Justice Studies

Mission

The Justice Studies program provides students with instruction in Criminal Justice and Legal Studies. The program focuses on law enforcement, criminology, law, legal studies, courts, juvenile justice, forensic studies, and corrections from a social science perspective. The program promotes principles of justice that enhance the criminal justice and legal professions and benefit the community at large. The program seeks to produce students who are critical and ethical thinkers, knowledgeable about issues of crime, law and justice, and appreciative and mindful of their civic and social responsibilities to provide service and leadership in their communities. The program provides students with the professional and academic preparation necessary for entry-level positions in public and private sectors. The program prepares students for successful graduate study and professionals with career-enhancing educational experiences.

Student Learning Outcomes – Criminal Justice

The curriculum prepares students for professional employment in the Criminal Justice field for various professional schools including law, social work, public administration and business administration; and for those who plan to obtain advanced degrees.

  • Students will demonstrate academic proficiency in the core criminal justice areas (corrections, forensic studies, juvenile justice, law, and law enforcement).
  • Students will employ critical thinking skills when evaluating issues in criminal justice.
  • Students will be able to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, using discipline-specific discourse.
  • Students will be able to evaluate ethical issues related to the criminal justice system.
  • Students will identify issues of diversity and social justice in relation to the workings of the criminal justice system.

Student Learning Outcomes – Legal Studies

The curriculum prepares students for support services in law firms, government offices, trust departments, real estate offices, accounting firms and other law related environments. Under a lawyer’s supervision, Legal Assistants or Paralegals perform a wide variety of functions. The curriculum prepares students for interviewing clients and witnesses, researching legal authority, analyzing factual and legal situations, and preparing documents and forms. The curriculum also prepares students for graduate work in Legal Studies or law school. 

  • Students will acquire a comprehensive understanding of selected areas of substantive and procedural law.  
  • Students will analyze legal problems, formulate and evaluate potential solutions, and construct logical arguments in support of specific positions. 
  • Students will be able to communicate effectively, orally and in writing, using discipline-specific discourse.
  • Students will be able to evaluate ethical issues related to the legal professions.
  • Students will demonstrate proficiency in legal research.

Honors Seminars

The Justice Studies Department offers Honors Seminars within the major. Students with a 3.25 grade point average or above are eligible to take part in the Honors Seminars. Students completing all 6 hours of the program will receive special graduation recognition.

 Criminal Justice

CJ 231 INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINAL JUSTICE3 Credits

A study of the structure, functions, and operations of the criminal justice system in the United States. This course provides an overview of the organization and decision-making processes of agencies that deal with the management and control of crime and criminal offenders-law enforcement, courts, and corrections.

CJ 232 INTRODUCTION TO LAW ENFORCEMENT3 Credits

A study of the origins of policing, the nature of police work, and the issues, trends, and challenges facing modern policing.

Prerequisites: CJ 231

CJ 233 LAW ENFORCEMENT ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION3 Credits

A study of the structure and functions of law enforcement organizations (city, county, state, and federal). Theories of leadership and organizational goals, efficiency, expectations, and employer/employee relationships will be explored.

Prerequisites: CJ 231

CJ 235 FUNDAMENTALS OF CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION3 Credits

A study of the theoretical and philosophical underpinnings necessary to understand the investigatory process. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of the first responder, chain of custody, crime scene evidence, and interaction with victims, witnesses, and potential predators.

Prerequisites: CJ 231

CJ 236 INTRODUCTION TO CORRECTIONS3 Credits

A study of the correctional system and its role in the criminal justice process. This course provides an overview of the historical development of crime and corrections, philosophical concepts and major developments, which have shaped corrections. Sentencing options, as well as community and institutional correctional programs, will be covered.

Prerequisites: CJ 231

CJ 239 CRIMINOLOGY3 Credits

A study of the nature and causes of criminal behavior. This course will analyze the crime causation ranging through biological, psychological, sociological, and cultural theories. This course will also evaluate the historical influences and thoughts which have led to criminology's development as a contemporary science.

Cross-Listed: CJ239/SOC239

CJ 249 VICTIMOLOGY3 Credits

A study of the situations, events, and processes that are related to victimology. This course will examine theoretical aspects of victimization, the prevalence of victimization, the complexities of victim/offender relationships, the associated costs, and socio-legal efforts to assist victims who suffer from emotional, financial, physical, and sexual harms because of criminal activities. Finally, this course will examine policies aimed at assisting victims and preventing victimization.

CJ 321 POLICE AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS3 Credits

A study of the interdependence of the police and community in maintaining order and controlling crime. This course focuses on the historical and contemporary roles of policing in society, community attitudes toward police, and strategies for developing positive police-community relations.

Prerequisites: CJ 231 and CJ 232

CJ 322 JUVENILE CRIME AND GANGS3 Credits

A study of crime trends and patterns of delinquent behavior, as related to subcultures. Furthermore, this course will explore gang history and variations of gang practices by race, class, and gender. Policies and intervention strategies relevant to this type of crime are considered.

Prerequisites: Sophomore or above status

CJ 323 FORENSIC STUDIES I3 Credits

A study of scientific theories and applications related to the collection, analysis, and interpretation of crime scene evidence. This course will include: dusting and lifting of fingerprints, chemical processing of fingerprints, 3D evidence, blood pattern recognition and blood spatter interpretation.

Prerequisites: Sophomore or above status

CJ 331 CRIMINAL LAW3 Credits

A study of the general principles of criminal law and the specific elements of particular crimes. This course examines the sources of criminal law, the constitutional limitations on criminal law, the basic proof requirements for specific crimes, and the various defenses to criminal liability.

Cross-Listed: LS 331/CJ 331

Prerequisites: LS 231 or CJ 231 and Sophomore or above status

CJ 332 JUVENILE DELINQUENCY3 Credits

A study of the history and concept of delinquency, the development of the juvenile justice system, nature and extent of delinquency, theoretical explanations of delinquency, and environmental influences of delinquency. Special topics covered include child abuse and neglect, school-based crime, gang control efforts, and the relationship between delinquency and drug abuse.

Cross-Listed: CJ332/SOC332

Prerequisites: CJ 231 and Sophomore or above status

CJ 333 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW3 Credits

A study of the development of the American governmental system through judicial interpretation of the Constitution. This class is rooted in the conviction that constitutional interpretation is an intricate blend of politics, economics, history, and competing values. This class will emphasize the institutional development of the Court, the evolving role of the judiciary, legislative and executive branches, the dominant theories of constitutional interpretation, the politics of judicial selection, and the ongoing relevance of constitutional interpretation.

Cross-Listed: CJ333/LS333/PS333

Prerequisites: Sophomore or above status

CJ 334 CRIMINAL PROCEDURES3 Credits

A study of the rule of law in action. Students will examine procedural limitations in processing an individual through the criminal justice system with special emphasis on arrest, search and seizure, interrogation, identification and exclusion of evidence.

Cross-Listed: CJ334/LS334

Prerequisites: Sophomore or above status

CJ 336 MULTICULTURAL ISSUES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE3 Credits

A study of theories and current research related to racial, ethnic, and gender disparity within the American criminal justice system. This course examines the most recent research on patterns of criminal behavior and victimization, police practices, court processing and sentencing, the death penalty and correctional programs in a diverse society.

Prerequisites: CJ 231 and Sophomore or above status

CJ 337 INTRODUCTION TO LAW3 Credits

A study of the American legal system, legalism in society and the relationship between law and justice. This course examines the structures of our legal system, and considers the economic, social, and political implications as they influence the development of a rule of law. Historical and contemporary legal controversies will be examined.

Cross-Listed: CJ337/LS337/PS337

Prerequisites: Sophomore or above status

CJ 338 COMMUNITY BASED CORRECTIONS3 Credits

A study of the procedures, practices, and personnel involved in community-based corrections. This course examines the role of the community in the reintegration of offenders, with a focus on correctional programs designed to be administered in a community setting, such as probation, parole and intermediate sanctions.

Prerequisites: CJ 231, CJ 236 and Sophomore or above status

CJ 390 INTERNSHIP IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE1-12 Credits

A student will gain practical experience in a criminal justice agency such as law enforcement, courts or corrections.

Add Consent: Department Consent

Notes: Open to upper division students majoring in the area of criminal justice; interested students should contact the Internship and Career Services office to secure application materials; application should be made prior to the semester the internship will be started; the amount of credit will be based on the availability of a suitable work position, the qualifications of the applicant, and the work hours.

CJ 400 INDEPENDENT STUDY OR RESEARCH1-3 Credits

Faculty-guided research in an area of mutual interest to the student and instructor. Students are responsible for selecting the area of inquiry prior to contacting the instructor.

Prerequisites: 15 hours of Criminal Justice courses

Add Consent: Instructor Consent

Requirements: Permission of Instructor, Dean and Academic Vice President.

CJ 430 TOPICS IN CORRECTIONS3 Credits

Topics selected to meet the needs of students in a special area of interest in corrections.

Prerequisites: CJ 236 and Junior or above status

CJ 431 INSTITUTIONAL CORRECTIONS3 Credits

A study of the history and operation of jails and prisons in the United States. This course examines the history of incarceration, institutional programs and procedures, institutional subcultures, and the classification and supervision of incarcerated offenders.

Prerequisites: CJ 231, CJ 236, and Junior or above status

CJ 432 JUVENILE LAW3 Credits

A study of the rights and duties of children, parents, and the state in both private and criminal arenas. This course examines the development of the legal status of children, constitutional rights of minors, the role of the state in relation to the family, state power to intervene in the lives of parents and children, and juvenile offenders in the justice system. Emphasis is placed on the juvenile justice process as it has developed in the United States.

Cross-Listed: CJ432/LS432

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

CJ 433 RULES OF EVIDENCE3 Credits

A study of evidence and the rules governing its use. This course examines what, how, and why certain objects or testimony should be admitted into, or excluded from, evidence in court. Topics include the problems of relevance, authentication, burdens of proof, presumptions, hearsay, opinion, and expert testimony.

Cross-Listed: CJ433/LS433

Prerequisites: CJ 231 or LS 231 and Junior or above status

CJ 434 SENIOR SEMINAR IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE3 Credits

This capstone criminal justice course provides students with the opportunity to integrate and synthesize previous coursework in criminal justice. Drawing on the foundational and core courses, students will apply theory and knowledge to current problems in the justice system.

Prerequisites: Criminal Justice Senior

CJ 435 DRUGS, ALCOHOL AND CRIME3 Credits

A study of the relationship of drugs and alcohol on the nature and incidence of crime with a focus on issues for police, courts, and corrections.

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

CJ 436 COMPARATIVE CRIMINAL JUSTICE3 Credits

A study and comparison of the world's major justice systems. This course compares the various elements of human culture as reflected in the major criminal justice systems of the world and procedures for social control of crime. Special attention is given to what constitutes a crime, the judicial processes for determining guilt, and theories and practices of punishment.

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

CJ 437 TOPICS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT3 Credits

Topics selected to meet the needs of students in a special area of interest in law enforcement.

Prerequisites: CJ 232 and Junior or above status

CJ 438 TOPICS IN LAW3 Credits

Topics selected to meet the needs of students in a special area of interest in law.

Cross-Listed: CJ438/LS438

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

CJ 440 TOPICS IN JUVENILE JUSTICE3 Credits

Topics selected to meet the needs of students in a special area of interest in juvenile justice.

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

CJ 441 ETHICAL ISSUES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE3 Credits

A study of the ethical philosophies and issues pertaining to the various professions in the criminal justice system. Through the use of case studies, students will evaluate ethical dilemmas encountered in both the administration of justice and the ethical dilemmas faced by its professional practitioners.

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

CJ 442 HONORS IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE3 Credits

Selected courses and topics designed for upper division students with a grade point average of 3.25 in all course work.

Cross-Listed: CJ442/LS442

Add Consent: Instructor Consent

Notes: May be repeated up to a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours.

CJ 443 CORRECTIONAL LAW3 Credits

A study of major legal issues surrounding sentencing, incarceration, probation, parole, pardon, and related topics. This course provides a general overview of the law relating to persons in prison, jail or within the corrections system. Also investigates how civil and criminal law affects facilities, community-based corrections, and personnel working in the correctional system.

Cross-Listed: CJ443/LS443

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

CJ 444 FORENSIC STUDIES II3 Credits

A study of two aspects of forensic investigation. This course will be applying various features and functions of the camera that are used to control and provide the proper exposure and other qualities expected by today's court system. Many practical experiences will be incorporated to demonstrate and inculcate the complexity of forensic photography. This course will also focus on the application of Linguistic Statement Analysis Technique (LSAT). This forensic technique is an advanced investigative technology that has been empirically tested for its effectiveness in detecting deception in spoken and written statements from victims, suspects and witnesses in all crimes.

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

CJ 446 CROSS CULTURAL STUDIES/JUSTICE STUDIES1-3 Credits

A study of the cross cultural differences in crime and applications of criminal justice systems and practices. This course examines the impact of cultural factors (historical, religious, social, and political) on the formal institutions, laws and procedures for social control of crime. This course requires participation in a study abroad program.

Essential Studies: SLO #10

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

Add Consent: Instructor Consent

Drop Consent: Instructor Consent

CJ 447 APPLIED ISSUES IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE1-6 Credits

Projects, workshops, field experiences and seminars that focus on a specialized area in Criminal Justice.

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

Add Consent: Instructor Consent

CJ 448 PROFESSIONAL SEMESTER1-12 Credits

The student will attend a certified law enforcement training academy to obtain certification as a professional law enforcement officer. Admission to the professional semester requires completion of all requirements in the Criminal Justice major.

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

Add Consent: Instructor Consent

Requirements: Permission of instructor and admission by a law enforcement training center.

CJ 449 CRIMINAL PROFILING3 Credits

A study of the techniques necessary to develop a complete socio-psychological profile regarding various types of violent behavior. The rationale for psychological profiling, the analysis of violent crime scenes, the motivations for committing crimes, and the role of aggression and criminological theories in the formation of psychological profiles will be examined. Using case studies and illustrations, the complexity of the violent personality will be presented while maintaining a scientific focus and approach.

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

CJ 450 TOPICS IN FORENSIC STUDIES3 Credits

Topics selected to meet the needs of students in a special area of forensic sciences.

Prerequisites: CJ 323 or CJ 444 and Junior or above status

CJ 469 SEX CRIMES3 Credits

A study of sex crimes, sex offenders, the effect on their victims and attempted treatment. The methods, motivations and victim selection of offenders will be examined through the use of case studies. Paraphilias and how this information can help determine fantasy which can illuminate specific typologies of sex offending and the etiology of the offender will be examined.

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

Legal Studies

LS 231 INTRODUCTION TO LEGAL STUDIES3 Credits

A study of the American legal system and the people who make it work. First introduces the role of legal professionals (lawyers and paralegals) and provides a general knowledge of the legal system structure and dispute resolution processes. Students then explore major substantive areas of law, examine the ethical rules governing legal work and learn basic legal skills such as case briefing, legal analysis, and legal research.

LS 232 LITIGATION/CIVIL PROCEDURES3 Credits

A study of the process used to resolve legal disputes. Will examine the federal and state rules of civil procedures, including the drafting of complaints, answers, pre-trial motions, interrogatories, depositions and other documents, discovery, jurisdiction, and the aspects of trial practice.

LS 233 TORTS3 Credits

An overview of basic personal injury and property damage law within the American legal system. Actual cases and hypothetical examples are used to illustrate the law of intentional torts, negligence, strict liability and tort defenses. Emphasis is placed on developing a working knowledge of substantive tort law through the development and analysis of facts, the construction and evaluation of alternative arguments, and the drafting of a variety of documents that are the basis for trial preparation.

LS 235 ADMINISTRATIVE LAW3 Credits

A study of the role and function of administrative agencies in contemporary society. This course focuses on the law governing agency discretion, rulemaking, enforcement, and decision-making powers. Special emphasis is given to administrative procedures and public rights.

LS 236 FAMILY LAW3 Credits

A study of the law governing families. Exploring the substantive law of marriage, divorce, legal separation, child support and custody, property division, alimony, decree modification and enforcement, and adoption. Special emphasis is placed on the drafting of documents necessary in family law cases.

LS 238 LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITING I3 Credits

A study of basic legal research and legal analysis. Focusing on how to locate and analyze legal resources including constitutions, statutes, administrative rules and regulations, and cases. The fundamentals of legal writing, including legal citation, will be introduced. Special emphasis will be given to online legal research.

LS 323 LAW AND THE AMERICAN SOCIETY3 Credits

A study of the nature and function of the American legal system and its interrelationship with our social, political and economic institutions. This course examines the nature, functions, and limits of law and its impact on economic, political, and social institutions. Emphasis will be placed on debates of current legal issues.

Cross-Listed: LS323/SS323

Essential Studies: SLO #10

LS 331 CRIMINAL LAW3 Credits

A study of the general principles of criminal law and the specific elements of particular crimes. This course examines the sources of criminal law, the constitutional limitations on criminal law, the basic proof requirements for specific crimes, and the various defenses to criminal liability.

Cross-Listed: LS 331/CJ 331

Prerequisites: LS 231 or CJ 231 and Sophomore or above status

LS 332 THE LAW OF CONTRACTS3 Credits

The study of privately created obligations and duties through agreement. This course introduces the law of contracts, including the elements of a contract, the formation of contracts, contract interpretation, obligations, third-party contract relationships, breach of contract, and remedies available. Emphasis is placed on the drafting and evaluation of contracts.

Prerequisites: Sophomore or above status

LS 333 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW3 Credits

A study of the development of the American governmental system through judicial interpretation of the Constitution. This class is rooted in the conviction that constitutional interpretation is an intricate blend of politics, economics, history, and competing values. This class will emphasize the institutional development of the Court, the evolving role of the judiciary, legislative and executive branches, the dominant theories of constitutional interpretation, the politics of judicial selection, and the ongoing relevance of constitutional interpretation.

Cross-Listed: CJ333/LS333/PS333

Prerequisites: Sophomore or above status

LS 334 CRIMINAL PROCEDURES3 Credits

A study of the rule of law in action. Students will examine procedural limitations in processing an individual through the criminal justice system with special emphasis on arrest, search and seizure, interrogation, identification and exclusion of evidence.

Cross-Listed: CJ334/LS334

Prerequisites: Sophomore or above status

LS 337 INTRODUCTION TO LAW3 Credits

A study of the American legal system, legalism in society and the relationship between law and justice. This course examines the structures of our legal system and considers economic, social, and political implications as they influence the development of a rule of law. Historical and present legal controversies will be examined.

Cross-Listed: CJ337/LS337/PS337

Prerequisites: Sophomore or above status

LS 338 LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITING II3 Credits

A study of advanced legal research and writing principles. This course focuses on case synthesis, the creation of factual and policy arguments, and counteranalysis. Emphasis is placed upon completion of legal research projects including preparation of interoffice memoranda, court briefs and legal correspondence.

Prerequisites: LS 238 and Sophomore or above status

LS 343 COMMERCIAL LAW3 Credits

A study of the Uniform Commercial Code and related federal and state laws and their relevance to the law office environment and commercial business practice. This course will emphasize the sale of goods, negotiable instruments, bank deposits and collections, security agreements, and transactions in which personal property, such as equipment, inventory, or accounts receivable, serve as collateral for a debt.

LS 390 INTERNSHIP IN LEGAL STUDIES1-12 Credits

The student will gain practical experience in a law office, court, judicial office, or other law related agency. Open to upper division students majoring in the area of legal studies.

Add Consent: Department Consent

Notes: Interested students should contact the Internship and Career Services office to secure application materials; application should be made prior to the semester the internship will be started; the amount of credit will be based on the availability of a suitable work position, the qualifications of the applicant, and the work hours.

LS 400 INDEPENDENT STUDY OR RESEARCH1-3 Credits

Faculty-guided research in an area of mutual interest to the student and instructor. Students are responsible for selecting the area of inquiry prior to contacting the instructor.

Prerequisites: 15 hours of Legal Studies courses

Add Consent: Instructor Consent

Requirements: Permission of Dean, and Academic Vice President.

LS 431 ESTATE PLANNING3 Credits

A study of the ownership of assets and planned distribution. Students wiill explore the procedures, techniques, and law governing the administration of estates and trusts. Special emphasis will be placed on the drafting of wills, simple trusts, probate documents and advanced healthcare directives.

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

LS 432 JUVENILE LAW3 Credits

A study of the rights and duties of children, parents, and the state in both private and criminal arenas. This course examines the development of the legal status of children, constitutional rights of minors, the role of the state in relation to the family, state power to intervene in the lives of parents and children, and juvenile offenders in the justice system. Emphasis is placed on the juvenile justice process as it has developed in the United States.

Cross-Listed: CJ432/LS432

LS 433 RULES OF EVIDENCE3 Credits

A study of evidence and the rules governing its use. Examines what, how, and why certain objects or testimony should be admitted into, or excluded from, evidence in court. Topics include the problems of relevance, authentication, burdens of proof, presumptions, hearsay, opinion, and expert testimony.

Cross-Listed: CJ433/LS433

Prerequisites: LS 231 or CJ 231 and Junior or above status

LS 434 LAW OF REAL ESTATE3 Credits

A study of the substantive law of real property, including legal descriptions, real estate finance, types of ownership, mechanics of transferring ownership, abstracts, title insurance, legal forms, and contract drafting.

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

LS 435 LAW OF BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS3 Credits

A study of sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies. This course will examine the advantages and disadvantages of different business entities and the formation and financial structure of each.

LS 436 ETHICS/PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY3 Credits

An overview of ethical considerations in the legal profession, including canons of ethics and ethical standards governing lawyers and legal assistants. The course examines client confidentiality, unauthorized practice of the law, conflicts of interest and disqualification, attorney-client privilege, the work product rule, financial matters, zealousness within the bounds of the law, and competence.

LS 438 TOPICS IN LAW3 Credits

Topics selected to meet the needs of students in a special area of interest in law.

Cross-Listed: CJ438/LS438

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

LS 442 HONORS IN LEGAL STUDIES3 Credits

Selected courses and topics designed for upper division students with a grade point average of 3.25 or above in all course work.

Cross-Listed: CJ442/LS442

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

Add Consent: Instructor Consent

Notes: May be repeated up to a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours.

LS 443 CORRECTIONAL LAW3 Credits

A study of major legal issues surrounding sentencing, incarceration, probation, parole, pardon, and related topics. This course provides a general overview of the law relating to persons in prison, jail or within the corrections system. Also investigates how civil and criminal law affects facilities, community-based corrections, and personnel working in the correctional system.

Cross-Listed: CJ443/LS443

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

LS 444 TOPICS IN TRANSACTIONAL LAW3 Credits

Topics selected to meet the needs of students in a special area of interest in transactional law.

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

LS 447 APPLIED ISSUES IN LEGAL STUDIES1-9 Credits

Projects, workshops, field experiences and seminars that focus on a specialized area of Legal Studies.

Prerequisites: Junior or above status

Add Consent: Instructor Consent