This course focuses upon contemporary topics and trends in the criminal justice arena. Topics will include: substantive and procedural changes in criminal law from a federal perspective utilizing case law, professional law enforcement organization reviews, and law review articles. Additionally, the course will identify and evaluate research trends of the National Institute of Justice, i.e., corrections, technology development, homeland security, and white collar/financial crime.
For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.
The specialization in Criminal Justice Administration will prepare this student who has been immersed in a Christian worldview throughout his/her MBA or Human Services program to work in the Criminal Justice Administration field, perform strategic planning, and make informed Criminal Justice Administration decisions. This aligns with the mission of Liberty University; “To develop Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential to impact tomorrow’s world.”
This course, CJUS 550, Topics and Trends in Criminal Justice, is intended to provide the student with the opportunity to identify recurring topics and developing trends in the criminal justice arena. Thereafter, the student will be required to evaluate the relevancy, practicality, cost, sustainability, and longevity of proposed solutions for the selected subfield.
Measurable Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Articulate the fundamental structure, function, and interaction of key institutions in the criminal justice system.
- Compare and contrast theoretical material from the Criminal Justice and Criminology academic literature base with real-world application in the field of Criminal Justice and Criminology.
- Evaluate recent trends in criminal justice research and identify the current philosophies and practices propelling the research.
- Explain how he/she will integrate his/her Christian worldview within the context of a criminal justice vocation.
Textbook readings, lecture presentations, and articles
Course Requirements Checklist
After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.
Discussion Board Forums (4)
Students will participate in 4 Discussion Board Forums. Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will post an original thread of 400 words or more. Three additional sources beyond the course material (i.e., textbook, readings, and presentations) are required for the original thread. Then, the student must reply to at least 2 peers’ threads in 150 words or more. Two additional sources beyond the course material are required for each reply.
Literature Analysis: Topic Identification and Bibliography
During this course, the student will compose an original 10–12-page Literature Analysis on a current topic or trend in criminal justice closely associated with a certain or specific problem in the profession or discipline today. In preparation for the Literature Analysis, each student will submit his/her topic for approval along with a preliminary bibliography. The bibliography must cite at least 6 scholarly resources that are significant to the topic (current, relevant, credible, and each carries its weight) with a clear and meaningful connection between all the resources.
Biblical Worldview Assignment
For the Biblical Worldview Assignment, the student will write a short essay that critically examines the literature review submitted in Module/Week 3 and constructively identifies the gaps and omissions in the literature where a biblical worldview should be internalized and expressed in the life of the criminal justice professional. The paper must be at least 2 pages. For the first page, it is important that the student make the distinction of where and on what grounds the literature comes up short as it relates to what the research states versus what God has for his people. For the second page, the student must demonstrate how he/she might integrate the biblical worldview into the problem that he/she is studying. The paper must properly follow current APA style. If a student is struggling with current APA format, he/she may refer to the Additional Information folder for help.
The student will write a 10–12-page Literature Analysis on a specific problem in criminal justice. It should not be a descriptive paper but one that critically examines the problems and the competing solutions. The student should make an argument if need be. The paper must utilize at least 12 significant, scholarly resources that are significant to the topic (current, relevant, credible, and each carries its weight) with a clear and meaningful connection between all the resources. The paper must properly follow current APA style. Detailed instructions can be found in Blackboard. If a student is struggling with current APA format, he/she may refer to the Additional Information folder for help.
The student will have 3 tests during this course. Each test will be composed of 25 true/false, multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and essay questions and will have a 1-hour time limit.