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Criminal Justice: From the Crime Scene to the Courtroom...and Beyond

The criminal justice system is made up of many distinct segments, each playing a critical role in the ultimate goal of deterring crime and controlling criminal behavior. The system is continually evolving based on societal needs, advancing technology, and the changing landscape of criminal acts. If you are considering a career in criminal justice or you are interested in learning more about it, this course will provide an overview of the criminal justice system and the practices of its various parts—police, courts, and corrections—focusing on specific areas in which these entities have gained significant public attention through the media and popular culture. Topics will include criminology and criminal behavior, forensic investigations, civil and criminal trials, evidence admissibility, and current issues and impacts of the system on society and criminal justice policies and procedures. We will explore major constitutional issues in the administration of criminal justice and examine how race pervades those issues. In what ways, for example, do mass incarceration and prison crowding, which disproportionately affect people of color, violate inmates’ constitutional rights against cruel and inhuman punishment? In addition to the introduction of theoretical concepts, the course will feature case studies based on current events to facilitate group discussions and enable critical thinking. Upon completion of this course, you will have a deeper understanding of the US criminal justice system; criminal investigation; anthropological, biological, sociological, and psychological theories of criminal behavior; the process of criminal investigation, including crime scene investigation, death investigation, evidence analysis, and reconstruction of events; and US courts, legal concepts, corrections, and rehabilitation.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • An awareness of the process of criminal investigation, including crime scene investigation, death investigation, evidence analysis, and reconstruction of events
  • An understanding of US courts, legal concepts, and the system of corrections and rehabilitation
  • The ability to analyze the implications of current events on criminal justice policies and social justice movements
  • Knowledge of various anthropological, biological, sociological, and psychological theories of criminal behavior

Ideal for

  • High school students who have completed grades 9, 10, or 11
  • High school students who are interested in exploring a career in criminal justice

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