Dec 01, 2021  
2017-2018 Course Catalog 
2017-2018 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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SOC 1080 - Introduction to the Criminal Justice System

Credits: 3
Hours/Week: Lecture NoneLab None
Course Description: This course provides an overview of the criminal justice system in US society, including the philosophy, history, organization, and function of the police, courts, and corrections.  Sociological perspectives are applied to an analysis of crime and victimization, ethics, and the concept of justice.  Topics include foundations of crime; justice and law; federal, tribal and state elements; victimization; victim rights; crime statistics and the extent of crime; police issues; juvenile justice system; juvenile delinquency; court systems; corrections, community corrections; professional career opportunities; and future trends.
MnTC Goals
5 History/Social/Behavioral Science, 9 Ethical/Civic Responsibility

Prerequisite(s): Assessment score placement in ENGL 1021  or completion of ENGL 0090  with a grade of C or higher and assessment score placement in RDNG 1000  or completion of RDNG 0900  or RDNG 0950  with a grade of C or higher.
Corequisite(s): None
Recommendation: None

Major Content
  1. Causes of crime
  2. Constitutional issues
  3. Criminal law
  4. Current Issues
  5. Defining and measuring crime
  6. Juvenile justice
  7. Law enforcement and policing
  8. Prisons and jails
  9. Probation and community corrections
  10. Punishment and sentencing
  11. System overview: crime and punishment
  12. Terrorism
  13. Laws and rights
  14. Courts and trials
  15. Legal terms

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. Explain how crime is defined and measured, including ethical issues of measurement.
  2. Elucidate pretrial procedure and the criminal trial.
  3. Describe procedures and ethical considerations in punishment and sentencing.
  4. Articulate challenges to effective policing, including their ethical implications.
  5. Describe criminal law procedure.
  6. Relate the role of courts in the quest for justice and ethical considerations.
  7. Articulate the goals and practices of probation and community corrections.
  8. Describe the workings of the juvenile justice system.
  9. Discuss significant issues affecting prisons and jails.
  10. Describe the structure of the criminal justice system, including the interrelationship between police, courts, and corrections
  11. Discuss the inter-relationship between core beliefs, integrity, and ethical reasoning. (1.2.1.)
  12. Define the term discretion and discuss when and why peace officers use their best judgment in the administration of justice and when discretion is not allowed. (1.4.2.)
  13. Describe characteristics of professional behavior and the Minnesota Standards of Conduct for licensing Minnesota peace officers. (1.7.1.)
  14. Describe the repercussions for a finding of a violation of the State’s peace officer standards of conduct. (1.7.2.)
  15. Discuss the historic need for rules to control human conduct, enforce societal directives, and empower authoritative enforcement of those rules. (2.1.1.)
  16. Incorporate an understanding of the history of criminal justice and the contemporary system of criminal justice in the U.S. into a perspective about current peace officer duties, responsibilities, and actions. (2.1.2.)
  17. Describe the history behind the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. (2.1.3.)
  18. Explain the need for a balance between public safety and personal rights in a free society. (2.1.4.)
  19. Identify and discuss the significance of historic and contemporary events, customs, and social mores that have influenced the current system of justice in the U.S. (2.1.5.)
  20. Describe the history and impact of including women and diverse community representation in law enforcement. (2.1.6.)
  21. Explain the roles of law enforcement, the courts and corrections. (2.1.7.)
  22. Explain the functions and jurisdictions of law enforcement agencies, including federal, state, county, municipal, tribal, and international. (2.1.8.)
  23. Explain the broad functions of the correctional system, including imprisonment, parole, and probation. (2.1.9.)
  24. Identify the meaning of criminal justice system terms, e.g., custody, arraignment, circumstantial evidence, double jeopardy, entrapment, exigent circumstances, conviction, bodily harm, substantial bodily harm, great bodily harm, assault, probation, qualified domestic violence related offense (Minn. Stat. 609.02), forfeiture, “good faith” exception, exclusionary rule, indictment, inevitable discovery, probable cause, Miranda warning, reasonable suspicion, warrant, probation, and parole. (2.1.10.)
  25. Describe the function and responsibility of each of the key participants involved in a typical courtroom hearing or trial, including judges, jury members, prosecuting and defense attorneys, and witnesses. (2.1.11.)
  26. Describe the sources of laws in the U.S., including federal law, state law, case law, and administrative regulatory law, as well as the process by which laws, statutes, and ordinances are enacted. (2.2.1.)
  27. Explain provisions of the Constitution and Bill of Rights that impact or restrict law enforcement, including the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. (2.2.2.)
  28. Explain how the Separation of Powers Doctrine works. (2.2.3.)
  29. Distinguish between criminal law and criminal procedure and explain the difference between substantive and procedural law. (2.2.4.)
  30. Summarize the forms of individual protection related to search and seizure granted by the US Constitution. (2.2.5.)
  31. Explain the meaning of the “good faith” doctrine, the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine, and the “inevitable discovery” doctrine as they pertain to Fourth Amendment rights. (2.2.6.)
  32. State the requirements of the Fourth Amendment on the law of arrest. (2.2.7.)
  33. Explain how constitutional rights in the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments affect police interrogations. (2.2.8.)
  34. Summarize the rights of individuals being interrogated under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments and the importance of adhering to procedures that protect those rights, including
    1. the prohibition against forced or coerced self-incrimination
    2. the Sixth Amendment right to counsel and correlating Minnesota Statute (Minn. Stat. 481.10). (2.2.9.)
  35. Describe proceedings before a trial, including the roles of the law enforcement, defense attorneys, and prosecutors. (2.2.14.)
  36. Summarize the rights and processes related to a fair and speedy trial and the right to a jury trial. (2.2.15.)
  37. Explain the general provisions for sentencing in the Minnesota Criminal Code and the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines. (2.2.16.)
  38. Describe crime classifications misdemeanor through felony. (2.2.17.)
  39. Discuss enhancements that may be applied to repeat offenders, patterned offenders, and career offenders. (2.2.18.)
  40. Explain the following terms:  concurrent and consecutive sentences, imposition and execution of sentence, determinate and indeterminate sentencing. (2.2.19.)
  41. List the five constitutional amendments involving equality and rights. (2.2.20.)
  42. Identify the criminal and civil consequences an officer may face by violating a citizen’s constitutional right. (2.2.23.)
  43. Compare and contrast characteristics of the civil and criminal justice systems. (2.2.24.)
  44. Explain what constitutes an arrest and the differences between a contact, a detention and an arrest. (2.4.1.)
  45. State the requirements of the Fourth Amendment on the law of arrest. (2.4.2.)
  46. Discuss protocols and terms associated with arrest, including “reasonable suspicion” and “probable cause.” (2.4.3.)
  47. Describe the stop and frisk standard as found in “Terry v. Ohio” and subsequent cases. (2.4.4.)
  48. Describe the basic organization, purpose, definitions, and principles of the Minnesota Criminal Code. (2.5.1.)
  49. Explain the Supreme Court decision “Miranda v. Arizona” and the four components of the Miranda warning. (2.6.1.)
  50. Explain the history of and philosophy behind an independent juvenile justice system. (2.7.1.)
  51. Define status offense, give examples of status offenses that can only be committed by a juvenile, and discuss the limits of peace officer authority in relationship to status offenses. (2.7.2.)
  52. Discuss the term reasonable as it related to use of force. (2.8.3.)
  53. Discuss liabilities associated with the application of force by peace officers. (2.8.10.)
  54. Explain the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (2.19.1.)
  55. Discuss the difference between responsive and intelligence-led policing. (2.24.1.)
  56. Discuss types of terrorism, weapons of terrorism, counterterrorism, basic interdiction strategies, terrorism target awareness, and the role of law enforcement related to terrorism. (2.25.4.)

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