Courses in Criminal Justice
R CRJ 201 Introduction to the Criminal Justice Process (3)
Analysis of the decisions made in the process whereby citizens become suspects, suspects become defendants, some defendants are convicted and in turn become probationers, inmates and parolees. Analysis of operational practices at the major criminal justice decision stages. Analysis of innovative programs and the dilemmas of change in policing, diversion, court administration, sentencing, and community correctional programs.
T CRJ 201 Introduction to the Criminal Justice Process (3)
T CRJ 201 is the Honors College version of R CRJ 201; only one version may be taken for credit. Open to Honors College students only.
R CRJ 202 Introduction to Law and Criminal Justice (4)
Students will study judicial decisions involving constitutional and other legal issues relevant to criminal justice, including the government’s power to define conduct as criminal, procedural rights, defenses, the rights of juveniles, and punishment. In addition to class meetings, students will enroll in a discussion section where they will engage in legal writing and moot court exercises.
R CRJ 203 (= A SOC 203) Criminology (3)
Introduction to the study of crime, including the development of criminal law, the relationship between crime and social structure, and the individual and social causes of crime. Only one of A SOC 203, A SOC 381, R CRJ 203, or T CRJ 203 can be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): A SOC 115.
T CRJ 203 Criminology (3)
Introduction to the study of crime, including the development of criminal law, the relationship between crime and social structure, and the individual and social causes of crime. Only one of A SOC 203, A SOC 381, R CRJ 203, or T CRJ 203 can be taken for credit. Open to Honors College students only.
R CRJ 281 Introduction to Statistics in Criminal Justice (3)
Provides an introduction to statistical methods useful for analyzing the types of data most often encountered in criminal justice research, and it is intended primarily for criminal justice undergraduates. The course has a “practitioner” orientation, emphasizing how to understand and use statistics rather than how to create them. A variety of widely used statistical methods will be considered, including descriptive statistics, correlation and regression, hypothesis testing (inferential statistics), and contingency tables. A working knowledge of high school algebra will be assumed. May not be taken for credit by students with credit for A SOC 221.
R CRJ 282 Introduction to Research Design in Criminal Justice (3)
The practical aspect of doing theoretically informed criminological research. The course should provide students with 1) the methods of research available to criminologists, 2) the connection between theory and data, and 3) how to make criminological sense out of a body of data. It will cover a variety of design issues, methodological issues and analytic techniques. The techniques provide a springboard for the discussion of important methodological issues: the relationship between theory and data, the logic of inference, causality, data collection, model specification, standardized versus unstandardized data and many others. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 281.
T CRJ 286 Wrongful Convictions (3)
This course is designed to offer an overview of wrongful convictions for honors students. Students will examine the prevalence of wrongful convictions, how wrongful arrests and convictions occur (contributing factors), how the criminal justice system responds (through court decisions, legislation, and administrative initiatives), and how legal decisions affect the direction of scientific research and vice versa. This is an interdisciplinary honors course for students who are interested in criminal justice, psychology, and legal issues. Open to Honors College students only.
R CRJ 302 Punishment and Corrections (3)
Interdisciplinary review of the history of criminal punishment, analyzing the main changes that have occurred and their causes. Examines the dominant justifications used for punishing offenders, such as deterrence, retribution and rehabilitation. Special attention is given to the implications of the different justifications of punishment for current penological practice such as prison, jail, probation, parole, other alternative ways of dealing with offenders and sentencing. Reform is then discussed within this historical and interdisciplinary context. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 201 or 203.
R CRJ 308 Juvenile Justice Administration (3)
The law of juvenile delinquency and the administration of the juvenile justice system. Examines the historical development of the concept of delinquency, the special status of juveniles before the law and juvenile justice procedural law. Considers the structure and operations of the major components of juvenile justice systems and contemporary reform efforts in juvenile justice. Examines recent developments in law reform concerning delinquency and dependency, along with change and reform in the youth corrections systems. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 201, or junior or senior standing.
R CRJ 310 Policies of Crime in Heterogeneous Societies (3)
This course examines the implementation of policies of crime control in heterogeneous societies, with concentration on the United States. Criminal and distributive justice is explored. The effects of crime control measures across racial and ethnic groups are then examined.
R CRJ 320 Problem Oriented Policing (3)
This course reviews the history of problem oriented policing (POP) and its role as a modern policing strategy in America and internationally. The precursors to POP such as Community Oriented Policing and different policing styles and strategies are reviewed, and their special relationships with POP analyzed. The role of problem solving in everyday policing and how it may or may not differ from POP is examined. The student will learn how to specify problems so that the appropriate police responses may be identified. Using the scientific approach of SARA, ways of assessing the effectiveness of police responses and interventions to specific problems are demonstrated. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.
R CRJ 325 Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers I (3)
This course, the first in the sequence of two courses on Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers, provides a basic knowledge of problem-oriented policing and the related fields of environmental criminology and situational crime prevention. Rather than examining the techniques of mapping and other statistical procedures commonly used to study crime, this course focuses on specific crime problems and their solutions in a way that informs how better to use those important tools of analysis. The early sections of the course explain how to take a more proactive approach to crime analysis. Most crime analysts employed in police departments have a reactive role. This course will show how to take the initiative at every stage of the project in defining the scope of the problem-solving effort, in trying to analyze the causes of the problem, in helping to find an effective response, and in setting up the project so that it can be evaluated and the police can learn from the results. In this course, Scanning and Analysis of the SARA model of approaching crime problems are reviewed. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.
R CRJ 326 Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers II (3)
This course continues R CRJ 325, Crime Analysis for Problem Solvers l. It shows how to take the initiative at every stage of defining the scope of a problem-solving effort, analyzing the causes of the problem, helping to find an effective response, and how to shape the role of crime analysts in a police department. As with the first course in this sequence, this course is not about the techniques of mapping and other statistical procedures commonly used to study crime, but rather challenges the student to think about crime problems and their solutions in a way that informs how better to use those important tools of analysis. The crime analyst learns how to become an integral member of a problem-solving team, how to explore sources of information and data well beyond those normally collected by police, and how to communicate effectively with other members of a police department. In this course, Response and Assessment of the SARA model of approaching crime problems are reviewed. Scanning and Analysis are covered in the first course of this sequence. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 325 and junior or senior standing.
R CRJ 351 Policing in a Free Society (3)
Introduction to the study of the local police in the United States, which provides the basis for a continuing study of policing. Also for the individual whose concern is to be an informed citizen dealing effectively with the problems which policing in America does raise. Policing is seen from three perspectives: the police -officer-citizen interaction, the agency-community relationship, and the legal and ethical questions of policing in a democratic society. Considers the background of policing, the problems it must meet in the future, the police task, the major kinds of police work, and the system relationships that tie the police to the community and the criminal justice system. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.
R CRJ 353 (= R POS 363) American Criminal Courts (3)
Examines the organization and operations of state and local criminal court systems from the perspective of social science research and public policy analysis. Major issues include: the role of courts in American society; bail and pre-trial procedures; the roles and decisions of prosecutors, judges and the defense bar; selection and operation of grand juries and trial juries; sentencing of criminal defendants; and others. The operations of juvenile and adult courts are compared, and efforts directed toward court reform are assessed. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.
R CRJ 393 Mapping for Criminal Justice (3)
This course provides students with an introduction to the theory and techniques associated with collection, display, analysis, and storage of geographic data in the criminal justice environment. Lectures focus on the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to analyze criminal justice data while laboratory and project based methods expose students to a variety of GIS applications in criminal justice.
R CRJ 399 Seminar in Criminal Justice (3)
Covers a variety of topics in the criminal justice system. Content varies with each offering. May be repeated for credit when content varies.
R CRJ 401 Crime Deviation and Conformity (3)
Crime and criminal behavior is viewed as one of the many forms of deviation from political, moral and conduct norms of the majority culture. Studies the parallel genesis of crime and other parallel forms of deviance, and the relationship between some forms of deviance (such as mental illness and political extremism) and some forms of criminality. Studies the forces that produce conformity and indirectly promote deviation. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 203.
R CRJ 404 Crime and the Mass Media (3)
This course examines the interrelationships between crime, criminal justice, and the mass media. It explores the history of these linkages, the research, and the current issues. The possible impact of media images of crime and criminal justice on individuals, groups, and public policy is examined. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 201 or 203; junior or senior standing, or permission of instructor.
R CRJ 405 Drugs, Crime, and Criminal Justice (3)
This course examines the extent of illicit drug use and drug dealing in the United States; the impact of illicit drugs on individuals, communities, and the criminal justice system; correlates of and influences on illicit drug use; and the connections between illicit drug use and other forms of criminal behavior. Efforts to reduce the supply of and demand for illicit drugs, including street-level law enforcement, military intervention, education, treatment, and drug testing are reviewed. Legal issues in drug policy, including the drug legalization debate, are considered. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 201 or 203; or permission of instructor, or junior or senior standing.
R CRJ 406 Policing Terrorism (3)
This course reviews and analyzes terrorism from a local policing perspective. It examines the responsibility and role of local police in counter terrorism activity and how local police can take steps to protect their communities. Police must be ready for that rare attack should it happen, but at the same time maintain an environment of normality by incorporating counter terrorism activities into the regular day to day practice of policing. The course shows that terrorism is but another form of crime and can, for the most part, be treated by police as a problem to be solved just like any other crime, such as bank robberies, burglaries or murders. The fields of situational crime prevention and problem oriented policing are applied to the overall analysis of terrorism, emphasizing the preventive role of local police in protecting communities and working with Homeland Security. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.
R CRJ 408 Ideology and Crime (3)
The nature of ideology; the relevance of a wide range of political theories to the exploration of crime; the comparative influence of various ideologies upon criminological research; the paradigmatic view of science in relation to research in criminal justice; the problem of objectivity; the problem of progress; the role of the criminologist as researcher and practitioner; an introduction to the ideology of law. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 203.
R CRJ 411 The Community and Corrections (3)
Examines the relationship between the community and the correctional system, focusing on the relationships between prisons and the community as well as community-based alternatives to incarceration. The historical development of major correctional programs based in the community is examined, as is the current philosophy of community corrections. Questions about the effectiveness of community-based correctional alternatives are also considered. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 201 or 302.
R CRJ 412Z Incarceration (4)
Provides an analysis of the historical development, organization and administration of correctional institutions. Social control processes within prisons are considered, as are policy dilemmas posed by "special category" inmates who require innovative and specialized intervention. Examines current topics such as overcrowding and its effects on institutional functioning, prison construction, disturbances and others. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 201 or 302.
R CRJ 413 Victims of Crime (3)
Examination of the multifaceted problem of crime victimization. Focuses on the incidence of criminal victimization, social characteristics of crime victims, the treatment of the victim in the criminal justice system, and efforts designed to alleviate the consequences of criminal victimization and provide support to victims. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 203.
R CRJ 414Z Order and Disorder in Society (4)
An examination of problems of social control in different cultural settings and historical epochs. Students gain insight into the variety of solutions that have been devised for the problems of crime and disorder and thereby begin to understand the potentialities as well as the constraints in social ordering. Key questions addressed are: what kinds of disorder problems did a particular society face?, and what was the preferred solution adopted? Reading will be historical, literary, and social scientific. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.
R CRJ 416Z Current Issues in Delinquency (4)
This course examines a number of current issues in the field of juvenile delinquency research including causes of delinquency, the nature of delinquent careers and the effectiveness of efforts to prevent and treat delinquency. Emphasis is placed on analyzing recent developments in the area and, since it is a writing intensive course, presenting written critiques of the research. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 201 or 203.
R CRJ 417 Cross-National Crime (3)
The purpose of this course is to describe and understand geographic and temporal variations in the amounts and types of crime across countries. Students will critically examine the data, methods, and theories used to measure and explain crime across nations and over time.
R CRJ 418 Information Use and Misuse in Criminal Justice (3)
The information technology revolution has had a large impact on the criminal justice system. This course will use contemporary examples to explore the ways in which criminal justice information is used for different purposes and to examine some common mistakes made when interpreting such information.
R CRJ 423 Student Legal Services Internship Seminar (4)
Interns work in the Legal Service Office on campus under the supervision of a practicing attorney gaining valuable first-hand experience with the legal process. Interns must take R CRJ 424 or 425 during the fall semester. During the spring semester participation in a weekly seminar covering various areas of substantive law is required in addition to office hours. Internships are open only to qualified juniors and seniors who have an overall grade point average of 2.50 or higher. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 424 or 425, and permission of instructor.
R CRJ 424 Introduction to Substantive Criminal Law (3)
The general principles of substantive criminal law studied through analysis of judicial opinions, text, and where appropriate, social science research. Principles such as mens rea, causation, harm, and actus reus are of recurring importance. They are considered both in the context of the definition of substantive criminal offenses, such as murder, assault and conspiracy, and with respect to such defenses as insanity, duress, self-defense, mistake of fact or law, and others. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.
R CRJ 425 Introduction to the Law of Criminal Procedure (4)
The study of judicial opinions provides the opportunity for students to become familiar with fundamental principles and rules of constitutional criminal procedure, and their application within specific factual settings. Where relevant, textual materials and social science research bearing on the legal issues are considered. Anticipated topics include: the functioning of the adversarial system of proof, including the respective obligations and duties of prosecuting attorneys and criminal defense lawyers; the fifth amendment and compulsory self-incrimination issues; the fourth amendment and the law of search and seizure; issues in capital punishment; and other, related matters. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.
R CRJ 426 Moot Court (4)
This class involves preparing for and participating in the American Collegiate Moot court Association (ACMA) Eastern regional Qualifying Tournament. Students will study judicial decisions covering issues related to the hypothetical case that is the subject of the AMCA competition, construct arguments addressing the issues, and orally present those arguments consistent with rules governing the moot court tournament. S/U graded.
R CRJ 430Z Children, Psychology and Law (3)
Special issues arise when children enter the legal system, issues that receive a considerable amount of attention from psychological researchers. In this course, you will learn about psychological research investigating a number of those issues, particularly the nature of and societal response to child maltreatment, the reliability of children's eyewitness testimony, juvenile justice, legal decision makers' perceptions of children, and unique concerns related to juvenile sex offenders and other special topics. We will focus on how psychological research and the use of psychological theories can contribute to a better understanding of the issues, how the legal system can be informed by the results of research, and how to design future research to address remaining questions. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.
R CRJ 450Z Street-Level Bureaucracy (4)
Criminal justice agencies, welfare agencies, schools, and some other public agencies constitute a class of organizations known as street-level bureaucracies. This course examines the work performed by street-level bureaucrats, the structural properties that street-level bureaucracies have in common, and the administrative problems in which these properties result. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 201.
R CRJ 451Z The Science of Murder (4)
This course is a survey of scientific research and theory on the social causes of homicide. By focusing on a single offense, the course addresses issues of both criminology and criminal justice. Topics covered include patterns and trends in homicide, theories of the causes of homicide, and the logic of causal arguments.
R CRJ 452Z Economics & Crime (4)
This course is intended for advanced criminal justice majors and others interested in economics and crime. The course will survey the contribution of economists to the study of crime, and explicitly asks how this contribution expands and/or contradicts research in criminology.
R CRJ 455Z Violence in American Literature (4)
This course examines the depiction of violence in American literature, focusing on narratives produced by writers from the 19th century to the present. The course will discuss how the production of culture by the literary artist differs from the creation of knowledge by the social scientist. Course includes examining the extent to which literary images of crime and justice resemble and differ from those found in social science literature.
R CRJ 470 Advanced Theories of Crime (3)
Theories of crime causation ranging through biological, psychological, sociological, cultural, and political theories, giving close attention to the problems inherent in approaching the study of crime from a "causes of crime" perspective. Developed around key concepts used in theories of crime (e.g., responsibility, rationality), emphasizing the multidisciplinary source of these concepts, how they are changed when applied to criminological theory, and their importance for understanding the present state of criminological theory. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor, for Honors majors only.
R CRJ 471 Theoretical Foundations of CRJ (3)
This course introduces students to theoretical work on criminal justice process and policy, from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Topics discussed include theoretical approaches to studying individual, organizational, system, and political behavior. Emphasis is placed on the practical utilization of theory to inform development of research problems and agendas. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor, for Honors majors only.
R CRJ 481 Honors: Topical Senior Research (3)
This course is the first in a two-semester sequence of courses required to fulfill the requirements of the honors program in criminal justice. R CRJ 481 is designed to involve undergraduate honor students in exploring research opportunities in a continuing research project. The course will introduce students to a specific problem in the field through evaluation of current literature and research. Students will be expected to develop their own research question and proposal by the conclusion of the term. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor, for Honors majors only.
R CRJ 482 Honors: Independent Senior Thesis (3)
This course is designed for students pursuing individual research projects with faculty to complete the Honors Thesis requirement. The course is the first of a two part sequence and should be utilized by students to explore a problem in the field through evaluation of current literature and research. Additionally, students in this course will also participate in bi-weekly cohort/thesis meetings to discuss their various projects. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor, for Honors majors only.
R CRJ 490 Honors: Theory and Research (3)
This course is designed to introduce undergraduate students to advanced Criminal Justice theory and research. Specifically this course aims to introduce students to the various research projects with which the faculty is involved and to assist them in preparing for their own senior honors research projects. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor, for Honors majors only.
R CRJ 491 Honors: Topical Senior Research (3)
This course is the second in a two-semester sequence of courses required to fulfill the requirements of the honors program in criminal justice. R CRJ 491 is designed to involve undergraduate honor students in conducting their own research project. After review a current problem in the field (R CRJ 481), students will design and execute their own research proposals that address a gap in the literature. The class size will be limited to maintain a seminar-like dynamic that is valuable to student's intellectual development and mastery of the material. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor, for Honors majors only.
R CRJ 492 Honors: Independent Senior Thesis (3)
This is the second course in a two part sequence. During this semester the student will finish conducting their research and write their thesis. During this term students will be working solely with their faculty mentors to complete the honors thesis. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor, for Honors majors only.
R CRJ 493 Seminar in Applied Criminal Justice (3)
This course is a biweekly seminar in which analysis of the field placement (R CRJ 494) and related issues will take place. Corequisite(s): R CRJ 494. Prerequisite(s): only open to criminal justice majors with senior standing and an overall grade point average of 2.50 or higher; one relevant upper division course and permission of department required.
R CRJ 494 Internship in Criminal Justice (3)
The field experience requires both a minimum of 15 hours/week in an approved Capital District community placement that will engage the student in the study of crime and/or criminal justice policy and programs. Also, participation in a biweekly seminar in which analysis of the field placement and related issues will take place. Corequisite(s): R CRJ 493. Prerequisite(s): only open to criminal justice majors with senior standing and an overall grade point average of 2.50 or higher; one relevant upper division course and permission of department required. S/U graded.
R CRJ 495 Special Topics in Criminal Justice (2–3)
This variable credit (2–3) course examines specialized topics in criminal justice. Topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated when content varies. Differential credit is awarded according to requirements defined by instructor. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 201 or 203, and junior or senior standing; or permission of instructor.
R CRJ 496Z Special Topics in Criminal Justice (4)
Intensive examination of specialized topics in criminal justice. Topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated when subject matter differs. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 201 or 203; or permission of instructor, or junior or senior standing.
R CRJ 497 Special Topics in Criminal Justice (3)
Intensive examination of specialized topics in criminal justice. Topics may vary from semester to semester. May be repeated for credit when content varies. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 201 or 203; or permission of instructor, or junior or senior standing.
R CRJ 498 Independent Study in Criminal Justice (1–3)
Independent study or research on selected topics in criminal justice under the direction of a faculty member. The student is responsible for locating a faculty member who is willing to direct the independent study. May be repeated for credit but no more than 6 credits may be accumulated. Prerequisite(s): permission of instructor and undergraduate program director, and junior or senior standing. S/U graded.
R CRJ 499 Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice (3)
Covers a variety of topics in the criminal justice system. Content varies with each offering. May be repeated for up to 9 credits when content varies. Prerequisite(s): R CRJ 201 or 203, or permission of instructor. S/U graded.