This broad introductory course in criminal justice serves as a survey to how the American criminal justice system is a mechanism for exerting societal control over both individuals and groups through the balancing of the crime control and due process goals of the system. The course describes the ways criminal justice actors exercise discretion and the role that discretion plays at the individual, group, and societal level in the administration of American criminal justice. Through research, course readings, and debate, students gain an understanding of policing, the courts and adjudication, and corrections. Students will recognize the nomenclature used in the field of criminal justice and identify the relationships between and among the major criminal justice organizations responsible for social control (i.e., law enforcement, the judicial system, and corrections) and the society whose interests they serve. Fall, Spring
For Criminal Justice majors only.