CT Sunday of Week 4.
  • The Final Exam will open Monday of Week 8 at 12:01 AM CT and is due by 11:59 PM CT Saturday of Week 8.

Research Paper

You will write a research paper over a topic provided by the instructor in Week 2 of the course. You are expected to write professionally with correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar, developing your topic and providing solid examples from our readings, your own research, or your own experiences to back up your statements.

Your work should be double-spaced, 12-point sans serif font, with 1-inch margins all around. When citing resources, you must adhere strictly to APA style (all papers must include a title page and reference page, although you will not be required to provide an abstract). The paper must have a minimum of 8 full double-spaced pages of meaningful discussion (title page and reference page do not count as part of the 8 pages). The paper must include a minimum of 6 references (outside of the course text), with at least two references from peer-reviewed academic journals (peer-reviewed references should be highlighted in bold type in the reference list). You must not write in first person. All papers must be in a .doc, .pdf, or .rtf format.

All assignments must be your own original work and you are not allowed to turn in papers for this course that you have used previously for another course (even if it is from taking this very course during a previous session). All papers will be evaluated for originality by Turnitin.” Should the instructor deem the “Originality Index” score too high (50% or above), the paper may not be accepted.

The Research Paper is worth 300 points. The paper must be submitted to the dropbox folder by 11:59 PM CT on Wednesday of Week 8. Emailed papers will not be accepted.



Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Introduction to Ethics and Morals
Readings

Chapters 1 & 2

Weekly Discussion 1

Why is a good ethical foundation especially important for public servants? What makes them so different from private employees?

Scenario Discussion 1

You are a manager of a retail store. The owner of the store gives you permission to hire a fellow classmate to help out. One day you see the classmate take some clothing from the store. When confronted by you, the peer laughs it off and says the owner is insured, no one is hurt, and it was under $100. “Besides,” says your acquaintance, “friends stick together, right?” What would you do?

Introduction Discussion

Please introduce yourself to the class. Share what led you develop an interest in Criminal Justice, and what you hope to take away from our studies of Ethics and Morality in Criminal Justice.

Quiz 1

Complete the Week 1 Quiz, which covers Chapters 1 & 2, by 11:59 pm Sunday.

Week 2: Justice as it Applies to the Criminal Justice Professional
Readings

Chapters 3 & 4

Weekly Discussion 2

Watch the short video titled “NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk: Racial Profiling or “Proactive Policing”?” located in the content section of the course.

The New York Police Department said its controversial policy kept the streets safe, but critics claim it was a form of harassment. What arguments can you think of that counter this claim? Is stop-and-frisk a form of harassment? Provide an explanation for your decision.

Scenario Discussion 2

You are a rookie police officer and are riding with a Field Training Officer (FTO). During your shift, the FTO stops at a convenience store and quickly drinks a half-pint of whisky in the back room of the store. The whiskey visibly affects him and the smell of alcohol is very noticeable. What should you do? What if the FTO had just written up a favorable evaluation of you even though you thought you should have received a reprimand for an improper disposition of a traffic accident?

Research Paper Topic Selection Discussion

Select a topic and begin development of your research paper. The instructor will provide topic(s) for this assignment in Week 2.

Ethical Theory/Principles Essay 1

Develop an essay on what an ideal ethical organization would be. What would be the characteristics of leadership? Training? Employees? How does one create such an organization as a change agent if the existing organization is rife with corruption?

Quiz 2

Complete the Week 2 Quiz, which covers Chapters 3 & 4, by 11:59 pm Sunday.

Week 3: Role of Police in Society and Police Subculture
Readings

Chapters 5 & 6

Watch: Sheriff Defends Deputy’s Taser Takedown ABC News. [Content area of the course]

Weekly Discussion 3

View the short video titled Sheriff defends deputy’s taser takedown located in the Content Area of the course.

Was the use of force and the use of the Taser justified in this case? What are the advantages of a taser over other use of force options? Does the public have the right to expect “safe” measures when resisting arrest? What are legitimate expectations in this regard?

Scenario Discussion 3

Your first big case is a multiple murder. As the defense attorney, you have come to the realization that your client really did break into a couple’s home and torture and kill them in the course of robbing them of jewelry and other valuables. He has even confessed to you that he did it. However, you are also aware that the police did not read him his Miranda warning and that he was coerced into giving a confession without your presence. What should you do? Would your answer be different if you believed that he was innocent or didn’t know for sure either way? Discuss your position.

Quiz 3

Complete the Week 3 Quiz, which covers Chapters 5 & 6, by 11:59 pm Sunday.

Week 4: Unethical behaviors, Corruption, and Standard Explanations
Readings

Chapter 7

Weekly Discussion 4

Should police officers be allowed to accept gratuities? If in your opinion, it is ethical and acceptable to accept gratuities, are there limitations? Discuss your position.

Scenario Discussion 4

You are a rookie police officer on your first patrol. The older, experienced officer tells you that the restaurant on the corner likes to have you guys around, so they always give free meals. Your partner orders steak, potatoes, and all the trimmings. What are you going to do? What if it were just coffee at a convenience store? What if the owner refused to take your money at the cash register?

Midterm Exam

Take the comprehensive Midterm Exam which covers Chapters 1 - 7.

Week 5: Role of Law and Legal Professionals
Readings

Chapters 8 & 9

Weekly Discussion 5

Blumberg refers to the practice of justice as a confidence game because the prosecutor and the defense attorney conspire to appear as something they are not – adversaries in a do-or-die situation. Do you agree with Blumberg? Why or why not? Discuss your position.

Scenario Discussion 5

You are a D.A. and are prosecuting a burglary case. The defendant is willing to plead guilty in return for a sentence of probation, and you feel that this is a fair punishment because your evidence may not support a conviction. However, the victims are upset and want to see the offender receive prison time. They insist that you try the case. What should you do?

Ethical Theory/Principles Essay 2

Write an essay on whether or not the justice system is simply a bureaucratic assembly line that does not promote justice as much as it simply ensures its own survival, with an emphasis on production. What should be the professional goals of the various actors in the system (judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys)?

Quiz 4

Complete the Week 5 Quiz, which covers Chapters 8 & 9, by 11:59 pm Sunday.

Week 6: Ethical Misconduct in the Courts and Ethics of Punishment and Corrections
Readings

Chapters 10 & 11

Watch: Problems with the Criminal Justice System (Freedomworks University) [Content area of the course]

Weekly Discussion 6

View the video Problems with the Criminal Justice System located in the Content section of the course.

Do you agree or disagree with the arguments made in this segment regarding sentencing? What counter-arguments exist? Does the video advocate for deterrence, treatment, or some other rationale? Explain your reasoning when responding to the questions.

Scenario Discussion 6

You are a judge who must sentence two defendants. One insisted on a jury trial and, through his defense attorney, dragged the case on for months with delays and motions. A jury finally convicted him. The other individual was his co-defendant, and he pleaded guilty. Apparently, they were equally responsible for the burglary. How will you sentence them?

Quiz 5

Complete the Week 6 Quiz, which covers Chapters 10 & 11, by 11:59 pm Sunday.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Ethical Principles, Dilemmas, and Restorative Justice Principles
Readings

Chapters 12 & 13

Watch: The Stanford Prison Experiment [Content area of the course.]

Weekly Discussion 7

View the video The Stanford Prison Experiment (Zimbardo) located in the Content section of the course.

The Zimbardo experiment of the 1970’s was one of the experiments that spurred the creation of human-subjects review boards in colleges and universities. If the college men who knew the experiment was artificial succumbed to the temptation to inflict their will on the powerless, is it possible that the environment itself causes people to act in ways that they would not otherwise? How might this be applicable to a custody facility? Explain your position.

Scenario Discussion 7

You are a prison guard supervising a tier. One of the inmates comes to you and asks a favor. Because he is a troublemaker, his mail privileges have been taken away. He wants you to mail a letter for him. You figure it is not such a big deal; besides, you know he could make your job easier by keeping the other inmates on the tier in line. What would you tell him?

Quiz 6

Complete the Week 7 Quiz, which covers Chapters 12 & 13, by 11:59 pm Sunday.

Week 8: Making Ethical Choices
Readings

Chapter 14

Research Paper

Submit your Research Paper to the correct Dropbox folder by Wednesday, at 11:59 p.m. Central Time.

Weekly Discussion 8

The government, in its counter-terrorism efforts, has aggressively sought to access private information such as emails and telephone calls of large numbers of non-citizens and citizens alike. Do you believe this practice is necessary to protect society? Should additional restrictions be placed on this practice? Please explain your reasoning when answering these two questions.

Scenario Discussion 8

You are a soldier in Iraq and have taken pictures of fellow soldiers engaging in various acts of abuse and torture. What, if anything, would you do with the pictures? What ethical system most accurately supports your decision, “ethical formalism” or “utilitarianism?”

Final Exam

Complete the Final Exam (comprehensive), which covers Chapters 8 - 14, by Saturday at 11:59 PM Central Time. No proctor is required.



Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

  • No late discussion posts will be accepted.
  • A quiz or exam may be made-up only if a verifiable emergency prevents you from completing it and the instructor has granted permission.
  • There will be an automatic deduction of 10 points for a late essay or research paper. An essay or research paper will not be accepted more than three days following the assignment deadline, unless permission is granted by the instructor in advance.
  • No late work will be accepted once the class ends on Saturday of Week 8 at 11:59 pm CT.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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