CJ450 Senior Seminar in Criminal Just.

for S2D 2007

Printer Friendly

Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


CJ 450 Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice


S2D 2007 DA


Schneider, Sally A.

Office Location


Office Hours




Semester Dates

March 19 - May 13, 2007

Class Days


Class Time

4:45 - 7:25 PM

Credit Hours



Neubauer, David W.  "Debating Crime:  Rhetoric and Reality."  7th edition, Wadsworth, Thomson Learning, Inc.  Belmont, CA 2001

Additional Resources:

Davis-Monthan Library.  520-228-7148

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
Current issues and trends in criminal justice with emphasis on group discussion. Each student will be required to prepare, submit and defend a senior thesis. Successful completion of the thesis is mandatory. This course will satisfy the EN306 requirement for Criminal Justice majors. Pre-requisites: EN105, EN106, passing the WCT and senior standing. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The philosophy for this course is one of interactiveness based on lectures, instruction, and group discussions.  Students will be able to achieve class objectives by writing a thesis and defending it along with leading group discussions concerning current criminal justice trends.  The instructor believes that students learn by active participation and working together as a team.  Teamwork along with mutual respect is conducive to learning and promotes a harmonious atmosphere where everyone counts.  The instructor will encourage students to express their opinions without fear of ridicule which inititates dialogues.  A good sense of humor is also encouraged.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Assess the ethical and value questions in the criminal justice system.
  2. Criticize factual situations, applying this knowledge.
  3. Improve the ability to effectively gather, evaluate, and communicate information (in both written and oral forms), including the use of the Internet for communication and research.
  4. Design and construct the research, writing and defense of a thesis.

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:
1.  Articles:  Four written articles from your assigned textbook will be required.  The articles will be typed, one page in length, and may be double-spaced.  Students will lead a group discussion of their topics.  The articles will count as 30% of your final grade. Guidelines concerning how to write and present the articles will be discussed in class along with their due dates. 2.  Write and defend a thesis.  The thesis will count as 60% of your final grade. 3.  Thesis Requirements: (a)  A current issue or trend in criminal justice will be your topic. (b)  The instructor must approve your topic. (c)  The thesis must be 12 pages in length, excluding bibliography, appendices, etc. (d)  The thesis must be typed and may be doubled-spaced. (e)  Use at least ten (10) sources with only five of the sources being from the Internet.   (f)  Make an outline for your thesis. (g)  Prepare a draft thesis. (h)  Give a 15-minute presentation in class, defending your thesis. 4.  Your thesis must contain the following: (a)  Title Page (b)  Abstract (c)  Text, including introduction (d)  Methods, results, and discussions (e)  Summary/Conclusion (f)  References (g)  Appendices, Pictures, Diagrams, Tables, etc.   (h)  Footnotes, etc. 5.   No written examinations will be given in this course!!!

1.  Written Thesis – 60%
2.  Articles – 30%
3.  Attendance/Participation – 10%
4.  Total Percent - 100%
5.  Final Grade Criterion:       
     100-90 = A       
     80-89 = B       
     70-79 = C       
     60-69 = D     
     Below-59 = F
Note:  Breakdown of the grading policy on the thesis and articles will be provided to the students.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
All written assignments are due on their due dates.  If you will not be attending class on that date, you must leave the paper etc., with personnel from Park University.  All late papers will receive a ten (10%) percent reduction for each day it is tardy. Extra credit is only allowed with emergency situations and excused absences. If you feel that you need extra help in understanding this course, please contact me so I can provide assistance.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner.  Please be respectful of your instructor and classmates.  Students are expected to maintain the classroom and library in a neat, clean, and orderly fashion.  Since this class is held in the DMAFB library, please obey all library rules of conduct.  Library orientation will be provided to the students.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

March 20: Introduction review of syllabus, and library orientation.
Assignment of article topics along with their due dates.
Instruction reference selecting a thesis topic.
Overview of text book “Brief contents”

March 22: Group Discussion
Part I – Perspectives on debating crime:
Perspective 1 – The ideology of the crime debate
Perspective 2 - The politics of the crime debate
Perspective 3 - The sociology of the crime debate
Part II – Debating Crime and guns:
Issue 1 – Does the constitution create a right of
individuals bear arms?
Issue 2 - Should gun control be adopted?


March 27: Group Discussion
Part III – Debating the limits of police power
Issue 3 – Is excessive use of force a system problem?
Issue 4 – Should the Exclusionary Rule be abolished?
Part IV – Debating the role of crime victims
Issue 5 – Should states lower the legal threshold for drunk driving?
Issue 6 – Should mandatory arrest policies in domestic
violence offenses be adopted?

March 29: Group Discussion
Part V – Debating the fairness of courts
Issue 7 – Are sexual assaults against women under
Issue 8 – Should jurors engage in jury nullification?
Part VI – Debating Sentencing
Issue 9 – Do tough sentences reduce crime?
Issue 10 – Should the death penalty be abolished?

April 3: Group Discussion
Part VII – Debating “Equal Justice Under Law” : Race and Gender
Issue 11 – Race and criminal justice: Does the criminal
justice system discriminate against racial
Issue 12 – Gender and justice: Is the justice system biased
against women?

April 5: Group Discussion
Part VIII – Debating Prisons
Issue 13 – Should prisons be privatized?
Issue 14 – Should parole be abolished?

April 10: Group Discussion
Part IX – Debating Juvenile Justice
Issue 15 – Should juvenile offenders be tried and punished
as adults?
Issue 16 – Are boot camps an effective means of dealing
with juvenile crime?
Part X – Waging Holy War! Public Morals and Private Vices
Issue 17 – Should the U.S. end the war on drugs?
Issue 18 – Should the government ban cyber porn on
the internet?

April 12: Instruction
1. How to write and develop a thesis
2. How to manage a thesis topic
3. How to utilize resource materials
4. How to develop a working bibliography
5. How to prepare a thesis outline
6. How to write the methodology section of a thesis
7. How to write a review of literature
8. How to prepare an appropriate thesis format


April 17: Outline of thesis due/Begin writing draft thesis

April 19: Continue writing draft thesis/Put thesis into appropriate format

April 24: Draft thesis is due/Begin writing final thesis
April 26: Continue writing final draft thesis
____________________________________________________________________________________________________ WEEK SEVEN
May 2: Visit the UA Law Library to do final research and/or complete
other thesis tasks, etc.

May 4: Field Trip – State Prison, Tucson, AZ
__________________________________________________________________________________________________ WEEK EIGHT
May 8: Presentation of Thesis/Along with group discussion of each thesis

May 10: Presentation of Thesis/Along with discussion of each thesis


Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "W".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


This material is copyright and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:3/11/2007 9:13:46 PM