Criminal Justice (CRJ)

College of Business and Public Management

How to Read Course Descriptions

CRJ 110. Introduction to Criminal Justice. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to describe the criminal justice system from arrest through trial, appeal, sentencing, corrections, and parole. The object of this course is to provide the student with a procedural framework of the criminal justice process.

CRJ 210. Theories of Crime and Delinquency. 3 Credits.

This course is a survey of the historical and contemporary attempts to explain the phenomena of crime and criminal behavior from the perspectives of sociology, psychology, economics, biology, and law. Emphasis will be placed on contemporary theory and the analysis of evidence supportive of various theoretical positions.
Distance education offering may be available.

CRJ 215. GIS for Criminal Justice Careers. 3 Credits.

A course in crime mapping and the analysis of maps of crime patterns, police services, locations of criminal incidents, offenders' geographical behaviors, and spatial trends in crime.
Cross listed courses GEO 215, CRJ 215.

CRJ 220. Corrections. 3 Credits.

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a survey and analysis of the correctional system and its processes from both a historical and geographical perspective. Emphasis will be placed on relating this survey and analysis to contemporary practice and future trends in the area of corrections.
Pre / Co requisites: CRJ 220 Prerequisite - C or better in CRJ 110.
Distance education offering may be available.

CRJ 240. Criminal Investigations. 3 Credits.

Criminal investigation functions of police involving crimes of violence, crimes against property, and organized crime. Police operational techniques and applicable court decisions in the areas of interview, search, seizure, and arrest are also included.

CRJ 268. Private Security. 3 Credits.

This course provides an in-depth examination of the various facets and interests of the private sector of security. A review of the history, organization, management, and safety issues pertaining to the private security profession will be addressed. Emphasis is placed on policy and decision making, personnel, and budgeting, as well as an examination of security programming that responds to the private sector.

CRJ 287. Policing in America. 3 Credits.

This course offers an examination of the history and evolution of policing in the United States. It will include contemporary issues in policing including administration and management, policing in democracy, community policing, officer training, use of force and coercion, discretion and ethical problems and concerns.
Pre / Co requisites: CRJ 287 Prerequisite - C or better in CRJ 110.
Distance education offering may be available.

CRJ 300. Criminal Law. 3 Credits.

This course covers the principles of criminal responsibility, the purposes and limitations of criminal law, and the elements of various criminal offenses. Substantive criminal law will cover the conduct, acts, and omissions that have been designated as crimes. These acts (or omissions) plus the mental state and other essential elements that make up criminal action will be examined.
Pre / Co requisites: CRJ 300 requires prerequisites of a C or better in CRJ 110 and CRJ 210 and ENG 121 or WRT 121 or WRT 200 or WRT 204 or WRT 205 or WRT 206 or WRT 208 or WRT 220. Honors students must earn a grade of C or better in HON 310.

CRJ 304. Introduction to Comparative Justice Systems. 3 Credits.

This course explores other systems of criminal justice found in divergent and dissimilar cultures. The focus of interest will be on the historical, political, cultural, and sociological factors that influence the development of systems of justice. The course will examine and compare the status of the common, civil, socialist, and Islamic legal traditions.

CRJ 306. Writing for the Criminal Justice Professional. 3 Credits.

This course examines a variety of forms of writing in criminal justice education and the criminal justice profession. Students will receive instruction, guidance and practical experience in composing various types of written reports that might be required in the numerous occupations that fall within the discipline of criminal justice. Starting with a review of English grammar, students will learn to compose professional emails, cover letters, and resumes. They will progress to police reports, pre-sentence reports, forensic or scientific reporting and finally, research-based reports. Students will also receive instruction on essay and research report writing and the use of APA formatting. Emphasis will be on improving writing skills throughout the semester through extensive feedback from the instructor and opportunities to revise and resubmit written work.
Pre / Co requisites: CRJ 306 requires prerequisites of CRJ 110, CRJ 210, and any 200-level WRT course, all with grades of C or better.
Gen Ed Attribute: Writing Emphasis.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

CRJ 310. Juvenile Justice Administration. 3 Credits.

This course is a survey of both the formal (police/courts/corrections) and the informal (diversion) means of dealing with the problem of juvenile crime. Emphasis is not on the behavior but on society's response to it. Emphasis will also be placed on the legal rights of juveniles.

CRJ 312. White Collar Crime. 3 Credits.

This course analyzes the usually nonviolent criminal conduct described as official corruption, systematic crime, or violations of trust that are characterized by calculation, deceit, and personal enrichment. The influence of organized crime also is explored.

CRJ 314. Organized Crime. 3 Credits.

This course provides an examination of organized crime as an American phenomenon, and a comparison to its counterparts in Europe and Asia. The historical development of organized crime throughout the world will be studied. Contemporary issues in organized crime will be addressed, including its evolution into various forms of terrorism.

CRJ 315. Gangs in America. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to familiarize the student with the nature and extent of the gang problem in the United States. It provides a comprehensive understanding of gang violence, gang membership, and gang culture. This course also analyzes the complexities of gang life, examines the history of gangs, and provides an in-depth look at the various types of gangs that are prevalent today. In addition, theories as to why youth join gangs, law enforcement's response to the gang problem, how correctional agencies are coping with the gang problem in prison/jails, and the mass media's interpretation of gang life are critically examined. Finally, this course reviews gang prevention/intervention programs and addresses the legal implications of gang policies on gangs, communities, and law enforcement.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

CRJ 316. Terrorism. 3 Credits.

This course defines the major differences between criminal violence and ideological and political motives for terror events. An important element for successful terroristic acts is a sufficient audience where the political, social, or religious message can be absorbed. We will also examine the differences between domestic and international terrorism and explore the various stages of extremism and radicalization as a precursor to terrorist acts.

CRJ 318. Environmental Crime. 3 Credits.

This course is an examination of crimes against the environment and crimes that impact the environment. The history of environmental crime, it's investigation and prosecution will be studied, as well as most current developments in this area of study. The course will also address the global impact of and response to environmental crime.

CRJ 320. Sex Crimes & the Law. 3 Credits.

This course explores the nature and extent of sexual crime in America with a focus on the evolution of privacy, sexual rights, and the criminal justice response to sexual offenders. Theories of sexual deviance, treatment, and recidivism will be examined. Changes in laws to prevent victimization and protect the rights of victims will also be discussed.

CRJ 323. Opportunities, Situations, and Crime: Environmental Criminology. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to provide an introduction and overview of the field of environmental criminology, which considers how physical space and typical, everyday situations may provide opportunities for crime as well as obstacles for carrying it out. The course will also include discussion of important policy measures and practical crime prevention strategies, such as modifying or planning the built environment and designing products and places in such a way as to make the commission of crime very difficult.
Pre / Co requisites: CRJ 323 requires prerequisite of a C or better in CRJ 110.
Typically offered in Fall.

CRJ 325. Animal Cruelty. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to provide intensive examination of the relationship between animal cruelty and the criminal justice system. It will cover the commission of animal cruelty within circumstances such as child abuse, interpersonal violence, and juvenile delinquency. The goal of the course is to offer students an understanding of the impact that animal cruelty has on society and the criminal justice system.

CRJ 350. Forensic Science I - Basic Crime Scene Analysis. 3 Credits.

This course builds on the basics of criminal investigation to elevate students' knowledge and skills in the area of forensic examination. The student will learn to recognize and distinguish relevant evidence, proper preservation techniques, and simple field testing. The course will increase the student's knowledge of techniques used in evidentiary analyses, and serve as an introductory course for those who desire to learn laboratory skills.
Pre / Co requisites: CRJ 350 requires a prerequisite of CRJ 240.

CRJ 360. Race, Ethnicity and Criminal Justice. 3 Credits.

This course will explore the relationship between race and criminal justice, including the historical background of the role race has played in the system. The impact of race and ethnicity on discretion, sentencing, and disposition will be examined at the adult and juvenile levels. In addition, the causes and remedies of minority overrepresentation in the adult and juvenile criminal justice system will be explored.
Pre / Co requisites: CRJ 360 requires prerequisites of CRJ 110 and CRJ 210.
Gen Ed Attribute: Diversity Requirement, Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

CRJ 362. Drugs, Crime and Justice. 3 Credits.

This course examines the role that drugs play in U.S. society and its criminal justice system. Topics covered include the types of illegal drugs; the history of U.S. drug prohibition; patterns, trends, and scope of illicit drug use; the relationship between drugs and crime; criminal justice policies toward drug-related crime; the consequences of current anti-drug policies, and alternative strategies for reducing drug crime.
Pre / Co requisites: CRJ 362 requires a prerequisite of a grade of C or higher in CRJ 110.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

CRJ 365. Victimology. 3 Credits.

This course introduces the student to the field of victimology. Basic concepts, development, and relevant theoretical and empirical literature will be studied, as well as the policies and practices that have been developed to benefit victims of crime.

CRJ 366. Forensic Mental Health. 3 Credits.

An interdisciplinary exploration of the intersection of the mental health and criminal justice systems in the United States. The primary theme is the deinstitutionalization movement which has resulted in the shifting of persons with mental illness from hospitals into correctional facilities. Important topics include school-to-prison pipeline (STPP), civil and outpatient commitment, police as first responders, training for law enforcement responding to crisis situations, and other efforts to decrease criminalization and stigmatization, such as Crisis Intervention Teams, Mental Health Courts, Assertive Community Treatment, and reentry strategies. Students are expected to engage in innovative policy solutions through a multi-disciplinary lens, which may include strategies based on developments in the fields of criminal justice, medicine and forensic psychiatry, counseling and psychology, social work, education, and public administration.
Gen Ed Attribute: Interdisciplinary Requirement, Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

CRJ 370. Gender, Crime and Justice. 3 Credits.

This course examines the impact gender has on various aspects of the criminal justice system. The course offers an exploration of the victimization of women and the culture that supports it. It also addresses the unique issues of women as criminals and women as workers in the criminal justice system.

CRJ 380. Computer Crime. 3 Credits.

This course is an introduction to the various aspects of crimes committed with the aid of computers. While the content is not technical in focus, certain topics involve discussion of computer systems and protocols, specifically in the area of computer forensics. Students are introduced to both the collection and analysis of digital evidence. Since computer crime and its investigation are evolving rapidly, the curriculum changes as the semester progresses and the syllabus may be altered to include current issues or legal cases. Students complete the course with the basic tools by which to practice computer crime investigation and a knowledge base of current law to keep up with developments in this discipline.

CRJ 385. Crime, Media, and Society. 3 Credits.

This course will examine the relationship between crime, the criminal justice system, and the mass media. The types of media examined in this course will include television, films, the internet, video games, music, news reports, comic books, novels, magazines, the radio, and scholarly research. This course will further examine how the criminal justice system (police, courts, corrections) is portrayed through various narratives and images in the mass media and its potential impact on crime and justice. Some of the topics covered will include media theory and the social construction of crime, moral panics, crime and justice in news and entertainment, media effects on attitudes toward the criminal justice system, media as a cause of crime, media-driven anti-crime efforts, news media and the courts, the use of media technology in the judicial system and law enforcement, and the relationship between the media and criminal justice policies and practices.
Pre / Co requisites: CRJ 385 requires prerequisites of CRJ 110, CRJ 220, CRJ 287, and majors only with junior or senior-standing.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

CRJ 387. Elements of Criminal Justice. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to provide an overview of research methods used in criminal justice research, including data collection methods, sampling techniques, and basic statistical analyses. The course will provide hands-on application of research methods as well as critical analyses of research studies conducted by others in the field of criminal justice.
Pre / Co requisites: CRJ 387 PREREQ requires students to complete the following courses with an "C" or better: CRJ 110, CRJ 210, and a WRT 200 level course. Honors students must have a "C" or better in HON 310.

CRJ 400. Criminal Procedure. 3 Credits.

This course is an examination of the theory and application of the broadly defined subject of criminal procedure. It is designed to develop in the student, a sophisticated understanding of the underlying reasons for, and the applications of these rules in investigations of criminal activity, and in court proceedings. This will be accomplished through the study of the appropriate sections of the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and selected cases and statutes.
Pre / Co requisites: CRJ 400 requires prerequisites of CRJ 300 and CRJ 387.

CRJ 410. Independent Studies in Criminal Justice. 1-3 Credits.

Research projects, reports, and readings in criminal justice.
Repeatable for Credit.

CRJ 434. Experiencing Peru: Examining the Criminal, Social, and Economic Impact of Voices4Peru. 3 Credits.

This course, which includes a 13-day study abroad experience, will provide students with an in-depth comparison of social issues related to crime, education, gender, poverty, and race that prevail in the United States and in South America. This course was designed on the belief that cross cultural comparisons of governmental initiatives and grassroots movements significantly shape the expectations and quality of life for the majority of a nation's citizens. Course readings will examine criminological theories about race, class, and crime, while the social learning theories and current evidence-based practices will describe how social and cultural factors impact decision-making and problem solving skills.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Gen Ed Attribute: Diversity Requirement, Interdisciplinary Requirement, Writing Emphasis.
Typically offered in Summer.

CRJ 435. Interviewing and Assessing the Offender. 3 Credits.

This course offers the undergraduate student an understanding of the psychology of interviewing and assessing suspects, witnesses and victims. The course provides students with a solid knowledge base related to interviewing and assessment skills employed at every level of the criminal justice system. Students learn skills through lecture, reading assignments, role play and in-class team exercises.

CRJ 440. Violent Crime. 3 Credits.

This course seeks to survey the incidence of violent crime, to analyze the violent criminal, and to study the variety of means that have been developed to control criminal violence.

CRJ 450. Forensics II - Criminalistics. 3 Credits.

This course builds on Forensic Science I, applying laboratory science to criminal investigation. The course will focus on more advanced aspects of crime scene processing; evidence collection, preservation and analysis; and the essentials of courtroom presentation.

CRJ 455. Topical Seminar in Criminal Justice. 3 Credits.

Intensive examination of a selected area of study in the field of criminal justice. Topics will be announced at the time of offering. Course may be taken more than once when different topics are presented.
Distance education offering may be available.
Repeatable for Credit.

CRJ 460. Evidence & Trial Advocacy. 3 Credits.

This course moves a step beyond basic criminal law and criminal procedure studies and takes the student into the courtroom. The student will learn basic rules of evidence presentation and court procedure and discover how the trial process works by actively participating in it. The student will learn how to distill the issues, and to present concise, well-reasoned arguments supporting a given position. It is in this manner that the student will learn critical analysis and practical presentation.

CRJ 461. Notable Criminal Cases. 3 Credits.

Selected factual accounts of criminality and criminal behavior over the past 75 years are analyzed. Selection is based on notoriety and continued dispute. Course is designed to illuminate, through reading and class analysis, a wide spectrum of criminal conduct and the related investigative and judicial response.
Distance education offering may be available.

CRJ 470. Interpersonal Relations. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to aid a student's self analysis in terms of behavior patterns or changes affecting his or her life. This self knowledge often leads to understanding relationships with others, which can assist students in relating to other persons in their personal, social, and professional lives.

CRJ 472. Justice Studies. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to address the successes, weaknesses and failures of our current system of justice by examining and analyzing sometimes controversial issues through critical inquiry and legal and social science investigation.

CRJ 482. Contemporary Legal Issues. 3 Credits.

This course encompasses a brief review of the general principles of law and procedure, followed by an in-depth study of the more controversial legal dilemmas facing today's criminal justice system. The course is designed to shed light on each side of the issue, to enable the student to see beyond the superficial aspects of the conflict, and to understand its more profound nature.

CRJ 487. Ethical Issues In Criminal Justice. 3 Credits.

This course is designed to identify and examine ethical issues among practitioners and students in the criminal justice field. Such issues may include the discretionary power of arrest, the use of deadly force, the decision to prosecute, participation in plea bargaining, representation of the guilty, and the imposition of punishment. Such a course will promote inquiry that combines ethical analysis with a practical awareness of the realities of the criminal justice system.

CRJ 490. Practicum. 12 Credits.

Full-time 12-week structured work experience at a department-approved criminal justice agency under the joint supervision of the faculty instructor and the agency. The course includes periodic reports, a final paper, and attendance at classes held on campus. Offered primarily in the summer. PREREQ: 84 earned credits, GPA at WCU of at least 2.0, C or better in CRJ 300 and CRJ 387. Note: Any student terminated for cause by the professional agency may not retake the course unless special approval to do so is obtained from the department.
Pre / Co requisites: CRJ 490 requires prerequisites of CRJ 300 and CRJ 387.
Repeatable for Credit.