SYLLABUS Course Number: CJ 312
Course Title: Criminalistics
Instructor: Scott Graves, M.A.
Term Dates: Spring I
Resident Center: FTBL
I. COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course is a discussion of the discovery, recognition, observation, identification, collection, and comparison of physical evidence, including a review of various current techniques in testing of physical evidence.
II. GOALS OF THE COURSE
To increase familiarity with state of the art crime scene techniques and current methods of obtaining useful evidence in the aftermath of a crime. Conduct an examination of certain aspects of modern crime scene evidence gathering trends and review current issues regarding forensic testing of evidentiary items and the effect of testing on the criminal justice system and the perception of the public at large.
III. LEARNING OBJECTIVES
1) Students will be familiar with the processes used to discover and recognize evidence. 2) Students will be familiar with the processes and purposes behind the identification, collection and testing of physical evidence discovered at crime scenes. 3) Students will be able to make an oral presentation regarding the importance of modern forensic testing regarding DNA. 4) Students will be able to prepare effective aids to accompany their presentations. 5) Students will have a good working knowledge of the emergence and importance of criminalistics in the world of law enforcement and criminal justice.
IV. COURSE ARRANGEMENT
The course will be primarily lecture driven and contain spirited class discussion, handouts, six journals and oral presentation, mid-term and final examinations.
V. COURSE REQUIREMENTS
All indicated reading assignments should be completed prior to class. Students should be prepared to engage in thoughtful and provoking discussions. Mid-term examination and final examination, as well as 6 journals on relevant class topics, to be assigned (APA style). Oral presentation with at least one visual aid, that will be conducted by each student regarding a subject relevant to the course and approved by the instructor. Journals will be turned in every Thursday starting the second week of class and concluding on the seventh Thursday.
VI. TEXTBOOK LIST
Saferstein, Richard, Criminalistics
VII. SUPPLEMENTAL RESOURCE MATERIALS
Articles and reference materials that are relevant to the subject of study will be handed out in class.
VIII. CLASS MEETING AND EXAMINATION SCHEDULE
Week 1 Class administration, Chapter 1, introduction to
criminalistics, lecture and class discussion.
Class administration, Chapter 2, the crime scene,
lecture and class discussion. Case Study
Week 2 Class administration, Chapter 3, physical evidence,
lecture and class discussion. Selection of oral
presentation subject. Case Study
Class administration, Chapter 4,5, physical properties
and organic analysis, lecture and class discussion.
Selection of oral presentation subject. Case Study
Week 3 Class administration, Chapter 6,7, inorganic analysis
and use of the microscope, lecture and class
Class administration, Chapter 8, hair, fibers, and
paint, lecture and class discussion. Review for mid-
Week 4 Class administration, Chapter 9, drugs, lecture and
class discussion. Mid-term examination.
Class administration, Chapter 12, and forensic
serology, lecture and class discussion.
Week 5 Class administration, Chapter 13, DNA lecture and
class discussion. Discussion on progress of oral
Class administration, Chapter 14, fingerprints,
lecture and class discussion.
Week 6 Class administration, Chapter 15, firearms, tool
marks, and other impressions, lecture and class
Class administration, Chapter 16, 17, Document and
voice examination and Forensic issues on the Internet,
lecture and class discussion.
Week 7 Class administration. Oral presentations.
Class administration. Oral presentations. Review for
Week 8 Class administration, Final Exam.
Class administration. Review of Final Examination,
Chapter10, forensic toxicology.
IX. CLASS POLICIES
Students are expected to read the assigned textbook chapters and to be familiar with their chapter content before each class session. Plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration on class work, or cheating is considered a serious violation by Park University and is not tolerated. Students may be dismissed or given a failing grade if found cheating or plagiarizing. Absences should be kept to a minimum. If an absence is necessary then students will receive a point deduction for the missed class, unless make up work, to be determined by the instructor, is completed. Make-up work may include detailed written summaries of chapters or completion of review questions or definitions at the end of chapters, or any other class-related assigned task. Late assignments will not be accepted. Tardiness over thirty minutes, or failure to attend the entire class will be considered an absence. Two unexcused absences will be reported immediately to the Park University administrative office for appropriate action.
X. GRADING POLICY
Mid-Term Exam 35%
Final Exam 35%
Oral Presentation 10%
6 Literature Reviews 20%