Criminal Justice (CJ)

CJ501  Theory & Practice in Criminology  (3.0 Credits)  

This course will examine the links between leading theories of crime and criminal justice policy and practice. Students are introduced to the theory's central concepts, assertions, hypotheses, and a detailed critique of the theory, with an emphasis on empirical validity. Each theory's relevance and its potential for controlling and preventing crime and delinquency is analyzed. Students will thus become familiar with key research questions and assumptions of theoretical approaches, their core propositions, challenges for measurement and testing, and the implications of theory for practice and policy in criminal justice.

CJ502  Hidden Injuries, Control & Crime  (3.0 Credits)  

The course takes a hard look at crime and the criminal justice system through the lens of marginalized identities (e.g., gender, race, ethnicity) and their intersections. Techniques of domination and oppression such as coercive control, victim blaming, “just world” thinking, and the invisibility of related outcomes (e.g., trauma from everyday microaggressions, cycles of violence, and internalized stigma) are explored. Empirical research guides us through various manifestations of power across criminal justice careers, criminological science, and everyday understandings of crime. This course thus aims to familiarize students with key empirical research studies so that students might contribute to discussions between scholars and practitioners about how interlocking systems of injustice and inequality can be approached to achieve greater justice.

CJ503  Criminal Justice & Society  (3.0 Credits)  

This course provides guidance for advanced analysis of issues in the field and discipline of criminal justice. Three sets of skills are emphasized in the course: (1) engaging with social science research, (2) understanding relevant values and acting ethically, and (3) conducting policy analysis with an awareness of social impact. The course relies on case studies to explore varying topical issues from a range of criminal justice realms: the parameters of crime and other public regulation of behavior, policing, prosecutions and the courts, corrections, post-conviction experiences, and community impact. Coverage will vary by semester.

CJ504  Public Health, Guns & Mass Murder  (3.0 Credits)  

Firearms command national attention, yet little empirical research examines the relationship between firearms, gun-related injury and death, and gun control. Most murders in the United States are committed with guns, yet empirical research on gun ownership, supply, and their impact on injury and death remains weakly connected to public health policy. Even less is known about indirect and cumulative health impacts on the larger community. This course introduces students to a public health perspective on gun-related injury and death, highlights key issues related to secondary victimization and post-traumatic stress associated with pervasive gun violence, and familiarizes students with evidence-based approaches to policy.

CJ505  Human Rights Law & Policy  (3.0 Credits)  

Human Rights Law and Policy explores the substance of human rights law in addition to theoretical and political considerations relevant to the subject. The intersection of human rights and contemporary criminal justice theory and practice is a thematic focus of the course. Students cover the concept of human rights and ethical issues related to use of human rights law, the structure of international and regional human rights protection and systems, sources of international human rights, and application at the state and local level.

CJ510  Problem-Solving Research Strategies  (3.0 Credits)  

Presents the nature of methodology employed in social science research. The course will include the research process and guidelines of formulating research questions, testable hypotheses, operationalizing variables and indicators, research design, data collection, and data analysis.

CJ511  Designing Research for Social Problems  (3.0 Credits)  

Research Design provides students with the necessary tools to design a research proposal. Students will identify a researchable problem statement, develop research questions, and devise a research protocol using the key elements of the research process (i.e., design methodology, population, sampling, instrumentation, ethics). Students will also become familiar with the Ethical Principles and Guidelines for the Protection of Human Subjects of Research.

Prerequisite(s): CJ510.

CJ520  Victimology  (3.0 Credits)  

An examination of crime and criminology as it deals with the victim. It includes legal, psychological, and social perspectives. Included is an analysis of the types of victimization and victimization theories. Also to be explored is the concept of group victimization, subcultures, and international victimology. The role of the victim in the criminal justice process, victim impact statements, victim’s rights and services, compensation, and techniques of victim avoidance will be discussed.

CJ525  Leadership & Policy Analysis  (3.0 Credits)  

This course considers leadership and policy analysis skills for public service professionals, including those in criminal justice and other governmental agencies and nongovernmental and religious organizations. The course examines theoretical foundations of leadership and helps prepare students for challenges they may face as future leaders, including when crises or disasters impact their government unit or business.

CJ554  Radicalization & Rabbit Holes  (3.0 Credits)  

What is the relationship between radicalization, extremism, terrorism, and hate crimes? How are their definitions shaped by ideas of free speech and public safety? This course answers these questions and others by guiding students through a critical analysis of current research and theoretical perspectives on radicalization and pathways into violent and non-violent political extremism known as “rabbit holes.” Hate speech, prejudice, discriminatory worldviews, and exclusionary ideologies are also studied. Students analyze a series of macro and micro-level case studies (e.g. the far right in Hungary; Daniel G. McGowan [E.L.F.]) to examine pathway trajectories. Push factors such as socioeconomics, marginalization, governance, human rights, and institutional radicalization (e.g. in prisons), as well as those related to aesthetic and social factors (e.g., mass, social, and digital media) are examined. Pull factors such as individual backgrounds and motivations, grievances; distortion and misuse of beliefs, political ideologies, and other vulnerabilities are reviewed. The course highlights trends in countering and preventing radicalization & violent extremism (CVE, PVE, PRVE).

CJ555  Torture & State Violence  (3.0 Credits)  

Violence perpetrated by state actors is the subject of this course, with a specific emphasis on torture and inhuman and degrading treatment. The course will explore (1) the definition and parameters of such violence; (2) decision-making by stakeholders related to legal or state-sanctioned violence; (3) social, political, and personal consequences of violence; and (4) community and state responses to past violence. Two themes running through the course will be the social phenomenon of denial and a question whether the psychological concept of “just-world thinking” can be applied to societal understandings of a state’s use of violence. Case studies will include the United States, Northern Ireland, Chile, Israel, Brazil, and Uruguay.

CJ556  Understanding Terrorism  (3.0 Credits)  

Terrorism occupies a prominent place in media reports and political debate. But what exactly is terrorism? How long has it existed? This course seeks to examine the history of terrorism and its manifestations in the contemporary world. Definitional problems, relevant social scientific theories, and an overview of terrorism in history will be explored. We will cover issues of nationalistic terrorism, religious terrorism and domestic and special interest group terrorism. The course concludes with an examination of the political and ethical implications of the “global war on terror.” The overall focus will be on political and international issues.

CJ557  Terrorism in the Homeland  (3.0 Credits)  

The course explores extremist, politically motivated violence occurring within the boundaries of the United States by studying the history, emergence, and growth of domestic terrorist and extremist groups. This history includes a discussion of supportive belief systems (e.g., racism), anti-government movements (e.g., militias), single-issue extremism (anti-abortion and homegrown jihadism). Trends at the start of the 21st century have been toward right-wing terrorism and violent anti-government extremism (e.g., Oath Keepers); left-wing terrorism dominated the 1960s and 1970s (e.g., ELF). Students will assess various groups’ intentions, capabilities, and activities within the contexts of and ramifications on political identity, national security, and legal paradigms. Domestic terrorist incidents including the Oklahoma City bombing, the September 11 attacks, the Fort Hood incident, the Boston Marathon bombing, the San Bernardino attack, and the Orlando Florida mass shooting, as well as domestic hate crimes, will be explored. The role of mental health and other public administrative agencies will be highlighted.

CJ560  Post-Conflict Justice  (3.0 Credits)  

This course covers the relatively new field of transitional justice: the study and practice of attempts to provide accountability for human rights abuses, or otherwise “deal with the past,” after periods of conflict or authoritarian rule. The course provides an introduction to fundamental themes of transitional justice and addresses central debates surrounding efforts to end impunity, recognize the suffering of victims of conflict, and confront the past as a means to avoid repetition. Complex conceptual questions will be raised related to truth, memory, guilt, responsibility, and peacemaking.

CJ565  Select Topic Crim. Justice Human Rights  (3.0 Credits)  

This course is an in-depth analysis of a selected topic or problem related to criminal justice and/or human rights. A different topic will be considered each time offered, enabling the student to explore contemporary criminal justice and human rights issues. This course may be repeated and learning outcomes vary.

CJ590  Capstone: Research Project  (3.0 Credits)  

This course represents a student’s synthesis and evaluation of the goals and objectives for the Master of Arts in Criminal Justice and Human Rights. Students will prepare a major project of at least 25 to 30 pages, which may include (a) an evidence-based research paper thesis (a standard academic thesis research project) that applies the core curriculum functions and competencies to a related criminal justice and/or human rights issue or (b) literature review, law review, policy review, action/advocacy research project, or other major project determined by the student and faculty advisor. Each of these project options will be a comprehensive critical analysis of a significant incident related to criminal justice and human rights, a case problem, or policy/law dilemma. The student will be supervised by a full-time faculty member, and the final project will be reviewed by at least one additional full-time faculty member.

Prerequisite(s): Permission of program director and supervisor; and CJ501, CJ510, and CJ511.

CJ599  Internship Criminal Justice Human Rights  (3.0 Credits)  

This is a career-based learning experience that enables the graduate student to gain knowledge and apply specialized work-related theory, skills, and concepts appropriate to a particular organization. A learning plan is developed by the instructor and the student, and the student will submit regular reports and meet periodically with the instructor to review experiences. Correlated research paper required.

Prerequisite(s): Permission of program director.