Psychology & the Legal System – CJUS 640

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

This course applies the methods and theories of psychology to the criminal justice (legal) system. Specifically, students will gain an understanding of how the field of psychology and psychological research has been applied in law enforcement, the judicial process, and the corrections process. Issues of morality, the criminal personality, eyewitness testimony, the use of psychological evaluation, jury selection, criminal profiling, child custody evaluation, police, and inmate counseling are among topics covered. Since this course focuses on the criminal justice system, it will not include civil litigation.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

Criminal Justice 640 is an important course in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice Forensic Science track.  As such, students in this course explore various intersections of psychology and the legal system.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify the various functions of the legal system and psychology and integrate a Christian worldview
  2. Apply psychological principles to the legal/forensic system
  3. Assess current states of scientific literature in forensic psychology.
  4. Synthesize the dimensions of forensic psychology within its related sub-fields..

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

The student will complete 4 Discussions in this course. The student will post one thread of at least 400 words. The student must then post 2 replies of at least 250 words each. For each thread, students must support their assertions with at least 2 scholarly citations in current APA format. Each reply must incorporate at least 2 scholarly citations in current APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Acceptable sources include the textbooks (readings provided), and the Bible. Both the thread and each reply must cite course-specific and non-course specific material.

Chapter Application Paper Assignments (2)

The student will complete (2) Chapter Application Paper Assignments. Each paper is to be between 3-5 pages. Students should pay particular attention to the identification of the premise and supporting points of the chapter, a synthesis of the information from the chapter, and a critical application of the premise(s) and supporting points from the chapter to an issue in facing psychology and the legal system. The paper must follow current APA guidelines. The page count does not include the title page, abstract, reference section, or any extra material. See the assignment instructions and grading rubric for additional instructions and guidance. Students should follow the article focus prompts in the assignment instructions closely.

Research Paper Assignments (2)

The student will complete (2) Research Paper Assignments. The student will be given some flexibility to write a research paper focused on the topic indicated for the week the Topic Research Paper is due. The research paper shall be a minimum of 8 to 10 pages and must follow current APA guidelines. The page count does not include the title page, abstract, or reference section. It must include 10–15 sources with at least 1 source being the Holy Bible and no more than two (2) books. The student should have a specific section in the paper dedicated to a synthesis of Christian Worldview and their topic. See the assignment instructions and grading rubric for additional instructions and guidance.

Quizzes (4)

The student will complete 4 Quizzes. Each quiz will cover the textbook material for the Module: Week in which it is assigned. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice (worth 1 point each) and 5 essay questions (worth 5 points each), and have a 1-hour time limit.