CJUS 700 Theories of Crime

This course offers an advanced exploration of the theories of crime causation. Biological, psychological, sociological, cultural, and political theories may be examined using a “cause of crime” perspective. Emphasis is placed around the key concepts used in theories of crime and the multidisciplinary source of these concepts, how they are applied to criminological theory, and their importance for understanding the present state of criminological theory.

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

Course Guide

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Criminal Justice 700 is the foundational course in the Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice program. As such, the student in this course explores the theoretical conceptualizations of why individuals commit crime.

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

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Course Requirements Checklist

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

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided topic for each Discussion. Each thread must be at least 600 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and use a minimum of 3 properly formatted citations in addition to at least 1 Holy Bible reference. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 300 words, and requires a minimum of 1 properly formatted citation in addition to at least 1 Holy Bible reference.  Citations must be in current APA format.

Biblical Position Paper Assignment

The purpose of this assignment is to get you thinking about the nature of human behavior, specifically the deviant side of human behavior.  A detailed discussion of 5-6 pages of the various aspects of the fall of man and the temporal ramifications will be explored.  The heart of man and the wayward desires of the heart should also be explored in an effort to better understand the ease of finding oneself on the wrong side of the law. For this assignment, your only source should be Scripture.

Journal Article Review Assignment

In this assignment you will critically review one (1) recent peer-reviewed article in a minimum of a five (5) pages.  You may wish to spend some time researching critical review techniques for journal articles prior to starting this assignment. At a minimum, you should pay particular attention to the identification the premise and supporting points of the article, a synthesis of the article with positivist school of criminology theories, and a critical evaluation of the premise(s) and supporting points of the article.  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.

Chapter Application Paper Assignment

The purpose of this paper is to present your well-articulated perspective and thoughts from the chapters assigned from the reading in 8-10 pages.  Each paper must identify 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 of criminal offending.  Formatting must conform to the current APA formatting style.

Research Paper Assignment

In this assignment, you will select one (1) topic: a serial murderer or a policy.  Whichever topic is selected, an introduction to the individual or policy should be detailed followed by a 11-14 page analysis of the theories that might be used to explain or support the individual’s move into criminality or the underpinnings of the policy.  The paper (a total of 16-18 pages) should incorporate a Christian Worldview throughout or have a specific section of dedicated to Christian Worldview.  It is extremely important that you keep the paper between 16-18 page requirement.  Each paper must be thorough but not exhaustive.  At least 15-20 sources, including the Holy Bible and no more than 2 books, must be used and cited.  The paper must be written in the current APA format.

The student will complete a quiz affirming that he or she has access to the HSOG Doctoral Community Canvas page, and that he or she agrees to be bound to all policies contained therein.

Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the Module: Week in which it is assigned with the final quiz in Module 8: Week 8 covering all chapters. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice and 2 essay questions, and have a 1-hour and 30-minute time limit.

In quiz essays, as in all graduate-level writing, any information other than common knowledge should be cited.  This is especially true for information taken from the course textbooks.  Citations need to conform to current APA format. 

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