Aug 14, 2020  
2019 - 2020 Cowley College Academic Catalog 
2019 - 2020 Cowley College Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]



3 Credit Hours

Student Level:

This course is open to students on the college level in their freshman or sophomore year.

Catalog Description:

CRJ5411 - Introduction to Criminal Justice (3hrs)

[KRSN CRJ1010]

Introduction to the historical development, the processes, the purposes, and the issues faced by the three main components of the criminal justice system, the police, courts, and corrections. The course will evaluate how these issues affect the components resulting in the administration of justice in today’s society.

Course Classification:




Controlling Purpose:

This course provides an introduction to the historical development and the internal and external issues of the various components of the criminal justice system including police, corrections, and the courts. The student will illustrate how these interrelated components result in the administration of justice today.

Learner Outcomes:

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

  • Communicate clearly and effectively both verbally and through written documentation with diverse populations.
  • Demonstrate ethics, integrity, teamwork, and professionalism.
  • Compare and contrast the components of the criminal justice system.
  • Differentiate organizational management and operational characteristics of criminal justice agencies.

Unit Outcomes for Criterion Based Evaluation:

The following defines the minimum core content not including the final examination period. Instructors may add other content as time allows.

UNIT 1:  The Nature of Crime, Law and Criminal Justice

Outcomes:  The student will be introduced to the three core components of the criminal justice system and a basic historical outlook of the development of the entire justice system in America.

  • Explain the historical and philosophical developments in criminal justice
  • Define the goals of the criminal justice system.
  • Explore the various careers in the criminal justice system.
  • Examine the factors which shape the community’s attitude towards criminal justice. 
  • Discuss the historical development of the criminal justice system

UNIT 2: The Police and Law Enforcement

Outcomes: The student will be able to understand and explain the role police serve in society and the complexities and stresses of a law enforcement career.

  • Compare and contrast the goals of the due process model and the crime control model of criminal justice.
  • Discuss the concepts of police discretion and problem oriented policing.
  • Discuss police use of force.
  • Compare and contrast the patrol function vs. the investigation function in law enforcement.
  • Identify the steps in the criminal justice process from the discovery of the crime to the final disposition of the offender.

UNIT 3: Courts and Adjudication

Outcomes: The student will be able to explain the roles of the different attorneys in the criminal justice system and list their various responsibilities. The student will also be able to discuss the ethical considerations that must be constantly examined on behalf of the accused.

  • Analyze how law enforcement, the courts, and corrections interact. 
  • Explain the criminal justice professional’s role and ethical responsibilities in protecting the constitutional rights of individuals. 
  • Describe the different types of courts and explain the differences in jurisdiction and responsibilities.
  • Compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities of the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney in the criminal justice system. 
  • Explain the steps in the pre-trial and post-trial procedures. 

UNIT 4: Corrections and Alternative Sanctions

Outcomes: The student will be able to list the different correctional institutions utilized in the criminal justice system as well as describe the roles each institution serves in the punishment and correctional phase of the justice system.

  • Outline the structure and function of corrections in America
  • Outline the history of corrections in America.
  • Compare and Contrast the roles of jails vs. prisons.
  • Discuss the rights of prisoners in the correctional system.
  • Describe the differences between the genders in the corrections system.

Projects Required:

Projects will vary according to the instructor and class format.


Contact Bookstore for current textbook.

Materials/Equipment Required:


Attendance Policy:

Students should adhere to the attendance policy outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Grading Policy:

The grading policy will be outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Maximum class size:

Based on classroom occupancy

Course Timeframe:

The U.S. Department of Education, Higher Learning Commission and the Kansas Board of Regents define credit hour and have specific regulations that the college must follow when developing, teaching and assessing the educational aspects of the college. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit or an equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time. The number of semester hours of credit allowed for each distance education or blended hybrid courses shall be assigned by the college based on the amount of time needed to achieve the same course outcomes in a purely face-to-face format.

Refer to the following policies:

402.00 Academic Code of Conduct

263.00 Student Appeal of Course Grades

403.00 Student Code of Conduct

Disability Services Program: 

Cowley College, in recognition of state and federal laws, will accommodate a student with a documented disability. If a student has a disability which may impact work in this class which requires accommodations, contact the Disability Services Coordinator.