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Online · Helms School of Government · Government

Topics and Trends in Criminal Justice
CJUS-550

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/13/2020

Course Description

This course focuses upon contemporary topics and trends in the criminal justice arena. Topics will include: substantive and procedural changes in criminal law from a federal perspective utilizing case law, professional law enforcement organization reviews, and law review articles. Additionally, the course will identify and evaluate research trends of the National Institute of Justice, i.e., corrections, technology development, homeland security, and white collar/financial crime.

Requisites

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

The specialization in Criminal Justice Administration will prepare this student who has been immersed in a Christian worldview throughout his/her MBA or Human Services program to work in the Criminal Justice Administration field, perform strategic planning, and make informed Criminal Justice Administration decisions. This aligns with the mission of Liberty University; “To develop Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential to impact tomorrow’s world.”

This course, CJUS 550, Topics and Trends in Criminal Justice, is intended to provide the student with the opportunity to identify recurring topics and developing trends in the criminal justice arena. Thereafter, the student will be required to evaluate the relevancy, practicality, cost, sustainability, and longevity of proposed solutions for the selected subfield.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Articulate the fundamental structure, function, and interaction of key institutions in the criminal justice system.
  2. Compare and contrast theoretical material from the Criminal Justice and Criminology academic literature base with real-world application in the field of Criminal Justice and Criminology.
  3. Evaluate recent trends in criminal justice research and identify the current philosophies and practices propelling the research.
  4. Explain how he/she will integrate his/her Christian worldview within the context of a criminal justice vocation.

Course Resources

Required Resource Purchase 

Schmalleger, F. (2019). Criminal justice today: An introductory text for the 21st century (15th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN: 9780134749754.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Recommended Resource Purchase

American Psychological Association. Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (Current ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Additional Materials for Learning

    1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Blackboard recommended browsers
    4. Microsoft Office

Course Assignments

Textbook readings, lecture presentations, and articles

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Students will participate in 4 Discussion Board Forums. Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will post an original thread of 400 words or more. Three additional sources beyond the course material (i.e., textbook, readings, and presentations) are required for the original thread. Then, the student must reply to at least 2 peers’ threads in 150 words or more. Two additional sources beyond the course material are required for each reply.

Literature Analysis: Topic Identification and Bibliography

During this course, the student will compose an original 10–12-page Literature Analysis on a current topic or trend in criminal justice closely associated with a certain or specific problem in the profession or discipline today. In preparation for the Literature Analysis, each student will submit his/her topic for approval along with a preliminary bibliography. The bibliography must cite at least 6 scholarly resources that are significant to the topic (current, relevant, credible, and each carries its weight) with a clear and meaningful connection between all the resources.

Biblical Worldview Assignment

For the Biblical Worldview Assignment, the student will write a short essay that critically examines the literature review submitted in Module/Week 3 and constructively identifies the gaps and omissions in the literature where a biblical worldview should be internalized and expressed in the life of the criminal justice professional. The paper must be at least 2 pages. For the first page, it is important that the student make the distinction of where and on what grounds the literature comes up short as it relates to what the research states versus what God has for his people. For the second page, the student must demonstrate how he/she might integrate the biblical worldview into the problem that he/she is studying. The paper must properly follow current APA style. If a student is struggling with current APA format, he/she may refer to the Additional Information folder for help.

Literature Analysis

The student will write a 10–12-page Literature Analysis on a specific problem in criminal justice. It should not be a descriptive paper but one that critically examines the problems and the competing solutions. The student should make an argument if need be. The paper must utilize at least 12 significant, scholarly resources that are significant to the topic (current, relevant, credible, and each carries its weight) with a clear and meaningful connection between all the resources. The paper must properly follow current APA style. Detailed instructions can be found in Blackboard. If a student is struggling with current APA format, he/she may refer to the Additional Information folder for help.

Tests (3)

The student will have 3 tests during this course. Each test will be composed of 25 true/false, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and essay questions and will have a 1-hour time limit.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist

10

Discussion Board forums (4 at 100 pts ea)

400

Literature Analysis: Topic Identification and Bibliography

100

Biblical Worldview Assignment

50

Literature Analysis

150

Test 1

(Modules 1–2)

100

Test 2

(Modules 3–5)

100

Test 3

(Modules 6–8)

100

Total

1010

Policies

Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit https://www.liberty.edu/online/online-disability-accommodation-support/. Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.

Schedule

CJUS 550

Textbook:     Schmalleger, Criminal Justice Today (15th ed., 2019).

Module/Week

Reading & Study

Assignments

Points

1

Schmalleger: ch. 1

1 presentation

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

DB Forum 1

10

0

100

2

Schmalleger: ch. 2

1 presentation

Test 1

100

3

Schmalleger: ch. 6

2 articles

1 presentation

DB Forum 2

Literature Analysis: Topic Identification and Bibliography

100

 

100

4

Schmalleger: ch. 11

2 articles

1 presentation

DB Forum 3

100

5

Schmalleger: chs. 13–14

1 presentation

Biblical Worldview Assignment

Test 2

50

100

6

Schmalleger: ch. 15

2 articles

1 presentation

DB Forum 4

100

7

Schmalleger: ch. 17

3 presentations

Literature Analysis

150

8

Schmalleger: ch. 18

1 presentation

Test 3

100

Total

1010

DB = Discussion Board

 

 

NOTE: Each course week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.