Undergraduate Courses

RCRJ 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.

RCRJ 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.

RCRJ 203 Criminology (3) (Cross-listed with SOC203)
Multidisciplinary analysis of criminal and delinquent behavior. Special attention to the definition, nature and scope of crime and delinquency in the United States and the explanations which evolved to account for these phenomena. Includes historical analysis of criminological thought and strategies of social control, with special emphasis on the law, which underpins current (and past) penal codes and correctional practices. Only one of ASOC 203, ASOC 381, RCRJ 200 or RCRJ 203 can be taken for credit.

RCRJ 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 ASOC 221.

RCRJ 282 Intro. 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 un-standardized data and many others. Prerequisite(s): RCRJ 281.

RCRJ 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): RCRJ 200 or 201.

RCRJ 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): RCRJ 201, or junior or senior class standing.

RCRJ 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 class standing.

RCRJ 353 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 class standing.

RCRJ 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): RCRJ 200.

RCRJ 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): RCRJ 200 or 201; junior or senior class standing or permission of instructor.

RCRJ 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): RCRJ 200 or 201 or permission of instructor or junior or senior class standing.

RCRJ 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): RCRJ 200.

RCRJ 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): RCRJ 201 or 302.

RCRJ 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 R Crj 302.

RCRJ 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): RCRJ 200.

RCRJ 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 class standing.

RCRJ 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 nalyzing recent developments in the area and, since it is a writing intensive course, presenting written critiques of the research. Prerequisite(s): RCRJ 200 and 201.

RCRJ 423 Student Legal Services Internship Seminar (4)
Interns work five hours weekly fall thru spring semesters at Student Legal Services on campus under the supervision of a practicing attorney, gaining valuable first-hand experience with law practice and the legal process. Interns must take R CRJ 424 or 425 during the fall or spring semester. During the fall semester, participation in training seminars covering substantive law and a court observation are also required. Open only to qualified juniors and seniors who have an overall grade point average of 2.50 or higher. Corequisite(s): R CRJ 424 or 425: and permission of instructor.

RCRJ 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 class standing.

RCRJ 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 class standing.

RCRJ 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.

RCRJ 431Z The Psychology of Juries (4)
The jury is praised by some as an important symbol of democracy, yet sharply criticized by others as incompetent and biased. This course uses a psychological perspective to evaluate claims about the strengths and limitations of the contemporary jury. This course explores the work of legal scholars, psychologists, and other social scientists who have studied the jury in depth. Questions that will be addressed include: What are barriers to jury service? Do juries represent all segments of their communities? Can lawyers stack a jury in their favor? How do jurors use trial evidence and legal rules to decide verdicts or which defendants should be sentenced to death? Are jurors influenced by the "CSI effect"? What should judges do about jurors' use of the internet and social media? The course focuses on how psychological theories and research can shed light on these issues, how the legal system can be informed by the results of research, and how to design future research to address remaining questions. Theories and methods from many subdisciplines of psychology will be featured. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior standing.

RCRJ 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 subject matter differs. Differential credit is awarded according to requirements defined by instructor. Prerequisite(s): RCRJ 200 or 201 and junior or senior class standing; or permission of instructor.

RCRJ 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): RCRJ 200 or 201 or permission of instructor or junior or senior class standing.

RCRJ 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 when subject matter differs. Prerequisite(s): RCRJ 200 or 201 or permission of instructor or junior or senior class standing

RCRJ 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 esponsible 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 class standing. S/U graded.

RCRJ 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 topic differs. Prerequisite(s): RCRJ 200 or 201 or permission of instructor. S/U graded.

Criminal Justice Undergraduate Concentration

Undergraduate students who matriculated at the University prior to fall 2007 are required to complete a 9-credit concentration in one of several areas.  If you matriculated at the University prior to fall 2007, you can view the concentration requirements.