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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - CCJ6485
Tracking Number - 2738

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Current Status: Approved by SCNS - 2015-01-01
Campus: Tampa
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):
Comments: For MA in Criminology Changes. Approved 3/4/14. To USF Sys 3/19. to SCNS 3/27/14. #6020 approved as 6485 eff 1/1/15

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2012-02-07
  2. Department: Criminology
  3. College: BC
  4. Budget Account Number: 122100000
  5. Contact Person: Lorie Fridell
  6. Phone: 813976862
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: CCJ
  9. Number: 6485
  10. Full Title: Criminal Justice and Public Policy
  11. Credit Hours: 3
  12. Section Type: C - Class Lecture (Primarily)
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: N
  15. Are the credit hours variable?: N
  16. Is this course repeatable?: N
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): Crim Justice and Public Policy
  19. Course Online?: C - Face-to-face (0% online)
  20. Percentage Online: 100
  21. Grading Option: R - Regular
  22. Prerequisites:
  23. Corequisites:
  24. Course Description: In this course, students will learn about the structure, function, theory and key issues of the criminal justice system. Students will also acquire the skills necessary to analyze public policy in criminal justice.

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: Needed to compete with national trends
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? This course is being added in the context of a complete revision of the Department of Criminology graduate curriculum. The purposes of the revision are to ensure that the curriculum (a) is updated to reflect current themes/emphases in the discipline, (b) provides students with a well-rounded graduate education, (c) reflects the identity of the USF Department of Criminology and thereby the strengths/expertise of the faculty, and (d) improves outcomes on doctorate comprehensive exams. Adding this course is particularly important for achieving purpose (b) above. Our department emphasizes the nature and causes of crime, but students need to understand as well how the criminal justice system responds to crime. With this course graduate students will become familiar with this important aspect of our field. It will be required of both MA and Ph.D. students.
  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? No
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) Earned doctorate/terminal degree in Criminology or a related discipline.
  29. Objectives: The objectives of this course are as follows:

    • To examine how the police, the courts and corrections and its individual actors operate to form what we call the criminal justice system.

    • To examine criminal justice policy and to teach students to think critically about criminal justice research and policy. Attention will be given to how policies are developed, the forces that shape them, and public policy analysis.

  30. Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of this course, a student will be able to:

    • Describe the history, organization, and function of the three main components of the criminal justice system (i.e., law enforcement, courts, corrections)

    • Analyze contemporary policy issues associated with each component of the system

    • Synthesize selected extant research addressing key contemporary issues

    • Evaluate public policy

    • Demonstrate quality oral and written communication skills

  31. Major Topics: Criminal Justice system as a system, profession, bureaucracy and academic discipline;

    History of the adult and juvenile justice systems,

    Intro to public policy and the study of public policy;

    Intro to crime and crime policy; the development of criminal justice policy; forces shaping criminal justice policy;

    Models of the criminal justice process

    Police: Structure, organization and nature of policing in the U.S.

    Police: Current police strategies (evidence-based policing, problem-oriented policing, community policing)

    Police: Explaining police behaviors (individuals, situations and context)

    Police: Research on the effectiveness of police activities

    Courts: Structure, workgroups, pretrial and trial processes, judicial review.

    Courts: Explaining behaviors of workgroup participants (individual, situational and contextual factors)

    Courts: Current issues and research; research on the effectiveness of court activities.

    Corrections/Punishment: Structure, scope and purpose of American corrections, history and practice of institutional corrections

    Corrections/Punishment: History and practice of community corrections.

    Corrections/Punishment: Justifications for criminal punishment; limitations of punishment; future of punishment;

    Current Criminal Justice Policy Issues

  32. Textbooks: Hagan, John (2010). Who are the Criminals? The Politics of Crime Policy from the Age of Roosevelt to the Age of Regan. Princeton University Press.

    Marion, Nancy E. and Oliver, Willard M. (2012). The Public Policy of Crime and Criminal Justice, Second Edition. Upper Saddle River, JN: Pearson Education., Inc.

    Walker, Samuel (2011). Sense and Nonsense about Crime, Drugs and Communities. Wadsworth Press.

  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases: None
  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: Quizzes (20%)

    Take Home Exams (30%)

    Journal Article Review (10%)

    Theories of Crime Group Project (10%)

    Policy Paper (25%)

    Oral Presentation (5%)

    Course Grades

    Course grades will be assigned as follows:

    Grade Percentage Grade Percentage

    A 100.0-93% C 76.9-73%

    A- 92.9-90% C- 72.9-70%

    B+ 89.9-87% D+ 69.9-67%

    B 86.9-83% D 66.9-63%

    B- 82.9-80% D- 62.9-60%

    C+ 79.9-77% F

  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: Quizzes (20%): There will be six unannounced in-class quizzes over the assigned reading.

    Take Home Exams (30%): There will be two take-home exams. The students will receive a list of six questions and be asked to respond to three of them. Students will be evaluated on the basis of their knowledge of the course materials and their ability to synthesize and apply it.

    Journal Article Review (10%): Students will identify and summarize in class, articles that describe research pertaining to the components of the criminal justice system–law enforcement, courts and corrections. Students will complete this assignment for each of the three components of the criminal justice system. Students will identify an article that has been published within the past year on the particular component assigned (e.g., courts, corrections). The student will summarize in class the research question(s), the broader issue that is reflected by the research question, the methods used, the results found, the challenges associated with research on this topic and the implications of the findings for criminal justice. S/he will identify the strengths and weaknesses of the research and the logical next step(s) in the line of research. Students will be evaluated in terms of comprehensiveness (25%), organization and clarity (25%), strength of analysis (25%) and oral speaking skills (25%).

    Theories of Crime Group Project (10%): Students will, in groups, select a theory of crime and develop an intervention designed to prevent or reduce criminal activity that is based on that theory. Students will meet in their groups during various class sessions and will make a presentation to the class describing their program/policy and its theoretical basis. Groups will be evaluated in terms of their demonstrated knowledge of the theory (25%), the extent to which their intervention reflects the theory (25%), the creativity of their intervention (25%), and the strength of their oral presentation (25%).

    Policy Paper (25%): Students will write a paper that links scientific knowledge to a criminal justice policy or program. Students will have two choices.

    1. Students can choose a criminal justice policy or intervention, trace its historical origins, and current status. The student will assess the strength of the empirical support for the policy and describe the politics and myths that may have affected policy development. The student will provide his/her informed opinion of whether the policy is justified empirically and, if not, describe what the policy would be if it were empirically grounded. Example topics include the death penalty, DARE, and TSA behavioral profiling.

    2. Students can choose an area of research, describe the research findings, and discuss the implications of that research for an aspect of criminal justice policy or practice. Examples include selecting an area of study within psychology, such as implicit bias or confirmation bias, and applying it to a criminal justice policy or practice, such as police investigations or corrections classification.

    A minimum of 10 refereed journal sources is required. Papers will be limited to 25 pages including the title page and reference pages. Students are expected to write in a journal style citing multiple references within the narrative of their paper. Student papers will be assessed on the basis of writing quality (40%), knowledge of and reference to relevant research/literature (30%) and strength of analysis (30%).

    Oral Presentation (5%): Students will make a presentation to the class on the paper described above. Students will be evaluated in terms of organization and clarity (50%) and oral speaking skills (50%).

  36. Attendance Policy: Course Attendance at First Class Meeting –Class is required.

    Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation – Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    Students are expected to notify their instructors at the beginning of each academic term if they intend to be absent for a class or announced examination. Students absent for religious reasons, as noticed to the instructor at the beginning of each academic term, will be given reasonable opportunities to make up any work missed.

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. It’s the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

  37. Policy on Make-up Work: Late, Make-up Work

    The points accorded to a homework assignment turned in after the due date will be reduced by 5% for each day (including weekends, holidays) that the assignment is late. As above, there are no make-ups for missed quizzes. Late exams will not be accepted. A student who misses an oral presentation will need to provide documentation showing a medical or family emergency.

    Policy on Incomplete grades

    Incomplete (I) grades are strongly discouraged and will be given if, and only if, (1) the student has completed a majority of the course requirements and is otherwise earning a passing grade, and (2) the student shows significant proof of hardship that disallows him or her to complete the coursework.

    Incomplete (I) grades are strongly discouraged and will be given if, and only if, (1) the student has completed a majority of the course requirements and is otherwise earning a passing grade, and (2) the student shows significant proof of hardship that disallows him or her to complete the coursework.

    Any form of cheating on examinations or plagiarism on assigned papers constitutes unacceptable deceit and dishonesty. Disruption of the classroom or teaching environment is unacceptable. Selected examples from the USF policies and procedures regarding academic dishonesty or disruption of academic process are included in this syllabus. Students are responsible for adherence to all USF policies and procedures even if they are not specifically printed in this syllabus. The complete set of policies and procedures may be found at:

    • Procedures for Alleged Academic Integrity:

    • Procedures for Disruption of the Academic Process:

  38. Program This Course Supports: Criminology MA and PHD
  39. Course Concurrence Information: None

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