CJ312 Criminalistics

for SP 2012

Printer Friendly

Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


CJ 312 Criminalistics


SP 2012 HO


Scheffner, Douglas W.


Senior Instructor/Adjunct Faculty


BA, Park University
MPA, University of Missouri/Kansas City

Daytime Phone


Other Phone





Semester Dates

January 16 - May 4, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

8:00 - 8:50 AM


CJ100 and CJ105

Credit Hours



Criminalistics, An Introduction to Forensic Science, Tenth Edition

Author: Richard Saferstein
Criminalistics, An Introduction to Forensic Science
10th Edition
ISBN: 978-0-13-504520-6

Additional Resources:

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:
CJ312 Criminalistics: This intermediate course covers topics such as the discovery, recognition, observation,identification and collection and comparison of physical evidence, including a review of various current techniques in testing of physical evidence. Prerequisite: CJ100 and CJ105. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
Your instructor's educational philosophy is based upon lectures, examinations, information from web sites provided, writings from outside sources and dialogue with myself and fellow students.  Assignments are intended to encourage a thoughtful exploration of ideas and application of information provided during the course.  Contradictory thoughts are encouraged as part of the learning process.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Distinguish different types of evidence used in criminal prosecutions.
  2. Critique the admissibility of evidence.
  3. Recognize and develop evidence.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. 3. Recognize forensic development techniques on evidence types.
  2. 4. Develop improved communications skills through interactive discourse and preparation of written reports or constructing papers in specific formats.
  3. 5. Realize and identify the relationships between forensic test results and criminal investigations
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

Each week, students are required to attend class on time and engage in discussion during the lecture.  This attendance and discussion is worth 10% of the overall grade.

During the course, three exams are taken which count 10% each toward the final grade.  A midterm exam counts 20% with a final exam at the end of the course counting 20%.  A CORE mock crime scene will be engaged by all students which counts 20% of the overall course grade.


Students will be evaluated on the total number of points earned as compared to the greatest amount of points possible in each class activity.

                        Three unit exams, each 10%*                             30%

                        Class Project Paper, Mock Crime Scene             20%

                        Midterm exam                                                   20%

                        Final exam                                                        20%

                        Class participation, attendance                           10%

                        TOTAL                                                            100%

            *One paper may be used to substitute for one unit exam at the student’s decision.


                                    90% - 100%      A

                                    80% -   89%      B

                                    70% -   79%      C

                                    60% -   69%      D

                                    Below   60%      F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Unless otherwise permitted, late papers are subject to a 10% penalty per week past the due date.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
A class period is defined as the period of time between 8:00 am and 8:50 am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Students are expected to be on time for classes to commence at 8:00 am and are so noted by receiving one point.  Tardiness is documented by reducing by .1 point for each five minutes late that class period.  All points are totaled at the conclusion of the semester and become part of the 10% participation grade.

Students are expected to maintain a professional and academically cordial tone during all discussion.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1, January 16 – 20: Introduction to Course and Scope of Forensic Science

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

  • Explain how the class will be conducted and how to submit work for evaluation.
  • Identify the expectations of the instructor, and what the instructor believes the student's expectations to be.
  • Analyze the early history of the field of Criminalistics and its early contributors.
  • Explain the functions and different sections of a modern Criminalistics laboratory

Jan       16         No Class: M. L. King Day

            18         Welcome and Introduction to Course

            20         Chap 1: Introduction and Scope of Forensic Science

Week 2, January 23 – 27: Crime Scenes

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

  • Explain how to manage the search and documentation of evidence at a crime scene.
  • Identify the legal basis for searches.
  • Compare and contrast the Frye and Daubert Rules relating to the admissibility of scientific evidence in the courtroom.
  • Understand what basic and specialized forensic services are available to law enforcement personnel
  • Describe the proper procedures of conducting a systematic search of a crime scene for physical evidence.
  • Understand the implications of the cases of Mincey v. Arizona and Michigan v. Tyler.
  • Discuss the responsibilities of the first police officer who arrives at a crime scene.

            23         Chap 2: Crime Scenes

            25         Chap 2: Crime Scenes

            27         Chap 2: Crime Scenes

Week 3, January 30 – February 3: Physical Evidence

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

  • Recognize and explain the importance of physical evidence.
  • Understand the various types of physical evidence commonly found.
  • Explain the difference between identification and comparison of physical evidence.
  • Explain the purpose physical evidence has in reconstructing the events surrounding the crime.
  • Explain the differences between "class" and "individual" evidence and provide examples of both.

30         Chap 3: Physical Evidence 

Feb        1        Chap 3: Physical Evidence 

             3        Chap 3: Physical Evidence 

Week 4, February 6 – 10: 1st Exam; Physical Properties of Glass and Soil; Organic Analysis

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

  • Identify the basic physical properties of glass and soil examined in crime labs.
  • Recognize the basic types of glass and their differences.
  • Appraise the importance and terms of glass fracture lines.
  • Understand how to examine glass fractures to determine the direction of impact for a projectile.
  • Describe the proper collection of glass and soil evidence.
  • Realize the primary difference between organic and inorganic substances;
  • Recognize the differences and applications of different types of analysis methods for organic and inorganic substances;
  • Learn the advantages and disadvantages to the various analysis methods for both organic and inorganic substances;

             6        Exam #1: Chaps 1-3

             8        Chap 4: Physical Properties: Glass and Soil

            10         Chap 5: Organic Analysis

Week 5, February 13 – 17: Inorganic Analysis; Microscopes; Drugs

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

  • Realize the primary difference between organic and inorganic substances;
  • Recognize the differences and applications of different types of analysis methods for organic and inorganic substances;
  • Learn the advantages and disadvantages to the various analysis methods for both organic and inorganic substances;
  • Identify the changes in microscopes as they have evolved;
  • Explain the primary types of microscopes and their uses
  • Recognize the advantages and disadvantages of different types of microscopes
  • Learn the categories of drugs by both their action and by their legal classification.
  • Understand what is meant by the terms dependence, withdrawal, tolerance and Potentiation as it applies to drugs
  • Identify various drugs by their appearance

            13         Chap 6: Inorganic Analysis

            15         Chap 7: Microscopes

            17         Chap 8: Drugs

Week 6, February 20 – 24: Drugs; Forensic Toxicology

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

·         Examine the methods of processing and producing street drugs

  • Identify and explain the difficulties in the field of forensic toxicology.
  • Understand how alcohol is absorbed into and metabolizes in the body
  • Realize the forms of excretion of alcohol from the body
  • Describe common alcohol field testing methods.

            20         No Class: Presidents Day

            22         Chap 8: Drugs

            24         Chap 9: Forensic Toxicology

Week 7, February 27 – March 2: Forensic Serology; DNA; 2nd Exam

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

  • Explain the component parts of blood;
  • Realize the nature of typing and the frequency of such blood types;
  • Know what is meant by antigens and antibodies;
  • Recognize tests that indicate a stain is composed of blood;
  • Explain how blood and semen samples should be preserved for evidence;
  • Explain the importance and specifics of serology and blood spatter pattern analysis
  • Name and number the nucleotides that make up DNA;
  • Describe the significant differences between nuclear and mitochondrial DNA;
  • Identify the major types of DNA analysis;
  • Discuss the major concerns and precautions in DNA evidence collection
  • Understand the use of DNA computerized databases in forensic and criminal investigation

            27         Chap 10: Forensic Serology

            29         Chap 11: DNA

Mar        2        Exam #2: Chaps 4-9

Week 8, March 5 – 9: Forensic Entomology; Hairs, Fibers and Paint; Midterm Exam

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

  • Examine and explain the uses and importance of forensic entomology;
  • Discover what a criminalist can determine from forensic entomology
  • Learn which insects are of importance in forensic entomology;
  • Describe the life cycle of the fly and the general time frames of those cycles.
  • Explain the physical structure of hair.
  • List the three phases of hair growth
  • Recognize the major differences between animal and human hair
  • List major features found on the human hair that aid in forensic analysis
  • Explain the proper methods of collecting hair evidence

             5        Special Topics: Forensic Entomology

             7        Chap 13: Hairs, Fibers and Paint

             9        Midterm Exam over Chaps 1-11 and Special Topic Forensic Entomology

March 12 – 16: Spring Break

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

·         How to relax and regenerate your thoughts

12         No Class: Spring Recess

            14         No Class: Spring Recess

            16         No Class: Spring Recess

Week 9, March 19 – 23: Hairs, Fibers and Paint; Forensic Anthropology/Odontology

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

  • Understand the differences between natural and manufactured fibers
  • List the significant properties of fibers most useful in forensic analysis
  • Describe the proper methods of collecting fiber evidence
  • List the major examinations used in forensic analysis of paint
  • Understand the proper methods of collecting and submitting paint evidence to a lab.
  • Examine and explain the uses and importance of forensic anthropology;
  • Discover what a criminalist can determine from forensic anthropology;
  • Identify the major bones and skeletal structures used in forensic anthropology.
  • Explain the major methods of determining age, gender, race and identification from skeletal remains.

            19         Chap 13: Hairs, Fibers and Paint

            21         Special Topics: Forensic Anthropology/Odontology

            23         Special Topics: Forensic Anthropology/Odontology

Week 10, March 26 – 30: Forensic Fire and Explosives Investigation

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

  • Recognize the signs of arson at a crime scene.
  • Learn how to look for a fire point of origin
  • Examine and discuss the difficulties of investigating arsons and explosives.
  • List the component parts of improvised explosive devices.
  • Explain the differences in classifications and characteristics of explosives.
  • Learn how to determine the difference between high and low explosives
  • List common commercial, homemade and military explosives

            26         Chap 14: Forensic Fire Investigation

            28         Chap 14: Forensic Fire Investigation

            30         Chap 15: Forensic Explosives Investigation

Week 11, April 2 – 6: Illustrative Film on Bombing; 3rd Exam

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

·         Recognize material from lectures in real-life circumstances

·         Gain historical perspective of nature of bombings in the United States

Apr        2        Film: The Bombing of America

             4        Exam #3: Chaps 12 - 15 and Special Topic Forensic Anthropology/Odontology

              6        No Class: Good Friday

Week 12, April 9 – 13: Fingerprints

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

  • Discuss the history of fingerprints;
  • Recognize the three basic patterns of fingerprints and their respective subclasses;
  • Know the common ridge characteristics on fingerprints;
  • Distinguish between latent, visible and plastic fingerprints;
  • Discuss the new technology of fingerprint storage and search;
  • Understand some of the challenges to fingerprints under the Daubert standard;

             9        Chap 16: Fingerprints

            11         Chap 16: Fingerprints

            13         Chap 16: Fingerprints

Week 13, April 16 – 20: Firearms, Tool Marks and Other Impressions

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

  • Explain the significance and types of tool marks;
  • Appraise the significant forensic evidence to be found from firearms;
  • Understand the meaning of ‘rifling’ in a gun barrel;
  • Recognize the class and individual characteristics of bullets and cartridge cases;
  • Explain the procedure for determining how far a weapon was fired from a target;
  • Identify the laboratory tests for determining whether a person has fired a weapon;

            16         Chap 17: Firearms, Tool Marks and Other Impressions

            18         Chap 17: Firearms, Tool Marks and Other Impressions

            20         Film: The FBI Lab

Week 14, April 23 – 27: Mock Crime Scene; Document Examination; 4th Exam

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

·         Engage in graded crime scene search and documentation

  • Identify the significant aspects of document examination.

            23         Mock Crime Scene Processing

            25         Chap 18: Document Examination

            27         Exam #4: Chaps 16-18

Week 15, April 30 – May 4: Forensic Computer Examination; The Future of Forensic Science

Primary Learning Objectives for this week:

  • List and identify the hardware and software components of a computer;
  • Understand the difference between read-only memory and random-access memory;
  • Describe how a hard drive is partitioned;
  • Describe the proper procedure for preserving computer evidence at a crime scene;
  • Understand the difference between and location of visible and latent data;
  • List the areas of the computer that will be examined to retrieve forensic data;
  • Understand how the Internet is structure;
  • Know how to search for information on the Internet;
  • Relate various areas found on the computer where a user’s Internet activities can be investigated;
  • Describe how e-mails, chat and instant messages on the Internet can be traced and recovered;
  • Discuss some of the changing future techniques in forensics.

            30         Chap 19: Forensic Computer Examination

May       2        Chap 20: The Future of Forensic Science

             4        Review for Final Exam (Turn in mock crime scene exercise and optional papers)

Week 16, May 7 - 11: Final Exam Week

             7        Final Exam: _8:00____ to _10:00___, MacKay Room 23

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93
Academic honesty is required of all members of the learning community.  Many of you aspire to criminal justice careers and the expectation of professional honesty and integrity is both expected and rigidly enforced.  Hence, neither the college nor I will tolerate cheating or plagiarism on examinations, papers or other course assignments.  Students who engage in such dishonesty should expect to receive failing grades and possible expulsion from Park University.  Plagiarism is sometimes the act of carelessness or ignorance.  This does not, however, make it less serious.  One of the most frequent offenses occur with information taken electronically from internet sites.  Be aware that I do check sources.  If I find any form of plagiarism, the minimum result will be a grade of 0% on that work.  If I believe it to have been a deliberate or flagrant act, I will fail the student for the course and may additionally recommend expulsion from Park University.  If you have any questions in this regard please see me.

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 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 .


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

Last Updated:12/15/2011 12:12:41 PM