Criminal Justice Courses
1300 – Introduction to Criminal Justice
An overview of the criminal justice system at the local, state and federal levels of law enforcement, corrections, and judicial system. This entry-level course will examine crime in America, define “criminal justice”, give a current status of crime statistics, and an overview of criminal law. Another major topic is policing at the state level, with particular attention given to the legal aspects of policing, and the issues and challenges of policing. The judicial system (at the state and federal levels) is also examined, focusing on courts, criminal trials, and sentencing. Finally, the course will highlight the correctional system, from probation, parole, and community corrections, to prisons/jails, and prison life. This course is a prerequisite for all other CJ courses unless waived by the CJ/LS department chair. Offered every fall semester (day) and every spring semester (night).
1301 – Introduction to Criminalistics
This course provides an introduction to the integrated study of law and science, particularly biology and chemistry, as it pertains to the field of criminal justice. Course topics include forensic nursing, toxicology, anthropology, taphonomy, entomology, bloodstain patterns, biological fluids, DNA, trace evidence, footwear, firearm and tool markings, documents examinations, analysis of controlled substances and investigation of computer crimes. Students interested in applying principles of science to the field of criminal justice will be introduced to current career paths and opportunities within the CJ system. Prerequisite: CJ 1300. Offered every fall semester (day).
2310 – Criminal Investigation
This course is designed to provide the student with a basic knowledge of the means and methods of investigating a variety of reported criminal offenses. The student will become familiar with the tools and techniques that facilitate the identification, collection, and examinations necessary to the successful completion of a criminal investigation. The course will also present theories and practices of the investigative process and the criminal justice system duties and responsibilities of the investigator, treatment of physical evidence, scientific aids commonly used by law enforcement officers, case preparation, and modus operandi. Prerequisite: CJ 1300. Offered every fall semester (night).
2311 – Organization and Administration
Organization and Administration in Criminal Justice is a study of the introductory principles of organizational theories and administrational models as they pertain to management in the criminal justice system. In this course students will receive exposure to motivational models and theories for motivation of personnel, job design, leadership, group behavior and decision making. This course also examines communication within an organization, communication structures, and communication problems. Prerequisite: CJ 1300. Offered every spring semester (night).
2320 – Survey of Corrections
An overview of corrections as part of the CJ system with emphasis on historical perspectives, theory and methods of incarceration, alternatives to incarceration, juvenile offenders and current special issues. Students will also examine community corrections (diversion, probation, and intermediate sanctions), prison policy on management, prisoners’ rights, the elderly and mentally challenged in prison. This course also includes the rights of victims, and an in-depth study of the death penalty. Prerequisite: CJ 1300. Offered every fall semester (night).
2330 – Evidence
Evidence is an analysis of the rules of evidence with emphasis on evidence obtained through search, seizure and incident to arrest. This course examines the procedures and rules to which one must adhere in order for evidence to be admissible. This course also examines the problems associated with violations of the rules of evidence. Prerequisite: CJ 1300. Offered every spring semester (night).
2331 – Criminal Law
Criminal law is a study of the historical and philosophical concepts of law including the purpose and functions of criminal laws and statutes as a means of social control in the preservation of life and property. In this course a student will study the elements of various offenses including offenses against the person, offenses against property, and common defenses against criminal acts; and will learn the differences between misdemeanor and felony charges. The student will also receive initial exposure to the punishment prescribed for the various offenses. Prerequisites: None, but CJ 1300 is recommended either prior to enrolling in this course, or to be taken in conjunction with this course. Prerequisite: CJ 1300. Offered every fall semester (night).
2332 – Survey of Biblical Law
This course is an overview of Biblical foundations as related to inspiration and authority as these concepts apply to the current system of American jurisprudence. Significant coverage is given to church/state relations and the impact of various religious influences upon the delegates to the United States Constitutional Convention. The impact of Biblical origins of property law, family law and criminal law are examined in light of Old and New Testament developments as they relate to modern American jurisprudence. An overview of developments concerning the death penalty begins with Old Testament analysis, continues with New Testament analysis, and concludes with modern death penalty statutory analysis. Prerequisite: CJ or LS major. Prerequisite: CJ 1300. Offered every spring semester (day) and every fall semester (night).
2340 – Fingerprinting
This course is designed to provide students with a practical study of fingerprinting beginning with biological and historical data, an examination of the Henry Classification System, and methods of lifting and processing latent fingerprints. In addition students will be introduced to scarred patterns, amputations, major case prints and problems with fingerprinting the dead. Career opportunities will be presented along with practical application through case studies. Prerequisite: CJ 1300. Offered every spring semester (day).
2350 – Crime Scene Investigation
This course provides students will the practical application of criminal scene investigative techniques to the seven major crimes areas. Crime scene searches will be conducted of the following criminal violations: homicide, robbery, rape, aggravated assault, arson, motor vehicle theft and larceny/theft. Legal concepts of physical evidence will be discussed along with practice in report writing and preparation for courtroom testimony. Prerequisite: CJ 1300. Offered every spring semester (day).
3301 – Criminology
This course is a study of law and crime, the nature and causation of crime, and the various theories and research studies regarding criminality. Criminology explores the foundations of law and crime as it applies to society in both a historical context and in current times. This course examines the theories and studies including: the Classical School, the Biological Theories, the Psychological/Psychiatric Theories, the Social Structure Approaches, the Social Process Theories, and the Social Conflict Theories. Prerequisites: CJ 1300 and departmental approval. Offered every fall semester.
3302 – Community Relations
A study of the numerous and complex factors involved in the area of human relations as it impacts CJ agencies and their stakeholders. Community Relations examines the CJ system’s interdependency in administering justice, the impact of government on the criminal justice system and agencies, and studies the impact that public relations and public image have for criminal justice agencies. Community Relations examines the impact that public perception, trust and confidence play in the ability of the system to serve the public. Prerequisites: CJ 1300 and departmental approval. Offered every other fall semester, even years.
3303 – Probation, Pardon and Parole
This course is an introduction to the fields of probation, pardon and parole. Students will study current theories, practices, organizational goals and problems with parole programs. The course also examines community-based corrections, current trends in prison-related issues, prison life, and the death penalty. Prerequisites: CJ 1300 and departmental approval. Offered every other spring semester, odd years.
3304 – Juvenile Justice
This course provides a study of the juvenile justice system. Students will examine characteristics of juvenile offenders, juvenile court procedures, prevention and diversion programs, and theories of causation. Other topics to be covered include the history of juvenile justice, child abuse, violent youths and gangs, and Alabama state law as it relates to juveniles. Prerequisites: CJ 1300 and departmental approval. Offered every other fall semester, even years.
3305 – Constitutional Law (LS 3305)
Examination of Constitutional provisions, their development through court interpretation, and their application to law enforcement. Prerequisite: CJ 1300. Offered every spring semester (day).
3306 – Private Security
This course is an overview of the history and development of the growing private security field. Special emphasis is placed on the work of Alan Pinkerton, and others, in the early days of the development of the private security field. Current liability issues related to the provision of private security services are explored. Methods of disaster preparedness and emergency preparedness planning are explored. Attention is also given to basic fraud detection techniques, including how to conduct a fraud vulnerability assessment and fraud risk analysis. A significant focus of this course is on the role of private security in crime prevention. Prerequisites: CJ 1300 and departmental approval. Offered every fall semester.
3308 – Terrorism
This course examines the history and philosophy of terrorism, particularly reviewing the beliefs and activities of terrorist groups that have influenced the course of world events. Concentration is given to the study of contemporary terrorist activities, both at home and abroad, and students are exposed to traditional and unique approaches employed worldwide to combating terrorist organizations and methodologies. Prerequisites: CJ 1300 and departmental approval. Offered every spring semester.
3312 – CJ and the Worldwide Web (WWW)
This course is an overview of criminal justice topics and issues currently accessible on the on the Internet. Techniques are developed for locating information regarding sex offenders, tracing E-mails, using the SSDI (Social Security Death Index) to detect misuse of Social Security numbers of deceased people, locating and using forms related to suspicious banking transactions (SAR, suspicious activity reports). In-class exercises allow each student to gain hands-on experience in the use of various search engines. Attention is given to matters related to meta-tags, copyright matters and criminal activity that occurs over the Internet. Prerequisites: CJ 1300 & CIS 1302. Offered every fall semester.
4301 – Criminalistics
This course presents a survey of the different methods of scientific investigative techniques including fingerprinting, photography, casting, ballistic procedures, evidence collection, chain of custody and utilization of crime laboratories. In addition students will participate in a crime scene search and discover the interdependent nature of the investigator and lab technician. Students will be given the opportunity to use the compound and stereo microscopes in examination of hairs, fibers, paint, drugs, glass, soil, and tool marks. Forensic serology and toxicology concepts are also presented as they relate to the field investigator. Prerequisites: CJ 1300, both physical science and natural science requirements and departmental approval. Offered every spring semester.
4302 – Courts and Courtroom Procedure (LS 4302)
Courts and Courtroom Procedure is a study of the American justice system in the administration of law and crime. This course provides students with an overview of the court systems at the state and federal level, an in-depth look at the duties and responsibilities of the key courtroom players and courtroom work groups in the administration of justice, and an overview of evidentiary matters and the impact that the interdependence of the CJ system on the judiciary. Prerequisites: CJ 1300 and departmental approval. Offered every fall semester.
4303 – Interview and Interrogation (LS 4303)
This course is designed to familiarize students with basic communications concepts as well as basic concepts, processes, techniques, and legal aspects of interview and interrogation used in the field of criminal justice. The course will address the differences and similarities between interview and interrogation; different types, uses and processes of interviews; various forms of verbal and nonverbal communication; specialized types of interviews, such as probing, selection, counseling, and persuasive. Prerequisites: CJ 1300 and departmental approval. Offered every fall semester.
4304 – Ethics and the Criminal Justice System
This course examines dilemmas and decisions in the criminal justice system focusing on typical problems encountered in law enforcement, corrections and the courts. Attention is given to due process, fundamental fairness and various ethical guidelines used in the criminal justice system. The use of force by law enforcement and the Dirty Harry problem are evaluated. Theories of punishment are also considered. Avenues of police corruption are also explored. Prerequisites: CJ 1300 and departmental approval. Offered every spring semester.
4305 – Special Issues in Criminal Justice
Special Issues is a study of significant current topics, problems and issues facing the criminal justice system. This course also examines the current crises in criminal justice and the various proposed solutions to those crises. Prerequisites: CJ 1300, CJ 2311, CJ 3305, CJ 4301, CJ 4304, and CJ 4307. Seniors only.
4306 – Criminal Behavior Analysis
This course presents an introduction to the current methods and techniques used by law enforcement agencies in criminal behavior assessment. Theoretical concepts drawn from related social science fields are discussed with application to the criminal violations of sexual murder, rape, child victimization, and selected nuisance offenses of an interpersonal nature. Students will be familiar with basic terminology and descriptive terms associated with interpersonal crimes and related forensic study. Prerequisites: CJ 1300, PY 1310 and departmental approval. Offered every spring semester.
4307 – Research Methods for Criminal Justice
An introduction to the basic concepts of social science research and statistical methods typically used in the field of criminal justice. This course will explain the data gathering process, sampling procedures and various statistical tests routinely performed on criminal justice data. The student will be prepared to evaluate reports and journal articles and to recognize emerging theories in the criminal justice field. Prerequisites: CJ 1300 and upper level status. Offered every fall semester.
4308 – Criminal Justice Budgeting
This course is an introduction to and evaluation of criminal justice budgeting processes and techniques commonly used in criminal justice organizations and agencies. A consideration is given to basic concepts of accounting as they relate to the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Some elementary governmental accounting principles are introduced and their impact on basic law enforcement budgeting is explained. Zero-based budgeting is examined in light of its historical context. Techniques for detection of theft, including lapping, are explored and explained. Prerequisites: CJ 1300 and upper level status. Offered every spring semester.
4350/51 – Directed Studies in Criminal Justice
This course will require the student to use the knowledge and skills acquired in Research Methods (CJ 4307) by conducting survey research in the field of criminal justice. This course is a directed study under the guidance of a CJ faculty member. The student’s research project will consist of a written report which will include a description of a problem, literature review, research design and methods of data analysis. An oral presentation of the student’s research and findings is also required. Prerequisites: senior standing, CJ 1300 and CJ 4307. Offered every spring semester.
4360/61 – Internship
This course offers the student a supervised work experience in the criminal justice system such as a law enforcement organization, correctional facility, law firm, or related legal organization. This course also provides an opportunity for individualized career development, including resume writing and interview skills. Prerequisites: CJ 1300 or LS 1300; and departmental approval. Offered every spring semester.