Criminal Justice Courses

Below you will find the course information and blog posts that featuring course descriptions and my personal essays. I highly recommend you read each of them if you are serious about making it through a Criminal Justice program or are considering career options in law enforcement.

Corrections Course

Juvenile Corrections Versus Adult Corrections Systems
Rehabilitation Versus Punishment in the Adult Justice System
The Juvenile Justice System and The Adult Justice System

Crime & Punishment Course

The Crime and Punishment course will scrutinize the countless ways that moral and ethical considerations inform decision-making procedures that constitute a great deal of of the professional and intimate enterprise of the criminal justice staff. Police officers, corrections officers, probation and parole officers, youth service officers, federal law enforcement agents, and court professionals are all addressed each day to make significant decisions that substantially influence the lives of those entrusted to them. It is our societal expectation that criminal justice professionals will base their decisions on ethics and morality.

In this course you will reflect on applications of principled actions as they relate to aspects of social justice. You will formulate a firm notion of “our” definition of just what constitutes social justice over the time of the course. In reaching the functioning definition, and in the study of ethics and moral decision-making, you should first look at what our present personal belief system is concerning morality and ethics. What, if any, is the distinction between the two concepts? What do we mean when we say that a certain course of action is based on proper moral considerations? What are ethics? And what is the role of virtue in all of this? Character?

When I took this course we used the Crime & Punishment course text by Cyndi Banks: Criminal Justice Ethics: Theory and Practice. This is an excellent resource which will help you analyze ethical considerations facing criminal justice professionals today. This course was also supplemented with six outside readings; four of them being research studies and essays from the Journal of Criminology & Public Policy, an established publication of the American Society of Criminology (ASC). These readings are meant to reveal scholarly writings from peer-reviewed journals.

I certainly enjoyed this course and I have taken a lot from it. I did all of my criminal justice courses online. You may not see this course on your class schedule with the same course name. However, over the span of your educational journey you will be exploring ethical and moral issues within the criminal justice system. This is an integral part of criminal justice education, which will open your mind to a whole new way of thinking. I hope you’ll enjoy it. Good luck.

Is The American Justice System Failing?
Juvenile Corrections Versus Adult Corrections Systems
Is Crime an Inescapable, Social Phenomenon in the U.S. Today?
Rehabilitation Versus Punishment in the Adult Justice System
The Juvenile Justice System and The Adult Justice System
The Definition of Social Harm is Hard to Differentiate

Criminology Course

The Criminology course analyzes the function of biological, psychological and sociological components in explaining criminal behavior. Some of the foremost themes of this criminal justice course include rational choice theory, strain theories, learning theories, self control theory, social process theories, and critical criminology. Emphasis is placed on the scientific status of theories and the significance of criminological inquiry for crime control policy and intervention strategies.

This course should reveal the philosopher within you. Similar to Criminal Psychology, Criminology offers an in-depth look into certain taboos associated with human behavior. I liked this course, but it did require a little effort as reading course and outside materials was integral to the understanding of all the theories which were presented.

This course utilized a reading resource written by Brown, Esbensen, & Geis, titled: Criminology: Explaining Crime and Its Context; an invaluable tool for understanding some of the most complex behavioral patterns. We were also instructed to rent or buy Maria Full of Grace, a film directed by Joshua Marston. Towards the end of the course we dissected the film’s main character and her behavior which contributed to criminal offenses. Overall, I think you will like any Criminology course, online or off, as it is filled with plenty of information which you most likely don’t fully know, yet.

History of Criminal Justice Course

History of Criminal Justice is a course which, of course, studies the history of this expansive field. You will learn many things which you may have never known about as it relates to CJ. One of the most interesting things you will delve into is the origin of the death penalty and how it was incorporated into the criminal justice system. Historical events will be explored as you study the origins of policing, the role women played in different societies, and how it all became what is now known as the present criminal justice system.

This course can be challenging in its own way, but by all means it’s not very hard to complete. Your textbook choices may vary tremendously as many books were written on this subject. I think you can expect an easy “A” as long as you keep up with your reading, assignments, and discussions. Other than that you will be grateful about the ability to understand current criminal justice matters based on historical events that changed the world. I think that the History of Criminal Justice class can be very useful in coping with the stresses of being a law enforcement official in the 21st century. When you get through the course you’ll know what I am talking about. Until then, I wish you all the best on your educational journey.

Is The American Justice System Failing?
Juvenile Corrections Versus Adult Corrections Systems
Broken Windows, Crime Prevention, and Community Policing
Is Crime an Inescapable, Social Phenomenon in the U.S. Today?
Rehabilitation Versus Punishment in the Adult Justice System
What Changes Would You Make to the American Judicial System?
The Juvenile Justice System and The Adult Justice System
The Definition of Social Harm is Hard to Differentiate

Youth Crime Problems Course (Juvenile Justice)

Youth Crime Problems course is designed to examine policy issues pertaining to juvenile justice and youth crime. It is a necessary component of the Criminal Justice curriculum online and off. This course tackles the range and nature of youth crimes and the young perpetrator. Additionally, the juvenile justice processes, programs, and institutional functions will be explored. The Youth Crime Problems course reflects on juvenile delinquency prevention programs, violent offenders, dispositional alternatives, and crimes against youth.

The course utilized two text books. One that was of the greatest importance to me was Juvenile Delinquency Theory, Practice, and Law. This ninth edition written by Siegel, Welsh, & Senna has a tremendous library of resources that pertain to juvenile delinquency, victimization, and down-to-earth approaches to comprehension of juveniles in the criminal justice limelight. Even if you don’t take this course make sure to buy or rent a copy. I recommend getting the latest edition.

This is a great course for those that are considering delving into the world of social work like counseling. Police officers and parents alike can learn certain key factors that may help them understand kids in the world that is plagued by stressful choices formed through peer pressure, family upbringing, and even biological traits.

This was a fairly straight-forward criminal justice course that really offers a perspective on this sector of offending. In my opinion, this was not a hard class to take, especially online; with asynchronous learning in full force. You’ll be surprised at how much you really know, and most importantly, you might just enjoy it.

Juvenile Corrections Versus Adult Corrections Systems
The Juvenile Justice System and The Adult Justice System

Management & Administration Course

What Changes Would You Make to the American Judicial System?

Policy Analysis Course

Is The American Justice System Failing?
Juvenile Corrections Versus Adult Corrections Systems
Broken Windows, Crime Prevention, and Community Policing
Rehabilitation Versus Punishment in the Adult Justice System
What Changes Would You Make to the American Judicial System?
The Juvenile Justice System and The Adult Justice System
The Definition of Social Harm is Hard to Differentiate

Research Methods Course

Research Methods introduces you to the application, theory, and philosophy of social science inquiry, with a particular concentration on criminal justice. This course not only widens your understanding of the ethical components correlated with research, but also introduces you to an assortment of research methodologies such as surveys, field research, and experimental designs. Research Methods will lay the foundation for you to become a knowledgeable “consumer” of research, as well as a “producer” of it.

The topics that will be covered in this course are:

  • The Logic of Scientific Reasoning
  • Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice Research
  • Causation and Validity
  • The Qualitative/Quantitative Debate
  • Research and Policy Analysis
  • Data Collection and Sampling
  • Surveys and Field Research
  • Agency Records and Secondary Data

You must be aware that this Research Methods course may be different from the one you will be taking in your Criminal Justice curriculm. This is a very important course for anyone who wants to venture into graduate studies. In addition, the principles of research will be utlized in your criminal justice career on a daily basis. It is therefore a good idea to get acqainted with the methods of research and perhaps start experimenting with your own research desigs. This course is not easy, but it is very rewarding.

Terrorism Course

The Terrorism course will expose you to the advent of modern terrorism from several distinct parts of the world. The course provides a working knowledge and comprehension of terrorism. The lessons in this course will help you formulate an understanding of the philosophy of terrorism, along with how the history of terrorism has molded other terrorist trends. Components of the criminological point of view on terrorism will be examined. The class will likewise take a critical look at terrorism from the vantage points of various authorities in the arena of counter-terrorism. You will investigate terrorism and irregular warfare in the 21st century by delving into and analyzing the perspectives presented.

The key types of research will embrace:

  • The definitions of terrorism (there is more than one)
  • The fundamental background of terrorism
  • The criminal justice system and its correlation to terrorism
  • Different forms of terrorism, and how they affect the individual and the society
  • Modern terrorism issues
  • Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)
  • Cyber-terrorism
  • Homeland Security matters
  • The new war on terrorism, and how it impacts the future of the criminal justice system

I really enjoyed this course as the study of terrorism is my personal favorite. This course is not very hard from an academic standpoint, but it is very engaging. Remember, if you plan on taking this course online it will be accelerated and whatever was required of you to learn in 15 to 18 weeks of school is now condensed into 6 to 8 weeks.

The course text that I have used is one of the best and easiest to read; it flows very nicely and entices you to actually dig in the content a little bit more. The text I used was Johnathan White’s Terrorism and Homeland Security (5th edition). You may have a different text book requirement, but if you would like to read this one make sure to get the latest edition. Good luck!

Theodore Kaczynski a.k.a. The Unabomber
Brief Description of a Terrorist Group
Profile of a Terrorist
Ted Robert Gurr, Size of Terrorist Groups
Frederick Hacker, Three Types of Terrorists
Advantages of Using Terrorism Typologies
The Media and The Fear Factor
Distinguish Terrorism from Violent Crimes
Role of Technology in Contemporary Terrorism
Current Level of Terrorist Threat to the United States
The Four Force Multipliers

Victimology Course

Victimology is a very intriguing Criminal Justice course. It is like no others and will open up the eyes of anyone, even those that may know it all. Victimology is a study of victimization which encompasses:

  • The relationship between victims and offenders
  • Victim interaction with the Criminal Justice system
    • police
    • courts
    • corrections
  • Victim involvement with other organizations and social entities
    • communities
    • media
    • shelters and rehabilitation institutions

By no means is this an extensive list. If anything, it is just the beginning. You will delve into deeper realms of victimization. I know that this course will keep you on your toes and that you will truly enjoy it, no matter what background you have. Here are some other concepts you will explore:

  • What is victimology? – Interesting perspectives have been developed on what victimology really is.
  • Sources of information about crime victims – This step will give you the insights to the crime and victimization reporting entities. This is where law enforcement, media, and other organizations get there data about crimes and victims. For example, you may want to know how many homicides have been perpetrated in your state, county, city, or even your neighborhood. And, you won’t have to wonder where does the local news get their sources, because you’ll know yourself.
  • Victim contribution to their own victimization – This one seems self explanatory, but carries many interesting surprises.
    • There are some victims that may somehow contribute to their own demise. Contrary to the popular belief, you will also learn that not all victims contribute to their own victimization. Different thresholds of victim contribution will be explored. Myths will be dispelled and you may find scratching your head while evaluating your own beliefs.
    • Also, not all victims are truly victims, but rather the criminal who got victimized himself by the victim or potential victim. This one was fun.

I really enjoyed this class and applaud its existence in the Criminal Justice curriculum. After completing this class I have become a better judge of character, situations, and life in general. I can’t promise that you will have the same experience, but I can assure you that this Victimology will open up your mind.

This course may be under a different, but similar, name at your online learning institution. If you want to get an early head start you might want to rent or buy a book by Andrew Karmen titled: Crime Victims: An Introduction To Victimology. It is one of the best write-ups and the book is easy to read. Make sure to get the latest edition. Good luck!

Victimology: The Viano Model for Journalistic Mistreatment
Victimology: High-Risk Crime Victims Resemble Crime Perpetrators
Victimology: The Three Ideological Tendencies of Victimology
Victimology: Themes, Patterns, Victim Portrayal, and The Media

White-Collar Crime

The Definition of Social Harm is Hard to Differentiate

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