Stephen F. Austin State University

Course Descriptions

Courses In Criminal Justice (CJS)

Unless otherwise indicated, courses are 3 semester hours credit, 3 hours lecture per week.

The course numbers in parenthesis are the equivalent Texas Common Course Number System that are transferable to SFA.

101. Introduction to Criminal Justice (CRIJ 1301)

History, development, and philosophy of law enforcement; introduction to criminal justice agencies. Required for all criminal justice majors and minors.

201. Criminal Investigation

Introduction to the fundamentals of criminal investigation, including collection and preservation of evidence.

213. Civil Procedure

Introduction to the rules of procedure governing the process of civil litigation with emphasis on those portions that normally involve the legal assistant in trial preparation, discovery, and drafting of pleadings.

231. Introduction to Corrections (CRIJ 2313)

Comprehensive survey of measures used, with and without confinement, under provisions of penal law.

301. Law Enforcement (CRIJ 2328; transfers to SFA as a Lower-Level Course*)

Policing as a social activity; police institutions and processes are examined from historical and contemporary perspectives.

302. History of the Criminal Justice System

This course is a study of the major social, economic, legal and political events which have contributed to the formation of the American Criminal Justice System. Emphasis is on the common roots of the different components of the present system.

303. Criminal Law (CRIJ 1310; transfers to SFA as a Lower-Level Course*)

Substantive law of crime and defenses.

305. Criminal Procedure I

Examination of the rules of procedure governing due process issues in the enforcement of the criminal law. The focus of this course will be on pre-arrest procedure.

306. Criminal Procedure II (CRIJ 1306; transfers to SFA as a Lower-Level Course*)

Examination of the rules of procedure governing due process issues in the enforcement of the criminal law. The focus of this course will be on post-arrest procedure.

307. Stress and the Criminal Justice Practitioner

Informs future Criminal Justice practitioners about the phenomenon known as stress and specifically the stressors involved in all facets of the criminal justice profession. Methods of stress remediation are discussed.

311. Evidence

Techniques, rules and methods applied to the acquisition, admissibility and use of evidence.

312. Correctional Procedural Law

An examination of the legal procedures applicable to the administration of correctional institutions and community-based supervision of convicted offenders.

313. Corporate Security Law

A survey of the law governing the private sector processes of protecting lives and property in the business environment.

314. Corporate Security and Assets Protection

Analysis of protective measures utilized by industrial, commercial, and community organizations.

315. Incident Report Writing in Criminal Justice

This course will introduce students to the basics of police writing, including the "why and how" of police report writing and guidance on how to write accurately and concisely at the same time. This course is writing-enhanced.

332. Community Based Corrections

Analysis of methods utilized in probation and parole. Examines alternative methods, such as halfway houses.

341. Crime in the Media

This course will cover the portrayal of crime, criminals, the criminal justice system, and criminal justice practitioners in the media. Specifically, the course will address the goals of the media and how those affect their coverage of crime and the CJ system.

345. Substance Use and Abuse

This course will examine the history and current use of drugs in the United States. In addition, the course will cover drug laws and criminal justice policies, biological and social perspectives on why drugs are used, as well as the immediate risks and long term consequences of many substances that are commonly abused.

351. Criminal Deviance

An examination of the economic, social and spatial aspects of selected criminal offenses: Suggested background: SOC353 and PSY385.

355. Organized Crime

This course will provide students with a historical and theoretical overview of organized crime. Students will gain an understanding of the structure of organized crime as well as an understanding of the businesses associated with traditional and nontraditional organized crime groups. The course will also provide students with a detailed analysis of state and federal laws and policies regarding organized crime.

357. Dynamics of Domestic Violence

This course will address the theoretical and sociological issues associated with domestic violence. Pertinent aspects of domestic violence to be explored during this course will include child abuse, sibling abuse, intimate partner violence, stalking, and elder abuse. In addition, the criminal justice response to domestic violence by law enforcement, judicial, and legislative agencies will be examined.

360. Gender and Crime

This course investigates definitions of gender and gender roles and how gender impacts offending, victimization, and criminal justice processing. This course also evaluates the influence of gender on working in criminal justice as professionals. Criminological theories are evaluated in light of gender and the relationship between gender and criminal justice. This course is writing-enhanced.

365. Social Diversity and Crime

The focus of this course will be on the perspective of those typically overlooked in the criminal justice system: the poor, racial/ethnic minorities, women, the aging community and homosexuals. By combining an experience-based understanding of minority communities and their interactions with the criminal justice system, with a harm-focused orientation on crime, this course will promote alternative frameworks for understanding minority issues. As a result, this course will challenge preconceived notions and confirm others. In the end, it is hoped that "we" will come away with a deeper, more holistic, understanding of minority issues, which are rarely discussed in our discipline's academic context.

380. Criminal Justice Theory and Practice

This course examines how criminological theory has developed so that we may better understand the theoretical framing that supports various schools of thought regarding criminal behavior. Starting with the classical school, moving through the various schools of thought regarding criminality that include, among others, the positivist theories, social disorganization (Chicago School), social learning, strain, social control, and labeling. The course continues through critical criminology, feminist criminology, and more modern theories such as rational choice, routine activity, and development/life course. This course is writing-enhanced.

405. Professional Standards in Criminal Justice

This course provides an introduction to understanding ethical dilemmas in the three primary areas of the criminal justice system (police, courts, and corrections) and the development of ethical decision-making skills for criminal justice professionals.

410. Victimology

Victimology is the scientific study of victims of crime. This course will examine the characteristics of various victims of crime and victim-offender relationships. We will also study the interactions between victims and the criminal justice system, as well as the physical, emotional, and financial harm individuals suffer at the hands of offenders. In exploring these dynamics and connections, this course will address the theory, history, research, legislation, and policy implications related to victimization.

411. Juvenile Justice Administration

Legal and philosophical foundations of the juvenile justice system with respect to recent legislative and judicial mandates and social science research. Suggested background: SOC353.

413. Legal Research and Writing

Legal research and terminology, including research methodology, law library familiarization and development of research skills through the use of law digests, encyclopedias, reporters, statutes and other library materials; writing case briefs and law memorandums. This course is writing enhanced. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

416. Offender Reentry and Reintegration

This course examines issues, theory, and practice related to the reintegration of offenders into the community. Course content includes a review of the historical context of offender reentry, offender demographics, causes of recidivism, and the challenges facing offenders transitioning from prison to the community.

417. Offender Counseling

This course focuses on the skills needed to provide basic correctional counseling services to incarcerated offenders and community corrections clients. Students will study underlying theoretical perspectives of correctional counseling and details of counseling and treatment processes.

430. Capital Punishment in the United States

A study of the history and use of capital punishment in the United States including methods of execution as well as legal and social challenges to the use of capital punishment. The course also examines the economic and social costs of capital punishment including the impact of wrongful convictions and arbitrariness in capital sentencing in the United States.

431. Penology

The theories of punishment are examined. The economic impact of these punishment models is compared within the context of the operation and function of confinement institutions. Prerequisites: CJS312 and CJS332.

435. Profiling Violent Crime

This course provides an introduction to criminal profiling-the analysis of a suspect's (or victim's) psychological characteristics and behavior patterns to attempt to predict or assess particular behavior through generalizations about those persons. Criminal profiling relies heavily upon inductive reasoning (as opposed to deductive reasoning as used by most criminal investigators).

441. Understanding Criminal Justice Research

This course will introduce students to research methods in criminal justice. It will begin with basic intuition and curiosity and will lead students through the process of creating, understanding, and interpreting research. This course is writing-enhanced.

450. Problems in Criminal Justice

Analysis of particular issues posing major difficulties to the police, courts, and correctional agencies. Recent examples include occupational [law enforcement/corrections] Stress, and Terrorism, both as a state or national institution and as a political tool. May be repeated with a change of problem examined. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

455. Sexual Offenders and Sexual Offending

This course provides an introduction to criminal sexual offending and sexual behaviors, both criminal and non-criminal, that might be encountered by criminal justice professionals. This course looks at the various definitions of sex offenses, the criminological theories behind sexual offending, the history of sex and sexual offending, the victims of sex crimes, and the treatment of sexual offenders.

460. Internship in Criminal Justice

Supervised work experience with an approved justice agency. The course is graded on a P/F basis. Prerequisites-. Criminal Justice major with junior standing, both overall and criminal justice GPA of 2.5 or better, completion of 18 semester hours of criminal justice course work and consent of the instructor.

475. Independent Study

Directed independent study including in-depth research, reading, and writing in the field of criminal justice. Prerequisites: Criminal justice major with junior standing, both overall and criminal justice GPA of 2.5 or better, completion of 18 semester hours of criminal justice course work and consent of the instructor and chair. May be repeated only once.

490. Criminal Justice Senior Capstone

This course is intended to summarize the criminal justice knowledge gained during your tenure here at SFA. During the course, you will produce a portfolio that you can present to potential employers, while also learning other important information necessary to go out into the job market. This course is writing-enhanced.

*Although the TCCNS courses will be accepted toward the major requirements, they will transfer in as lower-level courses, and the student will be required to make up the necessary upper-level requirements for graduation.