Introduction to Criminal Justice

CRIJ 1301

Updated August 28, 2012

  • State Approval Code: 4301045124
  • Semester Credit Hours: 3
  • Lecture Hours per Week: 3
  • Contact Hours per Semester: 48

Catalog Description

History, philosophy, and ethical considerations of criminal justice; the nature and impact of crime, and an overview of the criminal justice system including law enforcement and court proceedings.

Course Curriculum

Basic Intellectual Compentencies in the Core Curriculum

  • Reading
  • Speaking

Perspectives in the Core Curriculum

  • Establish broad and multiple perspectives on the individual in relationship to the larger society and world in which he/she lives, and to understand the responsibilities of living in a culturally and ethnically diversified world.
  • Develop personal values for ethical behavior.

Core Components and Related Exemplary Educational Objectives

Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • To examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods, social structures, and cultures.
  • To use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • To develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.
  • To analyze the effects of historical, social, political, economic, cultural, and global forces on the area under study.
  • To comprehend the origins and evolution of U.S. and Texas political systems, with a focus on the growth of political institutions, the constitutions of the U.S. and Texas, federalism, civil liberties, and civil and human rights.
  • To differentiate and analyze historical evidence (documentary and statistical) and differing points of view.
  • To recognize and assume one's responsibility as a citizen in a democratic society by learning to think for oneself, by engaging in public discourse, and by obtaining information through the news 4 media and other appropriate information sources about politics and public policy.

Instructional Goals and Purposes

Panola College's instructional goals include 1) creating an academic atmosphere in which students may develop their intellects and skills and 2) providing courses so students may receive a certificate/an associate degree or transfer to a senior institution that offers baccalaureate degrees.

General Course Objectives

Understand the history, philosophy, and ethical considerations of criminal justice; the nature and impact of crime on society; and interpret the relationship between the components of the criminal justice system.

Specific Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to accomplish the following tasks:
1. Explain and interpret the history and philosophy of criminal justice and ethical considerations (listens, reads, organizes and maintains information)
2. Define crime and discuss its nature and impact (interprets & communicates information)
3. Identify the major components of the criminal justice system (reading, writing, listening)
4. Define and discuss law enforcement (interprets & communicates information)
5. Define and explain the court system and processes (understands systems)
6. Explain and discuss corrections. (acquire and evaluate information)

General Description of Each Lecture or Discussion

See general course objectives.

Methods of Instruction/Course Format/Delivery

The course is predominately lecture using PowerPoint and video when possible on theory and practice within the varying aspects of a Criminal Justice career field. When possible, the course also incorporates a field trip to correctional establishment(s).


Students will be graded on major written chapter tests and an outside assignment for their grade. A subjective portion will be derived from class participation, class attendance, and preparedness for the class material.
Your grade will be determined from a series of written objective exams over chapter/course material and a comprehensive final exam. A subjective portion of the grade will be determined by the instructor from class attendance, class participation, and class preparedness as determined by responses during lectures.

Text, Required Readings, Materials, and Supplies

1. Criminal Justice In Action 6th Edition, Gaines and Miller, Wadsworth Cengage Learning

Helpful Links