Master of Arts in Criminal Justice


CJG-601: Foundations of Criminal Justice Administration

This course provides an analysis of the United States criminal justice system; including the role of justice agencies in societal response to crime. An examination of the knowledge base of criminal justice; issues, problems, trends will be a focus as well. Particular emphasis is placed on theory and research bearing upon the effectiveness of the policies and strategies of the principal institutions of the criminal justice system - the police, courts and corrections and in particular how race, social class and gender impact on these issues. Additionally, philosophical and practical matters pertaining to "justice" and "fairness" in the administration of the criminal law are explored.

CJG-602: Criminological Theory

This course explores potential answers to complex and important questions about criminal behavior by drawing on the social science of criminology. The primary emphasis of this course will be discussing and evaluating major explanations or theories of crime. The course will include sociological, biological, political, psychological and economic explanations for crime. The course will include a focus on the historical development of the theories, their major assumptions and propositions, their relevance for public policy and practice. As we progress through each explanation for crime, we critically evaluate the validity of different explanations for crime as well as criminal justice policies and practices that they support.

CJG-603: Data Analysis in Criminal Justice

This course introduces students to the use of quantitative data in analyzing the criminal justice system. It serves as an introduction to the statistical methods used in applied social science research and furthers students' understanding of the role statistical analysis plays in planning and policy development. The course will review fundamentals of research showing the interplay between the theory, the research, the statistical methods and the interpretation. Introduces the techniques of statistical analysis used for evaluation and policy purposes. Pertinent examples will be discussed including such topics as probability, statistical inference, significance testing, descriptive statistics, and multivariate analysis.

Required Prerequisites

Students who have not completed an introductory course in statistics within the past five years will be required to complete a college-level statistics course as a prerequisite

CJG-604: Research Methods in Criminal Justice

This course introduces students to the practice, theory and philosophy of social science research, with a special focus on criminal justice. It not only broadens students' knowledge of the ethical issues associated with research, but also introduces them to a variety of research techniques such as surveys, field research and experimental designs. Research Methods will lay the foundation for students to become informed "consumers" of research, as well as "producers" of this information.

CJG-606: Writing in Criminal Justice

This course will focus on the mechanics of writing for criminal justice settings. HR Reports, investigation reports, incident/scene documentation, general reports, memos, emails, letters, responsive correspondence, program proposals, report writing, grant proposal fundamentals and program assessments will be included. Overall comprehension of the various methods and writing needs required in Criminal Justice settings will be discussed.

CJG-607: Gender and Criminal Justice

This course focuses on the experiences of men and women in the criminal justice system. It will cover the history of criminological theory on gender, application of mainstream criminological theory to gender, and differences for men and women as offenders, victims, and professionals in the criminal justice system. This includes exploring the role of gender in offending, victimization, and criminal justice processing. This course also evaluates the influence of gender on working in criminal justice professions. Criminological and victimological theories are assessed in light of gender and the relationship between gender and criminal justice.

CJG-608: Criminal Justice, Substance Use and Addiction

This course will explore the correlation between crime and addiction as experienced by the various branches of the Criminal Justice System in the United States and the role of these agencies as a part of prevention, treatment, social responsibility and punishment. The exploration of alternative justice methods as well as traditional justice responses will be discussed.

CJG-609: Leadership and Decision Making in Criminal Justice

This course serves as a capstone course for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice degree, providing an opportunity for the integration of information offered in the program and its relationship to emergent issues. This course focuses on the relationship between leaders and various constituencies with a focus on effective and ethical leadership practices. Theoretical concepts regarding leadership in organizations, including its origins, aspects, and consequences will be examined along with problems and alternative solutions in criminal justice management. The case study method and current readings provide a mixture of practical and educational experience intended to foster and disseminate new ideas for management strategies, especially as this is impacted by leadership styles, human resources, and the environment. Decision making and policy formulation in organizations will be examined and this will include goal setting and the planning process., rational models of decision making, valuation of alternatives, prediction of outcome, cost-benefit analysis, decision trees, uncertainty and risk assessment, and procedures for evaluation of outcomes. Students will complete a significant project incorporating the major elements of the course.

CJG-611: Understanding Human Behavior and Crime

This course tries to find an answer to why people commit crimes by considering personality factors of the offender in response to situational variables. The focus will be on theories of crime, biological and psychological models of criminal behavior, crime and mental disorders, human aggression and violent crime, delinquent behavior from criminal behavior, how to profile an offender based on their actions, risk factors in human development and policies of crime prevention. The psychological implications of criminal behavior, criminal justice decision-making, jury selection, witness recall, sentencing, prisonization, and correctional treatment. Considering physiological, psychological and pharmacological factors, we explore the influence of family, peers and the effects of alcohol and drugs on the incidence of criminal behavior. And we examine how the urban and social environment encourages (or inhibits) opportunities to commit crime. Recent research finding will be incorporated in the readings.

CJG-612: Drugs, Crime and the Criminal Justice System

This course emphasizes a sociological understanding of drug use and abuse and drug policy. In order to understand drug use and abuse it is necessary to understand the chemical properties of the substances at issue, the attributes of the people who use and abuse drugs and the norms and characteristics of the society in which the substance use occurs. There will be an examination of the nature and scope of the relationship between drugs (including alcohol) and crime and violence, and the effect of drug legislation on the criminal justice system. We will examine literature on the drugs-crime relationship and explore various approaches to collecting data on drug use and abuse in society.

CJG-613: Trauma and Criminal Behavior

This course will focus on understanding how mental health varies over the lifespan. This course introduces students to the physical, cognitive and psychological aspects of human development from birth through advanced old age and how mental illness and trauma affect behavior which may lead to contact with the criminal justice system. Content in this course will focus on a practical understanding of trauma and mental illness in general criminal justice settings. There will be a focus on Crisis Intervention Training/Team (CIT) where there is a holistic approach in addressing the role of addiction and behavioral health concerns in the management of people, including offenders and detainees. The course will cover material on how to improve communication skills, learn how to make an initial assessment and determine an appropriate response, and how to identify a crisis and response. The course will utilize case studies or real situations for discussion.

CJG-618: Custodial Care, Criminal Justice & the Law

In this course, students will examine the legal requirements of arrest, detention, and full incarceration of those in the Criminal Justice system. Legal issues around confinement and mental health, substance use disorder, pregnancy and medical issues will be examined. Legal responsibilities around nutrition, use of force, and recreation and contact with family will be discussed. Legal issues around language competency, mental disability, gender identity and sexual orientation in detention will also be addressed.

CJG-620: Victimology

This course will introduce the student to the discipline of victimology, an emerging area of specialization in the field of criminology. Emphasis will focus on crime victims and their plight, the relationships between crime victims and other social groups and institutions. These other groups or institutions include the media, business interests, politicians, special interest groups, and social movement actors. The issues of Justice and Redress from the perspective of the victim as well as general society will be stressed. An overview of victim prevention programs and victim assistance programs will be presented. Topics such as the Restorative Justice Model, victim Repayment, and Victim/Offender Mediation will be included In the course content. While the course follows an interdisciplinary approach and is designed for general interest and appeal, it has particular relevance for students drawn from disciplinary interests in the fields of criminal justice, psychology, sociology, education, health care administration, and political science.

CJG-621: Big Data and Criminal Justice

The growing use of data-centric technologies is transforming criminal justice in the United States. These technologies affect the scale and nature of collected data, enable the detection of discriminatory patterns of policing and influence bail recommendations for pretrial detainees and management of prison populations. Modern computational and statistical methods offer the promise of increased efficiency, equity, and transparency, but their use raises complex legal, social, and ethical questions. In this course, we will discuss the application of techniques from machine learning and statistics to a variety of criminal justice issues, analyze recent court decisions, and examine the relationships among law, public policy, and data. Special attention is paid to the rules of evidence as they apply to electronic or digital evidence, the role of expert witnesses, and the laws and regulations governing electronic surveillance.

CJG-622: Cybercrime

This course will provide students with an overview of computer crime, the legislative responses to computer crime and the issues encountered by police when enforcing laws in cyberspace. Emphasis is on how communication technologies can be targets of crime, instruments of crime and important sources of criminal evidence. The global reach of the Internet, the low marginal cost of online activity, and the relative anonymity of users have contributed to a wide escalation in cybercrimes. Consequently, information and communications technologies (ICT) are being increasingly employed to instigate threats to global civil society. This course provides an overview of cybercrime and the digital law enforcement practices put in place to respond to them. The course will focus on the types and extent of current cybercrimes, how the justice system responds to these crimes, the various constitutional protections afforded to computer users, the law and policies that govern cybercrime detection and prosecution, and related technologies.

CJG-625: Sex Offender Behavior

In this course, students will examine the nature and etiology of the major categories of sex offenses. Students will evaluate federal and local sex offender legislation, as well as community supervision and reentry issues that offenders face. Students will also survey theoretical approaches to sex crimes and offenders. Upon completion of this course, students will gain insight into the characteristics of sex offenders while exploring the legal and custodial challenges of those that work with this population. This includes the long-term consequences of their offenses as it relates to offender recidivism, community supervision and resources.

CJG-626: Violence & Threat Assessment

In this course, students will examine trends in violence and aggression in society. There will be a focus on the origins and determinants of violence and aggression and the impact of these actions on the public. The focus will be on operational contexts with a focus on the violence risk posed by persons of interest who are under investigation, arrested for, charged with, or convicted of offenses. In addition, at the organizational context, the violence risk posed toward police, public safety professionals or even the violence risk posed by professionals toward coworkers or members of the public will be examined. Based on the content focused on experiences and research, the students will consider what kinds of harm someone might perpetrate, against which victims, at which time or locations and what steps
can be taken to mitigate the risks posed and prevent violence?

CJG-630: White Collar Crime

This course will examine the nature and extent of corporate and white collar crime, including detection, deterrence, and criminal liability sanctions, as well as the social and legal changes related to corporate illegality. Students will use case materials which address securities fraud, money "laundering", professional deviance, and political corruption, in addition to other topics. Students will also analyze policy responses including RICO and other laws, regulations and court processing. The course will include analysis of several forms of white collar (corporate and individual) crime, the relevance of law-making to lawbreaking, problems of detection and punishment and the causes of this social problem. Discussion of policy evaluation and suggested reforms will take place.

CJG-635: Juvenile Justice and Youth Crime Problems

This course will provide an examination of key issues associated with youth and crime in the United States and the educational, social and cultural efforts to reduce youth involvement with guns, drugs and gangs. Theoretical perspectives regarding the creation of Childhood as a social construct and the etiology of juvenile offending will be examined. Emphasis will be on the nature and structure of youth gangs, drug use by juveniles and risk factors associated with youth violence. Other issues may involve curfews, gun violence, victims of youth violence, and the over-representation of minority youth in the juvenile justice system. Particular attention is paid to the role of family, peers and school.

CJG-644: Policing in a Democratic Society

Police agencies play a critical role in a democratic society. While seeking to maintain order, enforce the law and deliver services effectively, police agencies are held accountable to a wide variety of values by a number of powerful stakeholders. Police leaders, managers and other personnel must understand the complexities of the police role in society, the political and legal constraints placed on them in addition to being experts in effective, evidence-based approaches to dealing with crime problems in the community. By applying theory, policy and evaluation literature to the cutting-edge practices in the field, this course provides students with an advanced understanding in the field of police leadership, management, strategy and accountability within a democratic society.

CJG-652: Mass Incarceration and Collateral Consequences

This course analyzes the theory, practices and policies of the American correctional system, covering the nature and administration of both institutional and community sanctions and agencies. Students explore competing penal theories and review evidence on the effectiveness of correctional practices. The course investigates the historical development and evolution of imprisonment, trends in the use of confinement, and the effects of incarceration on offenders, families and communities. Students analyze the characteristics of correctional populations and debate the causes and implication of race, class and gender differences. The course identifies significant current issues and reviews the ethical, legal and practical dimensions of proposals for reform. Issues surrounding collateral consequences when released will be examined as well.

CJG-655: Psychopathology in Criminal Justice

In this course, students will examine various psychological disorders and their impact on behavior, in particular in the association with criminal behavior. Students will identify patterns of psychopathy and sociopathy and other related disorders. Psychological interventions that have been determined to have empirical evidence in helping to reduce the symptoms of the various illnesses will be covered, including how to adapt them to various criminal justice settings. In particular, group therapy and cognitive-behavioral interventions commonly used in corrections settings will be discussed. Laws dealing with medication as well as laws associated with the management of violence will similarly be covered. Students will be expected to learn about the tools used by psychologists to conduct psychological research in mental illness and criminal behavior.

Required Prerequisites

CJG-670: Government Project and Program Implementation and Management

This course explores the management of major one-time tasks or implementation of a major program in a government agency. Examines the special managerial tools and studies as well as the challenges that apply to managing one-time or ongoing assignments, particularly where teams are involved. Major construction, implementation of new technology or policy, and redesigning and implementing organizational change are included. This course will use case studies for real world applications.

CJG-671: Government Project and Program Communications Management

This course examines the behavioral aspects of working effectively in the project or program domain. We examine current philosophies of work around enhanced leadership, communication, conflict management, risk management, and negotiation skills, and the ability to organize, manage, and to produce efficient delivery from teams. Use of media, including social media, print news and television will be discussed. Good leadership is an important element when applied to project, risk, and program management, and this course identifies various styles of communication and conflict resolution that leaders can use.

CJG-675: Special Topics in Criminal Justice

Special topics in criminal justice research are examined. Special topics courses are developed to cover emerging issues or specialized content and they do not repeat material presented by regular semester courses.

CJG-680: Internship in Criminal Justice

This course is only available for students who have had no work experience in Criminal Justice. An internship/practicum is a "field apprentice" course during which students work under supervision in a criminal justice, private security or other related agency or department in an agency. Written daily logs of activities and a written report of internship experiences is required. Specifically, the course will focus on workplace interactions, performance evaluations, worker accountability, the use of discretion in criminal justice settings, and the process of reform in criminal justice organizations.

CJG-685: Thesis in Criminal Justice

This course provides students with an opportunity to integrate theories, concepts and aspects of criminology and criminal justice literature with methods and techniques for conducting research, through the completion of an original research project. The thesis project should constitute original research and is conducted under the supervision of a Master's Thesis Committee.