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SOC 2600 PBC

SOC 2600—Criminal Justice

Three Semester Hours

TV 1/13


University Requisite: SOC 1000

Course Overview

Examination of structures and decision processes of agencies that deal with crime and criminal offenders. An emphasis is placed on how practice is based on politically derived public policies, and how sociology can be used to analyze the practice of these agencies. Topics include criminal law, policing, court systems, sentencing, and corrections.

Methods of Course Instruction

All material for this course is print-based. Instructor and students communicate and exchange materials through postal mail. 

E-Print Option

In this course, an option exists to use e-mail to submit your lesson assignments. Your assignment will be returned to you either as an e-mail attachment or as a hard copy sent through the postal mail, depending on the preferences of the instructor and/or program. 

Textbooks and Supplies

  • Barkan, Steven E. and George J. Bryjak. Fundamentals of Criminal Justice: A Sociological View. 2nd ed. Allyn & Bacon, 2011. [ISBN: 9780763754242]

Number of Lessons

The course has seven lessons, including one midcourse examination and final examination. These lessons include:

  • Lesson 1: The American Criminal Justice System
  • Lesson 2: Counting and Explaining Crime
  • Lesson 3
    • Part A—Categorizing and Tracking Crime
    • Part B—Criminal Law
    • Part C—Victimology
  • Lesson 4: Midcourse Examination Information 
  • Lesson 5
    • Part A—The Police
    • Part B—Criminal Courts
    • Part C—The Criminal Trial
  • Lesson 6
    • Part A—Prison
    • Part B—Life Behind Bars
  • Lesson 7: Final Examination Information

It should be noted that some of the lessons are divided into multiple sections.

Types of Writing Assignments

In between the lessons, you will find five writing assignments that will challenge you to apply what you have learned in the textbook and course lessons. These assignments should be typed and double-spaced. If you do not have access to a computer or typewriter, you may neatly print your essays. Each writing assignment will consist of a 20-point essay question. You will be graded on your careful consideration of the question posed and your use of course material (i.e., the textbook and lesson) to construct a coherent, persuasive essay. You do not have to agree with everything that you read in the book. If you do have disagreements with the text, state them!

But be fair and objective when responding to the material, and always back up your opinions with clarity and reason. 

Grading Criteria

Your final grade will be determined by your performance on the six writing assignments and two exams detailed above. Each writing assignment is worth 20 points and each exam is worth 100 points. The total possible points for the course is 300 and breaks down like this:

  • Five writing assignments (x 20 pts.) = 100
  • Midcourse exam = 100
  • Final exam = 100

Your final course grade will be calculated with the following scale: 

  • A = 270–300 points
  • B = 240–269 points
  • C = 210–239 points
  • D = 180–209 point
  • F = 179 points and below