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Course Descriptions

CRIM-700        Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice Theory

In this pro-seminar, students examine the theoretical foundation of criminal justice. This course integrates studies of criminal justice systems, enforcement organizations, judicial decision-making, courtroom communities and correctional systems by focusing on the study of governmental social control premised on punishment or blameworthiness. It examines the underlying causes and patterns of official responses to behavior that may be labeled criminal, and the structures, policies and practices of criminal justice. (CRIM-100 Seminar in CJ or equivalent) Class 3, Credit 3

CRIM-701        Statistics

The purpose of this course is to provide students with training in quantitative analysis of social science data. Students will develop a conceptual understanding of techniques, the ability to recognize the appropriate selection of techniques, and the ability to use those statistical measures and interpret their results. Students will gain experience with inferential statistics through the level of commonly used multivariate analyses. The prerequisite for this course will be a strong undergraduate foundation in statistical analysis. With the consent of their adviser and the graduate coordinator, qualified students may substitute more specialized statistics courses or courses in such areas as geographical information systems (GIS). Class 3, Credit 3

CRIM-702        Pro-Seminar in Research Methods

This seminar will focus on the principles and techniques of research with a special focus on evaluation research. The course will cover research conceptualization and design, development of appropriate measures, collection and analysis of data using a wide range of methods. Students will gain a thorough understanding of the research process as well as the policy implications and consequences of research and evaluation. Students will also begin to develop a thesis research proposal. (CRIM-400 Research Methods in CJ or equivalent) Class 3, Credit 3

CRIM-703        Advanced Criminology

This course will provide students with a detailed understanding of the theories that have guided criminological research and policy. Subject matter will cover the major influences in criminology: the classical school, the Chicago School, strain theories, socialization and learning theories, and conflict theories, among others. This will be a required course for the MS in Criminal Justice. The prerequisite for this course will be a strong undergraduate foundation in theories of crime and criminality. (CRIM-350 Theories Crime and Criminality or equivalent) Class 3, Credit 3

CRIM-704        Crime, Justice and Community

This course provides an overview of the role of communities in crime and criminal justice. The course begins by preparing a foundation in community theory. Students will gain an understanding of the critical dimensions and attributes which define community. The course will emphasize how these critical community dimensions are related to both crime and criminal justice. The course will involve an examination of community-based theory and research, with a special emphasis on the criminology of place and how crime and justice patterns are embedded in particular social structures and cultures. We will discuss the extent to which structural characteristics (e.g., poverty, residential mobility, etc.) and social processes (e.g., social capital, collective efficacy, etc.) are related to crime and disorder. The course will also examine the potential that exists within criminal justice to intervene in communities to reduce crime and disorder and build community in the process. Central to this will be a discussion of co-production (i.e., the intersection between formal and informal social control). Class 3, Credit 3

CRIM-705        Interventions and Change in Criminal Justice

This course will focus on theory and research regarding the effectiveness of broad anti-crime strategies and specific intervention efforts at the local, state, national and international level.  Theoretical explanations of crime and ideological orientations towards crime will be linked with the crime control and prevention strategies associated with those perspectives. Each strategy of crime control/prevention (including deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation, and community crime prevention) will be assessed in terms of research findings on its effectiveness. Detailed attention will be given to prevention/control strategies aimed at both juvenile and adult offenders. Programs will also be examined in the broader context of the ideology and philosophy of justice.  Students will become familiar with the state of the art in crime and justice related interventions by studying the theory, practice and evaluation of contemporary crime and justice interventions. Class 3, Credit 3

CRIM-706        Current Issues in Criminal Justice

This course provides an examination of current issues in criminal justice with an emphasis on the application of evaluation, management, theory and ethics to analysis of criminal justice policy. The goal is to engage students in discussion of current issues with their peers and with experts in the field. Elective course for criminal justice graduate students. Class 3, Credit 3

CRIM-710        Pro-Seminar in Law and Policy

The course will consider the processes of policy development and analysis in criminal justice with a particular emphasis on the intersection of policy and law. The legal and political environments of criminal justice policy will be examined in study of the development of federal crime policy. Additionally, the roots, development, legal context and impact of major policies such as contemporary policing strategies, problem solving courts and restorative justice will be explored. Class 3, Credit 3

CRIM-711         Directed Readings in Criminal Justice

This course will be tailored to individual students’ research interests as they explore areas of inquiry that may become topics for their thesis research.  An emphasis will be placed on building a theoretically informed research question via existing literature and research in criminal justice and other disciplines (economics, psychology, sociology, and so on).  Parallel to that effort, students will work to identify locally relevant research questions, potential research designs, and possible projects and/or agencies with whom which to conduct this research. Elective course for criminal justice graduate students. Class 3, Credit 3

CRIM-712        Crime and Media

This course is designed to analyze and critique the mainstream media's coverage of criminal justice issues, and to study how that coverage impacts society at large. The course will scrutinize, compare and contrast crime coverage of different eras, and will also discuss how that coverage is changing today with around-the-clock media outlets and ubiquitous social media. Among the issues studied will be the impact of crime coverage on public policy; the impact of televised trails; the editorial decisions made daily in newsrooms across America about the placement and priority of crime news; the trademarks that can catapult a crime story into local, regional or even national prominence; and the occasional alliances between law enforcement and media. Class 3, Credit 3

CRIM-800        Thesis in Criminal Justice

The master's thesis in criminal justice involves independent research on an approved topic judged by a faculty committee and under the supervision of one faculty member. The thesis requires students to develop, design and complete an original research project; orally defend the thesis before the thesis committee and the public; and submit a bound copy to the library. Students will meet weekly with their thesis chair. (CRIM-700 Pro-Seminar in Criminal Justice Theory, CRIM-701 Statistics, CRIM-702 Pro-Seminar in Research Methods, CRIM-703 Advanced Criminology, CRIM-704 Crime, Justice and Community, CRIM-705 Interventions and Change in Criminal Justice) Class 3, Credit 6