AJ 101: Introduction to the Administration of Justice

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2021
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
District General Education: D1. History and Political Science
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Approved
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

This course introduces students to the characteristics of the criminal justice system in the United States. Focus is placed on examining crime measurement, theoretical explanations of crime, responses to crime, components of the system, and current challenges to the system. The course examines the evolution of the principles and approaches utilized by the justice system and the evolving forces which have shaped these principles and approaches. Although justice structure and process is examined in a cross cultural context, emphasis is placed on the U.S. justice system, particularly the structure and function of U.S. police, courts, and corrections. Students are introduced to the origins and development of criminal law, legal process, and sentencing and incarceration policies. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • Demonstrate an understanding of criminological theories used to explain crime and criminality;
  • Demonstrate the ability to raise relevant questions based on independent reading of criminal justice literature;
  • Effectively follow the appropriate writing style practiced in social sciences;
  • Explain the definitions of crime; and
  • Understand the extent of the crime problem in America.
  • Explain the methods, theories, and concepts associated with the sources of crime data, the emerging patterns of criminal activity, and the costs of crime;
  • Understand the history, development, and structure, and function of American police, courts, and corrections;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the history, structure, and function of the police;
  • Convey an understanding of the process of adjudication;
  • Show an understanding of corrections including the roles of probation, parole, and community corrections; as well as the functions of prisons and jails;
  • Identify and describe special issues in the criminal justice system involving juvenile delinquency and the future development;
  • Critically analyze and discuss issues of crime and justice from varying perspectives;
  • Utilize conclusions from scholarly research in creating informed positions on controversial issues in criminal justice;

Major Course Content

  1. Understanding the Criminal Justice System
    1. What is Criminal Justice?
      1. A brief history of crime in America
      2. American Criminal Justice: System and Function
      3. American Criminal Justice: The Process
      4. Due Process and Individual Rights
      5. Multiculturalism and Diversity in Criminal Justice
  2. Crime and Victimization      
    1. The Crime Picture
      1. The Uniform Crime Reports
      2. The National Crime Victimization Survey
      3. Special Categories of crime
    2. Criminal Law
      1. The Nature and Purpose of Law
      2. Types of Law
      3. General Categories of Crime
      4. General Features of Crime
      5. Elements of a Specific Criminal Offense
      6. Types of Defenses to a Criminal Charge
  3. Law Enforcement
    1. Policing: Purpose and Organization
      1. The Police Mission
      2. American Policing Today:  From the Federal to the Local Level
      3. Police Administration
      4. Policing Epochs
      5. Police-Community Relations
      6. Scientific Police Management and Evidence-Based Policing
      7. Discretion and the Individual Officer
    2. Policing: Legal Aspects
      1. The Abuse of Police Power
      2. Individual Rights
      3. Search and Seizure
      4. Arrest
      5. The Intelligence Function
    3. Policing: Issues and Challenges
      1. Police Personality and Culture
      2. Corruption and Integrity
      3. The Dangers of Police Work
      4. Terrorism's Impact on Policing
      5. Police Civil Liability
      6. Racial Profiling and Biased Policing
      7. Police Use of Force
      8. Professionalism and Ethics
      9. Ethnic and Gender Diversity in Policing
      10. Private Protective Services
  4. Courts and Sentencing
    1. The Courts
      1. History and Structure of the American Court System
      2. The State Court System
      3. The Federal Court System
      4. Pretrial Activities
    2. The Courtroom Work Group and the Criminal Trial
      1. The Courtroom Work Group: Professional Courtroom Actors
      2. Outsiders:  Nonprofessional Courtroom Participants
      3. The Criminal Trial
      4. Stages in a Criminal Trial
      5. Improving the Adjudication Process
    3. Sentencing
      1. The Philosophy and Goals of Criminal Sentencing
      2. Indeterminate Sentencing
      3. Structured Sentencing
      4. Innovations in Sentencing
      5. The Presentence Investigation
      6. The Victim - Forgotten No Longer
      7. Modern Sentencing Options
      8. Death: The Ultimate Sanction
  5. Punishment and Corrections
    1. Probation, Parole, and Community Corrections
      1. What is Probation?
      2. What is Parole?
      3. Probation and Parole: The Plusses and Minuses
      4. The Legal Environment
      5. The Job of Probation and Parole Officers
      6. Intermediate Sanctions
      7. The Future of Probation and Parole
    2. Prisons and Jails
      1. Prisons
      2. Jails
      3. Private Prisons
    3. Prison Life
      1. The Male Inmate's World
      2. The Female Inmate's World
      3. The Staff World
      4. Prison Riots
      5. Prisoners' Rights
      6. Issues Facing Prisons Today
  6. The Juvenile Justice System
    1. Juvenile Justice throughout History
    2. The Legal Environment
    3. The Juvenile Process Today
    4. The Post-Juvenile Court Era

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Instructor developed handouts.
Fictional or factual books related to the criminal justice system and criminal behavior.
Journal articles related to crime, victimization, criminal statistics or components of the criminal justice system.

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

Students will prepare four one to two page research papers in APA format which identifies current community activities related to one of the four main areas of focus in the class and connects them with topics discussed in the textbook.

Examples of Outside Assignments

Read text material and complete instructor developed study guides.
Review news sources for examples of current community incidents which relate to topics discussed in the textbook and discussed in class.
Study for quizzes and final exam using notes from class and handouts.
Complete extra credit quizzes if desired.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture

IGETC Area 4: Social and Behavioral Sciences

4H. Political Science, Government & Legal Institutions