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Course Descriptions

CRI 100/Introduction to Criminology   (1 course unit)

Students will explore the historic need in societies to shape and control the behavior of their members so that they conform to established group norms. The course will examine the complex interaction between factors such as culture, law, power and equity that contribute to the maintenance of social order. It will address the development of legal systems from the social science perspectives; investigate the nature of normative social control (sociological theory relative to conformity, conflict and power); and explore, in both a historical and contemporary vein, the development and maturation of formal justice systems (enforcement, adjudication and corrections) which act coercively against rule violators.

CRI 200/Policing Civil Societies     (1 course unit)

Traces the development of modern-day policing in civil societies from the 18th century through modern times.  At the core of this course is the study of the interplay between citizens and the police.  It is at this juncture, where citizens and the police interact, that misunderstandings develop, relationships are formed, problems are solved and future plans are designed. This course also considers the problems that police face due to misunderstandings of their role including corruption and other forms of deviance.  Moreover, the course considers theories of modern police practice and reform efforts as well as the development and construction of police ethics.

CRI 201/Judicature     (1 course unit)                                   

This course will explore the history of American jurisprudence by critically examining the history of courts, the rule of law and the social contract. Court systems at the federal, state, and local levels will be examined. Indeterminate and determinate sentencing models will be examined. Students will learn how a case progresses through the court system and how the courtroom workgroup operates. Finally, students will learn how to research seminal United States Supreme Court cases.

CRI 202/Penology     (1 course unit)

This course examines the competing rationales of punishment.  It traces how the concept of punishment has evolved over time from ancient forms of punishment to present day incarceration. Special topics such as incarcerated women will be explored.  Amendments to the United States Constitution and decisions from the United States Supreme Court relevant to correctional issues will be carefully examined.  Finally, there will also be an exploration of the various forms of community corrections (e.g., probation, parole, residential programs, day reporting centers, etc.) and how they fit into a correctional continuum and the issues surrounding the use of the community corrections resources.

CRI 205/Criminology     (1 course unit)

This course provides a general introduction to the study of criminal behavior from an interdisciplinary perspective.  The history of criminology as a discipline will be examined. Criminological theories of crime and criminality from classical theories to modern developmental theories will be carefully examined.  Students will learn to review and interpret various data sources from the Uniform Crime Reports, the National Crime Victimization Survey, and self-reports.

CRI 210/Principles of Forensic Science     (1 course unit)

An overview of the process of criminal investigations and the scientific and technical methods used to analyze evidence.  The focus is on recognition, collection, preservation and analysis of physical evidence. Students will be presented with various criminalistic techniques utilized in the analysis of evidence from a non-science major perspective with the presumption that students do not have technical backgrounds (i.e., chemistry, biology and/or physics).

***As an alternate to CRI 210, it is recommend that students who are interested in forensics take ANT 361: Human Osteology and Forensic Anthropology.***

CRI 215/Data Management and Analysis     (1 course unit) 

Prerequisites: STA 115 or STA 215

The ability to manage, transform and analyze data is critical to those seeking advanced study in the social sciences, those aspiring to work in governmental agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and even those seeking employment in local law enforcement. This course provides the student with ability to manage, transform and analyze data sets like those found in governmental agencies. Base SAS is one of the most powerful software programs available to manage, transform and analyze data. Base SAS will be used exclusively in this course.

 CRI 256/Women in the Criminal Justice System     (1 course unit)

This course offers an understanding of the treatment of women as professionals, litigants, victims, and offenders in the justice system.  It examines what happens to women in the criminal justice system, how that is related to issues of social inequality, and what alternatives are available using a social justice framework.  Because any discussion of women, crime, and justice must acknowledge both the diversity of women and the diversity of crimes and conditions under which they are made and enforced, the course will look at all issues through a constantly developing and changing/race/class/gender/sexual orientation perspectives.

CRI 301/Criminal Law and Procedure     (1 course unit)

This course examines the nature, purpose, and function, and substance of criminal law and criminal procedure in the United States. Specific focus is placed on the constitutional limits of the criminal sanction, the principles and scope of criminal responsibility, and elements of an offense.  Attention will also be paid to the rights of the accused and the application of protections afforded to individuals under the United States Constitution.

CRI 303 White-Collar Crime     (1 course unit)

An investigation and analysis of white-collar crime in American society. Based on the major classic and contemporary writings in this area of law violation, this course is designed to explore white-collar crime in relation to the political economy, corporate and government organization, the legal system, and structural and cultural features of the workplace.

CRI 304/Victimology     (1 course unit)

The discipline of victimology has developed quite recently out of the social sciences of sociology and criminology.  In historic terms, concern for the victim has been a major consideration in society.  This course explores topics such as developmental victimology, correlates of becoming a victim of various crimes, and the emergence of victims’ rights at the state and federal levels.

CRI 305/Criminology and Mental Health     (1 course unit)

This course offers an examination of the intersection of the mental health system and the criminal justice system, and its legal, ethical, economic, political, and societal implications. Issues with historical and contemporary responses to mental illnesses will be analyzed, with special attention given to considerations of race, ethnicity, class, gender, age, and institutional power. This course will explore the relationships between mental health and criminal behavior and identify the risk and protective factors influencing trajectories of delinquency, adult criminality, and mental institutionalization for offenders and victims.

CRI 306/Research Methods     (1 course unit)

This course focuses on principles of research methodology in the social sciences.  Elements of research design including unit(s) of analysis, measurement, sampling, survey construction, survey methodology, and data collection will be covered.  Pre-experimental, quasi-experimental, and experimental designs are evaluated with respect to structure, implementation, and threats to validity.  Finally, students will be expected to critically evaluate published social science research in peer-reviewed journals.

CRI 317/ Introduction to Crime Mapping     (1 course unit)

(formerly Geospatial Analysis of Crime)

Prerequisite: CRI 306

This course introduces students to the theoretical and practical aspects of the geospatial analysis of crime. Using a lab instructional setting, students will learn to manage, transform, analyze, and interpret geospatial data in a Geographic Information System (GIS) to guide juvenile and criminal justice decision-making. Geospatial data are used to identify and propose solutions to common problems facing the justice system such recidivism, truancy, and strained police-community relations.

CRI 340/International Terrorism     (1 course unit)

This course will utilize an interdisciplinary approach to explore terrorism, with an emphasis on criminological theories.  Both domestic and international extremism and terrorism will be examined historically, sociologically, and psychologically.  Concepts that will be incorporated into the discussion include the influence of law and culture, the country’s historical response to radical social movements, and the influence of media coverage.  In addition, we will consider current efforts to investigate and prevent terrorism.  The effects of the current “war on terror” will be analyzed within the framework of the United States’ wars on poverty and drugs.

CRI 350/Juvenile Delinquency and Justice     (1 course unit)

Prerequisite: CRI 205

This course is designed to introduce students into an area of criminology that deals with a special population of offenders: juveniles.  Students will gain an understanding of the history of juvenile justice in the United States.  Evidence-based delinquency programs will be evaluated.  Students will develop an understanding about specific substantive juvenile justice policy issues including waiver, detention reform, gangs and the intersection of mental health and juvenile justice systems.  Finally, students will develop an understanding of major case law in the field of juvenile justice.

CRI 351/Comparative Criminology     (1 course unit)

The focus of this course is the comparative analysis of crime and justice throughout the world. Cross-national comparisons of crime, including definition, measurement, and theoretical explanation, and the structures, processes, and problems of justice systems will be examined. Special consideration will be given to the influences of colonialism, religion, and culture. Students will compare the United States system to those in other countries in an effort to increase the efficacy and equity of criminal justice.

CRI 352/Race, Crime, and Justice     (1 course unit)

(same as AAS 353)

This course is a critical examination of the linkage between race and crime in America.  The course will focus on four major areas: race and the law, race and criminological theory, race and violent crime, and myths and facts about race and crime.  Through critical examination of readings and official statistics, students will come to understand the complexity of the relationship between race and crime within the American Criminal Justice System and broader social context.

CRI 370/Special Topics in Criminology     (1 course unit)

Prerequisite: CRI 205

The Department of Criminology seeks to shape students who become informed citizens able to analyze critically and problem solve justice related issues with a genuine concern for social responsibility, fairness and equity.  To that end, the department offers coursework that is current and relevant to today’s society.  For example, an important current issue in today’s society is the changing landscape of urban life and the resulting proliferation of street gangs.  To bring this issue into the classroom, the department will, on occasion, offer topics courses that address pertinent social issues related to crime such as “Gangs in America: Past and Present.”

CRI 390/Research Course in Criminology      (1 course unit)

Prerequisites: CRI 306 or by permission of the department chair

This course is designed to provide criminology students with an intense, directed research experience.  A small group of students will collaborate with a professor on a research project.  Elements of research methods, data management and statistical analysis, and report writing will be covered.  A research paper will be produced as the final assignment.

CRI 391/Independent Study in Criminology     (variable course units)

Prerequisites: Criminology students

For advanced students wishing to pursue a special area of interest in law and justice.  Students develop a proposal around a sophisticated research design including problems definition, hypotheses, methodology, etc. to complete a comprehensive study.  Topic and research design developed in consultation with a faulty adviser.

CRI 399/Internship in Criminology     (variable course units)

(by arrangement/may be repeated for credit)

CRI 401/The Washington Center     (2 course units)

Prerequisite: CRI 300

The Washington Semester Program affords students the opportunity to pursue internships, course work, and enrichment activities during a semester in the Washington, D.C. area.  Programs are provided by the Washington Center and the Washington Internship Institute but the student earns TCNJ credit for the semester.

CRI 499/Senior Capstone in Policy Analysis     (1 course unit)

Prerequisite: CRI 306

This course will provide the student with the ability to critically examine, assess and analyze criminal justice policy alternatives.  Students will be expected to formulate policy options and craft policy proposals that present a thoughtful, cogent and reasoned rationale for the option being recommended.  Students will learn the tools to persuasively present policy proposals.  Various sentencing policy changes that have affected correctional populations in the United States such as drug policies will be explored.  Finally, students will learn how to conduct cost-benefit analyses and return on investment calculations.