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Criminal Justice


The Carthage Criminal Justice Program offers relevant traditional courses, along with new courses specifically created to address neglected areas and problems. Scroll down to read descriptions of the criminal justice courses offered at Carthage, or click on the following links for additional resources.

  • CRJ 1000

    Criminal Justice System (SOC)

    A survey of the various institutions by which the criminal justice system is administered: the police, the legal profession, the court systems, and the penal institutions. The problems faced by the criminal justice system and evaluation of the adequacy of the existing system will be given emphasis.

  • CRJ 2100

    Probation, Parole, and Community Supervision

    This course provides a detailed examination of alternative forms of punishment within the criminal justice system, namely probation, parole, and community supervision. Given the enormous strain on the prison system, these forms of punishment have become increasingly common in recent years. This course examines the nature of such programs within the larger socio-historical context.

  • CRJ 2260


    This course examines the nature, extent, and distribution of crime in the United States. Theories of crime causation are also examined in this course.
    Prerequisite: CRJ 1000

  • CRJ 2270

    Juvenile Delinquency

    Studies causes of unconventional youthful behavior, societal reactions to it, specialized agencies, treatment strategies, policy proposals for prevention of juvenile delinquency, and the juvenile justice system with its competing functions and personnel.
    Prerequisite: SOC 1000

  • CRJ 2530

    Race and Racisms

    Examines the sociological, economic, and psychological nature of the relationships between racial and ethnic groups with differential access to political and economic power. Focus is on the United States, with some discussion of racism, cultural discrimination, and sexism in other parts of the world.
    Prerequisite: SOC 1000 or CRJ 1000

  • CRJ 2700

    Criminal Law (SOC)

    The organization and content of criminal law with attention given to its origin and development and the elements of crimes of various types. Specific attention will be given the Model Penal Code.
    Prerequisite: CRJ 1000

  • CRJ 3010

    Police and Society

    This course will rely on a variety of scholarly materials to answer such questions as: Why do we have police? What is the role of the police in a democratic society? What do we want the police to do? Who decides what the police do? How do we want the police to do their job? The course will also address other key issues including (1) the history of the American police, (2) the nature of police work, (3) the police as agents of social control, (4) the structure and function of police organizations, (5) police misconduct, and (6) police accountability.
    Prerequisite: CRJ 1000

  • CRJ 3020

    American Courts

    This course examines the history and structure of the American court system. Understood as one of the primary institutions within the criminal justice system, emphasis will be placed on exploring the values, traditions, and philosophy of the courts.
    Prerequisite: CRJ 1000

  • CRJ 3025

    Social Problems in the City

    This course presumes social problems in the city as products of oppression, marginalization, and social control. Students will learn how economic forces and social structures such as race, class and government policies influence how cities are socially and spatially organized, and how that has changed over time. Students cover topics like the Great Migration, systemic racism, policing, inequality, poverty, segregation, and joblessness. We will also discuss the interrelations between different social issues and the prospects for social change.
    Prerequisite: CRJ 1000 or instructor permission

  • CRJ 3030

    Social Impacts of Mass Incarceration

    This course presents the historical patterns of response to crime and modern methods of dealing with criminally defined behavior, including the major reactive models. Also examined are treatment approaches in corrections, corrections personnel, and corrections as an institutional system.
    Prerequisite: CRJ 1000

  • CRJ 3035

    Wrongful Convictions

    This course is intended to help students understand relevant research on the causes and effects of wrongful convictions. The course draws upon research across several academic disciplines like sociology, psychological sciences, legal studies, and criminology in order to understand wrongful convictions as social processes that occur at different levels of social reality (i.e. individual to systemic), and severl points within criminal justice systems (from law-making to conviction).
    Prerequisite: CRJ 1000 or instructor permission

  • CRJ 3110


    This course examines deviance as a sociological concept. Students will gain a theoretical understanding of the ways in which deviance has been defined historically, as well as contemporary definitions. Societal reactions, ranging from informal social control to formal control, are also examined.
    Prerequisite: SOC 1000 or CRJ 1000

  • CRJ 3120

    Crimes of the Powerful

    This course explores the social and institutional contexts of various forms of corporate and governmental deviance and/or crime. A range of cases that constitute elite deviance and/or criminal activity will be examined (e.g., insider trading, political corruption, corporate harm caused to consumers and the environment). Each case will be discussed within its larger political, social, and historical context.
    Prerequisite: SOC 1000 or CRJ 1000

  • CRJ 3200

    Restorative Justice

    This course examines alternative approaches to the traditional corrections-based and/or punitive models of the criminal justice system. Topics covered in this course include victim-offender mediation programs. The theoretical basis of restorative justice is contrasted to retributive models of justice.

  • CRJ 3300

    Mock Trial

    Students who participate in this course will become members of the Carthage Mock Trial Team and will represent Carthage College in the annual American Mock Trial Association Tournament. In this course students will study all aspects of trial court procedure and the litigation process. Students will develop an understanding of how both criminal and civil trials work and will learn about the various roles played by the participants in the trial court process. Students will act as witnesses, prosecutors, and plaintiff and defense attorneys. Students will also work on and develop important skills such as public speaking, critical thinking, negotiation, communication, debating, and team building.

  • CRJ 4990

    Senior Seminar

    The capstone experience for all majors in the department, the primary emphasis of this course will be writing the Senior Thesis. An oral presentation of the thesis is required for this course.
    Prerequisites: Senior standing and CRJ 2260

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