Stress Management in Criminal Justice – CJUS 840

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course provides an in depth review of stress management in law enforcement. The course will cover the physiological and psychological basis of the stress response. The physical, emotional, mental, rational, and spiritual signs of distress will be examined. Understanding, recognizing, and coping with the stressors associated with modern policing helps prevent maladaptive responses such as domestic violence and suicide. Participants will develop an original brief stress management program for law enforcement personnel.

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


This course represents an important facet of the doctoral criminal justice program, because it focuses on the decidedly human, emotional, and spiritual facets of those involved in the criminal justice arena. Students will research many of the questions and issues surrounding these dimensions.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

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

Discussions (5)

You will participate in 5 Discussions. First, you will post a thread of 400 words or more. Three additional sources beyond the course material (i.e. textbook, readings, and presentations) are required for the thread. Then, you 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. All citations must be in current APA format.

Responding to a classmate’s post requires that you critically review their work.  You are Iron Helping to Sharpen Iron (Proverbs 27:17) in your reply posts.  You may use your review of their work to help move the conversation about their topic forward.   You are helping them, in your review, to build upon their initial posts to develop deeper and more thorough discussion of the ideas introduced in the initial posts. As such, reply posts that merely affirm, restate, or unprofessionally quarrel with the previous post(s) and fail to make a valuable, substantive contribution to the discussion will receive appropriate point deductions.

This course utilizes the Post-First feature in all Discussions. This means you will only be able to read and interact with your classmates’ threads after you have submitted your thread in response to the provided prompt.

Biblical Worldview of Law Enforcement Officers Assignment

For the Biblical Worldview Assignment, the student will write a short essay that critically examines Law Enforcement Officers from a Biblical perspective. This essay should internalize and express a Biblical Worldview of a Law Enforcement Professional. The paper must be at least 5 double-spaced pages of content, not including the title page, abstract, or references. The paper must also utilize at least 5 sources in addition to the Holy Bible.  Organize and format your paper according to current APA style and cite your references as you would in current APA style. If you need more help understanding how to analyze scholastic literature, consult the corresponding section in your APA manual.

Include the following elements in your short essay:

  • Bibliography of the sources you cited in the short essay
  • Review the Biblical Worldview Grading Rubric to see how this assignment will be evaluated.


Research Paper: Part 1 – Topic Selection with Research Questions Assignment


The assignments in this course are built upon one another.  These assignments are to reflect the path one takes in the dissertation process.  This assignment and the ones that follow are to be of the same topic and to build completing the final paper.  Select a topic that you are interested in exploring this term.  Pick Research Questions and include a Bibliography to support the proposed Research Paper and Literature Review in the future Modules. 


During this course, the student will compose an original 10–12-page Literature Review on a current topic or trend in criminal justice (see the instructions for the Literature Review assignment). In preparation for the Literature Review, the student will submit his/her topic for approval, along with a preliminary bibliography. The preliminary 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. The student must identify a research question for his/her topic.  The students must properly follow the current APA style.   The items to include are outlined as follows:

  • Length of assignment: 2-5 pages
    • Information that is excluded from this length (e.g. title page, abstract, reference section, etc.)
  • Format of assignment: APA
  • Number of citations: Minimum of two (2)
  • Acceptable sources: scholarly articles published within the last five years, textbook and The Bible

Research Paper: Part 2 – Journal Article Critique Assignment

Journal Article Critiques enable you to practice thinking critically and to synthesize information. Do not quote from the article. Instead, summarize and paraphrase. Your review must be written in your words and include at least 3 (three) scholarly citations in APA format. A comparison to the Scripture should also be offered with the Bible properly cited in the bibliography. In addition to 3-5 pages of content, make sure to include a title and reference page. In addition to an introduction and conclusion, make sure to respond to the following questions to prepare your Journal Article Critique assignment.

  • What is the article’s title and purpose?
  • Who is/are the author(s) of the article and what are his/her/their qualifications?
  • What are the author(s)’ theoretical assumptions?
  • What is the article’s hypothesis?
  • How is the hypothesis supported or rejected? What makes the supporting points credible?
  • How does the article fit into other literature on the topic?
  • What other articles or research support the authors’ main points?
  • Does the article advance the work in a given field?

Be sure to review the criteria on the Grading Rubric before beginning this assignment.

Research Paper: Part 3 – Literature Review Assignment


As a PhD student, your final project will be a dissertation.  The largest component of a dissertation is usually the Literature Review.  A Literature Review is an exhaustive search of the academic literature regarding a specific topic.  Through the research for the Literature Review, the scholar will discover what has been published and is current regarding their specific area.  The Literature Review should also include a section regarding the theory that is applicable to the research question. 


The student will write a 10–12-page Literature Review on a specific problem in criminal justice. It will not be a descriptive paper but must be one that critically examines the problems and the competing solutions. The student must make an argument about whether it is necessary. 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 follow the current APA style.  The paper should be 10-12 pages with Cover page, Research Questions, Annotations, Bibliography and any supporting documentation.

Research Paper: Part 4 – Policy Issue and Solution Assignment


As you prepare to author a dissertation, one aspect is the solution to the research problem. This assignment empowers you, the scholar, to reflect on a specific problem within law enforcement and offer probable solutions.


You will author a 20-25-page research-oriented paper. The paper must focus on policy analysis regarding Correctional Policy. The paper must also be in the current APA format. The APA headers must be APA Level 1 headings for Problem, Significance, and Solution. The sub themes of the solution section must contain APA Level 2 headings or beyond. The paper must include a minimum of 15 references in addition to the class textbooks and the Bible. All references must be academic/peer reviewed sources.       

  • Identify an issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Discuss the problem in a few brief paragraphs.
  • Discuss the significance of the problem (the significance discussion must contain many of your references). The significance section of the paper must contain why the issue is significant, what is being done by other departments or agencies, what law is applicable, and any other issues that can be identified as significant. This significance section of the paper must be thorough and leave no additional questions.
  • Propose a solution in the form of policy or guidance toward a policy. The solution must involve a minimum of 3 choices: do nothing, incremental approach, and full implementation. The solution section of the paper must have enough of an explanation of the solution so that an executive would be able to make an informed decision from your explanation. The solution must also have sub-themes. Some subthemes are: impact to department, impact to external stakeholders, and impact to budget. There may be other sub-themes in addition to or in replacement of those listed above.
  • Must have a section relating how a Christian worldview does or may change potential proposed solutions. This must be a section and not merely a sentence or two.

Quizzes (4)

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the assigned module(s)/week(s). Each quiz will contain 20 multiple-choice and/or True/False questions, 1 essay question, and will have a 1 hour time limit.