CJ450 Senior Seminar in Criminal Just.

for SP 2011

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CJ 450 Senior Seminar in Criminal Just.


SP 2011 HO


Hamilton, John R.,, Jr.


Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Administration



Office Location

Mackay 20C

Office Hours

Monday 1:30-2:30; Tuesday 8:30-11:30; Wednesday 1:30-2:30; Thursday 8:30-11:30; and by appointment

Daytime Phone


Class Days


Class Time

1:00 - 2:15 PM


EN 105, EN 106, passing the WCT, and senior standing

Credit Hours



Hickey, Thomas J. (2010). Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Crime and Criminology. New York:McGraw-Hill

ISBN: 978-0-07-813943-7

Additional Resources:

Additional resources will be provided by the instructor

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.
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Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
CJ450 Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice: This capstone course addresses 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 EN 306 requirement for Criminal Justice majors. Prerequisites: EN105, EN 106, passing the WCT and senior standing 3:0:3.

Educational Philosophy:

The instructor’s educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, readings, quizzes, dialogues, examinations, and writings. The instructor will engage each learner in the process of critical thinking whereby all information is critically examined to allow the learner to conduct a logical analysis in arriving at conclusions about the validity and value of the information.

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.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Articulate current issues that affect how the criminal justice system operates in society
  2. Develop and/or apply criminal justice strategies for problem-solving in real-life situations
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

Assessment of learning will be through tests, exercises, a thesis paper, and presentations.


Mid-term Exam                                  100 points                             

Final Exam                                         100     “                                              

Thesis                                                 250     “                                  

Class participation                            100     “                                  

Thesis presentation                           50                                         

                       TOTAL                        600    

In computing grades, the following scale will be used; however, the instructor reserves the right to make adjustments: A=90-100%, B=80-89%, C=70-79%, D=60-69%, F=less than 60%. In determining grades on papers, major factors to be considered include whether or not the assignment was completed correctly and in a timely manner. 

THESIS:  You will complete and submit your thesis that you began during the CJ 430 class. The final copy of the thesis will be submitted in proper order, in APA format, with a tile page, abstract, and bibliography. More instructions about writing the thesis will be given throughout this course.

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Assignments should be turned in on or before the due on which they are due. Certain work may be made up in cases of legitimate absence. The instructor must be notified (phone, e-mail, or pager) prior to the absence for the absence to be considered excused.  Twenty-five points will be deducted for proposals submitted late and up to five points will be added to papers submitted prior to the due date. Missed examinations must be made up prior to the next scheduled class period, unless arrangements are made with the instructor.  The final copy of the thesis will not be accepted after the scheduled due date.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

It is expected that members of the class will treat each other with respect and dignity. There will be many different views and opinions and no one should be chastised or ridiculed for their contribution to the class. Students should come to class properly prepared to discuss the scheduled lesson. 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

The instructor may amend this schedule based on the progress of the course and the needs of the students.

January 11               Introduction to course and discussion of what will                                                 occur this semester. Assess progress toward thesis                                          and discuss requirements for thesis and the                                                         defense of the thesis

January 13 and 18 Review thesis topic, hypothesis, and dependent and                                           independent variable.


                                    Readings: Definitions and Explanations of Crime

                                                            Read issues 1, 2, and 3 (pp.1-66)


January 20             Thesis work day


January 25 and 27 Readings: Justice Issues and Contemporary Public                                                      Policy

                                                            Read issue 6 ( pp. 98-126)                                                           

                                    Review thesis “Introduction” section elements


 February 1 and 3  Discuss “Review of the Literature” and                                                                   Bibliography” sections of thesis

                                    Readings: Prison Programs and Alternatives

                                                Read issues 12 (pp. 223-235) and 13                                                                (pp.235-255)


February 8 and 10  Selection of partners to assist with thesis                                                              preparation

                                    Readings: Read issues 7 (pp. 126-144) and 9                                                              (pp.168-189)



February 15 and 17 Readings: Criminal Justice Research, Evaluation,                                           and Policy Analysis

                                    Read issue 14 (pp. 256-278)


February 22             Meet with partners to review thesis progress

                                    Review of thesis information


February 24             Discussion on readings completed to date


March 1                     Examination over readings


March 3                  Thesis work day – instructor available for questions or                                           meeting


March 9 and 10       Spring Break-no class


March 15 and 17     Meet with partners to review thesis progress

                                    Readings: Criminal Justice Research, Evaluation,                                            and Policy Analysis

                                    Issue 15 and 16 (pp. 278-328)

                                    SPSS review


March 22                   Thesis work day


March 24                   Rough draft of thesis due


March 29                   Discussion about thesis presentation



March 31                   Review of Thesis comments

                                    Readings: Future Trends in Criminology and                                                      Criminal Justice

                                    Read issue 8 (pp. 144-168)


April 5 and 7            Discussion of current events in the area of criminal justice



April 14                      FINAL THESIS DUE (No late submissions                                                      accepted)


April 19 and 21      Readings: Future Trends in Criminology and                                                      Criminal Justice

                                    Read issues 18 (pp. 344-366) and 19 (pp.366-                                                378)


April 26 and 28        Thesis Defense (oral) 

 (Final Examination: 5/3/2011   1:00-3:00 p.m. )

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93

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 "F".
  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 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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 .


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Last Updated:12/16/2010 12:35:54 PM