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Criminal Justice

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice 

The criminal justice major emphasizes a multi-disciplinary and experiential approach to crime, justice, and the reduction of violence. It is a liberal arts major, requiring students to think critically, contemplate and appreciate alternative viewpoints, and communicate effectively. It encourages students to take both an analytical and experiential approach to criminal justice.

The major shows students the “working side of the street,” encouraging them to interact with people on the front lines of the criminal justice system and to confront real-life issues. Courses in the major take students to criminal justice sites, such as corrections facilities, police departments, courts, and community agencies. Classes will involve guest speakers who will discuss first-hand experiences with specific aspects of criminality and crime prevention.

Students who complete the criminal justice major may go on to careers in law enforcement, corrections, social services, the justice system, or law. Regardless of student career track, the study of criminal justice provides a deeper understanding of crime and justice in contemporary American society.

Requirements to Major in Criminal Justice (48 Credits)

Students must complete each of the listed Core Courses and three of the electives described below. A student may not earn more than two “C” grades within the core requirements for the major.

Criminal Justice Core Courses (36 Credits)

  • CJ 1110 – Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CJ/SO 1130 – Criminology
  • CJ/PA 2320 – Criminal Justice Ethics
  • CJ 3010 – Corrections
  • CJ 3140 – Criminal Law
  • CJ 3210 – Contemporary Law Enforcement
  • CJ 4000 – Issues in Professional Practice: Criminal Justice
  • LAS 2 – Overcoming Prejudice and Discrimination

One of the following courses:

  • MT 2310 – Statistics
  • PS 2310 – Statistics for the Social Sciences

Criminal Justice Elective Courses (12 Credits)

Students may choose any three electives from the following list (two out of the three courses must be at the 3000 level or higher).

  • CJ 2110 – Criminal Justice Administration
  • CJ 2410 – Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • CJ 2420 – Restorative Justice
  • CJ 2120- Gangs
  • CJ 2130- Criminal Procedure
  • CJ/PS/SO 3110 – Juvenile Delinquency
  • CJ/PS 3120 – Criminal Behavior and the Law
  • CJ/PO 3130 – Judicial Processes: Courts, Law, Politics in the U.S.
  • CJ 3150 – Victimology
  • CJ 3160 – Criminal Profiling
  • CJ/PS 3170 – Forensic Psychology
  • CJ 3180 – Criminal Investigations
  • CJ 3990 – Topics in Criminal Justice
  • CJ/PS/SO 4110 – Aggression Prevention
  • CJ 4310 Global Issues in Criminal Justice
  • CJ 4910 – Internship (1-16cr)
  • PO 4310 – Constitutional Law
  • PS 2170 – Youth at Risk
  • PS/CJ 3170 – Forensic Psychology
  • SO 2040 – U.S. Social Problems
  • SO 3060 – Social Inequality
  • WR 3220 – Murder, Mayhem, and Madness

Requirements to Minor in Criminal Justice (20 credits)

  • CJ 1110 – Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CJ/SO 1130 – Criminology

One of the following courses:

  • CJ 3140 – Criminal Law;

Criminal Procedure; or

  • PO 4310 – Constitutional Law

Two upper level electives (at least one course must be at the 3000 level or higher) may be selected from either the courses listed under the Criminal Justice Core Courses and/or the courses listed under Criminal Justice Electives

Course Descriptions

**All undergraduate courses are 4 credits unless otherwise noted.

CJ 1110 Introduction to Criminal Justice       

This course offers an overview and analysis of the interrelated components of the criminal justice system: law enforcement, criminal law and the courts, and corrections.

CJ 1130 (SO 1130) Criminology       

This course examines the types, patterns and extent of crime in U.S. society. We will also study the immense and varied individual and social costs of crime. Finally, the many responses to crime that are found at the local and national levels will be examined. Special attention will be paid to grassroots initiatives intended to create safer communities. Though the focus is on crime in the U.S., some international comparisons will be integrated into the course.

CJ 2110 Criminal Justice Administration        

This course is an introduction to the theories and practices of public administration. Traditional and contemporary organizational theories and public management issues are examined, including administrative accountability, responsibility and values.

CJ 2120 Gangs

Of the many issues facing the criminal justice system in the 21st century, none is potentially a bigger concern than gangs. This course will examine the evolution of gangs in our society and on a global level, their social, economic and legal impact on the criminal justice system and social institutions and the law enforcement response to their continued growth. Possible psychological and social interventions are also considered. Prerequisite: CJ 1110.

CJ 2130 Criminal Procedure

This course introduces students to the procedural aspects of criminal law, with a focus on the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 14th Amendments of the Constitution and their application in the criminal justice system from arrest to conviction. Students will examine the evolution and continued interpretation of these amendments by reading and discussing important US Supreme Court cases that have shaped procedural law. Prerequisite: CJ 1110.

CJ 2320 (PA 2320) Criminal Justice Ethics

Introduces basic ethical theories, emphasizing how ethical theory can be applied to contemporary problems in law enforcement, corrections and adjudication. Topics covered include criminal justice policy, and the ethics of law enforcement, court processes, and corrections. The course also considers issues such as police corruption and brutality, race, class and gender disparities, capital punishment, gun control, drug policy, pornography, gambling, and other current issues in criminal justice. Especially pertinent for those planning careers in criminal justice professions, but designed for all interested students. Prerequisite: CJ 1110.

CJ 2410 (SO 2410) Alternative Dispute Resolution     

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a term used to encompass techniques for resolving conflicts through constructive confrontations, effective persuasion, and consensus building. ADR includes arbitration, mediation, and negotiation which are alternatives to the legal and judicial processes. The first seven weeks of the course will be focused on learning and understanding the process of successful mentoring and mediation.  2 credits.

CJ 2420 (SO 2420) Restorative Justice

The second seven weeks of the course focuses on the principles of restorative justice. Restorative justice is an alternative to the more traditional models of crime and punishment which considers the impact of a crime on the victim and the community as well as the offender. 2 credits. Each seven week section may be taken in dividually.

CJ 3010 Corrections

This course examines current correctional practices (diversion, community supervision, and institutionalization) in terms of the historical, philosophical, and social perspectives. Prerequisite: CJ 1110. 

CJ 3110 (PS/SO 3110) Juvenile Delinquency

This course offers an in-depth analysis of the (anti-) social phenomenon of delinquent youth gangs. We are currently witnessing a rise in the number of gangs, the degree of violence they exhibit, and their impact on American society. This course will combine psychological theory with the delinquents’ own accounts of their gang affiliations and behavior. This is a seminar-type course that requires some research and presentation on topics chosen by the student and in agreement with the instructor. Offered once per year.

CJ 3120 (PS 3120) Criminal Behavior and the Law

The goal of this course is to identify and evaluate the psychological assumptions underlying laws and court decisions that relate to crime and aggression. Topic areas may include domestic violence, the admissibility of psychological evidence in litigation, the death penalty, the insanity defense, competency to stand trial and civil commitment. Prerequisite: Any CJ or PS 2000-level course.

CJ 3130 (PO 3130) Judicial Processes: Courts, Law, and Politics in the U.S.

This course is designed to study the judicial process as an instrument of government and public policy. The role of the judiciary in the administration of justice and the resolution of social and legal conflicts is considered. The political impact of legal cases and court decisions is emphasized. Using a traditional lecture and discussion approach, in-class debates, and analysis of legal cases, the class will explore political jurisprudence; judicial organization; the role of courts; judicial power, decision making and interpretation; and judicial activism and restraint. State and federal courts will be studied, with focus on the decisions of the United States Supreme Court. Prerequisite: CJ 1110, LS 1110, or PO 1110.

CJ 3140 Criminal Law

This course is designed to introduce students to the substantive aspects ofcriminal law. Students will examine the origins of criminal law, its role in society and the concept of criminal responsibility. In addition, we will discuss the sources of criminal law;; the general principles of criminal responsibility; defenses;,the specific element of numerous crimes including homicide, sex offenses, crimes against persons, and property crimes;;and, philosophies  of  punishment; Prerequisite: CJ 1110 or LS 1110 and one additional 2000 or 3000 level CJ course. Limited to junior or senior standing, or, by permission of the instructor.

CJ 3150 Victimology

This course examines criminal-victim relationships, with emphasis on victim-precipitated crimes and compensation to the victims. Consideration is given to the following: the concept and significance of victimology; time, space, sex, age, and occupational factors in criminal-victim relationships; victims of murder, rape and other violent crimes; victims of property crimes; victim typology; the public as the victim; and, restitution and compensation to victims.

CJ 3160 Criminal Profiling

“Criminal Profiling” refers to investigation strategies which provide law enforcement with information about the characteristics of an individual who may have committed a crime. This course introduces students to criminal profiling methods and to how they assist police in understanding and apprehending violent and serial offenders. Prerequisites: CJ 1110, SO 1110 or PS 1110.

J 3170 (PS 3170) Forensic Psychology

The goal of this course is to acquaint the student with the different psychological characteristics, levels of motivation, and different prognoses for criminal behavior. Homicide will be presented, not as a unitary event, but as a complex behavior, with different phenomenology, psychopathology, and dynamics. The course focuses on a number of case studies that illustrate the complex psychological issues involved in domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual homicide, and the role of mental illness in crime. In addition, the course covers the relationship of psychology to the practice of law and justice, and the role a forensic psychologist plays within the criminal justice arena. Concepts of personality assessment, expert testimony, and profiling of various offenders are discussed. Prerequisite: Any 2000-level CJ or PS course.

CJ 3180 Criminal Investigations

This course provides an in-depth examination of one of the most critical areas of traditional law enforcement: criminal investigations. Topics include techniques for the collection and preservation of physical evidence, crime scene photography, blood spatter analysis, lifting and storing fingerprints, crime scene reconstruction and the investigative processes applicable to specific crimes. A number of guest speakers, each a law enforcement professional, will enhance students’ understanding of the investigative process. Prerequisite: CJ 1110.

CJ 3210 Contemporary Law Enforcement    

This course examines current law enforcement practices including community policing, theories of incarceration, minority group relations, constitutional issues, and the special problems associated with law enforcement in this decade. Prerequisite: CJ 1110.

CJ 3220 (WR 3210) Murder, Mayhem, and Madness

This course will look at issues facing the incarcerated in America. Students will discuss issues such as violence in prison, overcrowding, women’s issues, the death penalty, and medical and mental health issues. Students will study the works of imprisoned writers as well as scholarly materials that provide a window into the world of the life behind bars. Students will be asked to become intimately involved with a perpetrator whose crime was committed sometime between 1870 and 1970. This research and writing based course will enable students to discover the connection these crimes have had to society, and to determine the role, if any, society played in them.

CJ 3990 Topics in Criminal Justice

Special topics in the study of Criminal Justice at the intermediate level. Course may be repeated for credit with different topics. Prerequisite: CJ 1110.

CJ 4000 Issues in Professional Practice: Criminal Justice

This capstone course prepares students for the challenges and responsibilities of professional practice and study in the field of Criminal Justice. Discussion of ethics in research and practice, consideration of current controversies in the fields and exploration of future trends and opportunities within the discipline is included. Prerequisite: Senior standing. CJ majors only. Offered every spring.

CJ 4110 (PS/SO 4110) Aggression Prevention

In this course we will briefly examine theories which focus on the causes of and methods to reduce aggression and violence, and then discuss recent trends in violence. We will travel to a number of different facilities (which usually include the Youth Development Center in Manchester, NH, State Prisons in Goffstown, Concord, and Laconia, and other similar sites). Guest speakers will discuss their own experiences with victimization, and/or with attempts to reduce violence within their agencies. Prerequisite: CJ, PS, or SO courses at 2000 level.

CJ 4310 Global Issues in Criminal Justice

Students will examine a variety of global criminal justice and comparative criminology topics, including organized crime, terrorism, and other transnational activities which violate the rights of individuals and communities.  This course encourages comparison of American and foreign models of law enforcement, justice administration, and corrections, as well as consideration of trends in international crime and criminology. This course also satisfies an LAS 7 requirement.

CJ 4810 Directed Study     

Course of study to be arranged between faculty and student in the field of Criminal Justice. Contract required; Variable credit (1-4). May be repeated for credit.

CJ 4830 Independent Study

Advanced, independent study of a specific topic. Course of study to be arranged with a faculty member. Contract required. Variable credit (1-4).

CJ 4910 Internship

Students may complete internships in criminal justice organizations and agencies, or related areas. Contract required. Variable credit (1-16).