Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.

Department of Justice, Law and Society School of Public Affairs The American University Fall 2003 JLS-104-003 - INTRODUCTION TO SYSTEMS OF JUSTICE Mondays and Thursdays, 2:10 P.M. to 3:25 P.M. WARD 3 Faculty: Dr. Jeffrey A. Schaler Office: Dept. of Justice, Law, and Society, Ward Building, 2nd Floor Telephone: (301) 585-5664 Office hours: (by appointment)
[Course description from the catalogue: An overview of the formal mechanisms of social control as manifested by the components of the criminal justice system (legislatures, planning agencies, law enforcement, courts, and corrections), civil justice systems, and such other mechanisms as civil commitment. Alternatives to formal processing including diversion, pretrial screening and dispute-settlement programs. Usually offered every term.] Course Description: In this introductory course to justice, you will learn the basic terms, concepts, principles and practices of the criminal justice system. You will also learn to develop critical thinking skills about crime and justice. I am especially interested in teaching you how to think about the difference between formal and informal means of social control; the rule of man versus the rule of law; what we mean by crime in relation to social constructions of deviance; the meaning of criminal insanity; the relationship between justice and liberty; the difference between natural and normative law; the relationship between the individual and the state; and how ideas about crime and justice evolve from theory, to explanation, to policy. The class follows a lecture and discussion format. Course Objectives To improve the student's legal, philosophical and policy-oriented thinking about crime and justice in a constitutional democracy. To comprehend the difference between criminal and civil law. To become familiar with psychological and psychiatric theories and explanations for criminal behavior. To understand the meaning and utility of basic techniques and methods of research in criminal justice. To recognize the role of racism and discrimination in sentencing practices. To know the difference between the rule of man and the rule of law. To develop skill in debating controversial legal and public policy issues. Required Text: Senna, J.P. and Siegel, L.J. (2002). Introduction to Criminal Justice, Ninth Edition. New York: West/Wadsworth. Various required readings will be handed out in class. Course Requirements and Grades Test #1 10 % Mid-term examination 25 % Paper 25 % Final examination 30 % Class participation 10 % Total = 100 % The first test and mid-term exam will be multiple choice and short answer format. The final exam will be essay format. Paper: Write a 5 page (max) paper on any contemporary issue you believe involves some form of injustice. Focus on the relationship between the individual and state. Include principles we've covered in class. State the problem, as you see it, clearly. Differentiate between fact and your opinion. You're encouraged to express your opinion, just make sure you articulate the difference between fact and opinion. Discuss a solution to this problem. Describe possible problems created by your solution. Use at least four references, which are to be listed separately on the sixth page. Use the reference format presented in the required reading section of this syllabus. You may not quote more than two lines of other material. If you quote more than two lines your grade on the paper will drop by one letter grade. Paraphrase material in your own words. Cite any author you are referring to this way (author's last name(s), 1997). Do not list any material in the references section that is not cited in the text of your paper. The paper must be double-spaced, typed, with font size no larger than 12 points, margins no larger than 1 inch. Your spelling must be accurate. Your paper should be organized with an introduction, review of issues, discussion and conclusion. This is a short, concise, paper. --> Clear and accurate writing will be taken into account in assigning grades, as well as participation in class discussions. Material discussed in class, or in films, and not in any of the readings, may form the basis for questions on the examinations. One grade reduction for over four class absences. Sign the attendance sheet at the beginning of each class. Students are responsible for anything covered in class during their absence. Readings must be completed by the session to which they are assigned. Additional readings will be assigned during the course. You must take the test, mid-term exam, and final exam on the dates assigned. Students are encouraged to form study groups on their own. You will occasionally be randomly assigned to groups to present and summarize assigned reading materials. This contributes to your grade for class participation. Grades: A-=90, B+=89, B-=80, C+=79, C-=70, etc. If you're having trouble with this course you are encouraged to make an appointment to talk me about it. Material will be sent to you by email. Make sure that you are receiving and reading the email I send to you. Academic Integrity Code: "Standards of academic conduct are set forth in the University's Academic Integrity Code. It is expected that all examinations, tests, written papers, and other assignments will be completed according to the standards set forth in this code. By registering, you have acknowledged your awareness of the Academic Integrity Code, and you are obliged to become familiar with your rights and responsibilities as defined by the Code. Violations of the Academic Integrity Code will not be treated lightly, and disciplinary action will be taken should such violations occur. Please see me if you have any questions about the academic violations described in the Code in general or as they relate to particular requirements for this course."
Date Topic Reading August 25 Meaning of justice and theories of criminal behavior--Lecture August 28 The Nature of Crime, Law & Criminal Justice--Chapter 1 September 1 No class - Labor Day September 4 The Nature of Crime and Victimization--Chapter 2 September 8 Understanding Crime and Victimization--Chapter 3 September 11 Criminal Law: Substance and Procedure--Chapter 4 September 15 Review of The Nature of Crime, Law and Criminal Justice September 18 Test #1 September 22 The Police and the Rule of Law--Chapter 8 September 25 Guest speaker or film September 29 Courts and the Judiciary--Chapter 9 October 2 The Prosecution and the Defense/Pretrial Procedures--Chaps. 10 & 11 October 6 No class - Fall break October 9 The Criminal Trial--Chapter 12 Punishment and Sentencing--Chapter 13 October 13 Mid-term examination October 16 Guest speaker or film October 20 Probation and Intermediate Sanctions--Chapter 14 October 23 Corrections: History, Institutions and Populations--Chapter 15 October 27 The Prison Experience: Living in and Leaving Prison--Chapter 16 October 30 Juvenile Justice--Chapter 17 November 3 Review November 6 Assigned readings to be handed out in class or emailed to you November 10 Assigned readings to be handed out in class or emailed to you November 13 Assigned readings to be handed out in class or emailed to you November 17 Assigned readings to be handed out in class or emailed to you November 20 Assigned readings to be handed out in class or emailed to you November 24 Assigned readings to be handed out in class or emailed to you November 27 No class - Thanksgiving December 1 Assigned readings to be handed out in class or emailed to you December 4 Paper due Review for final exam December 15 Final Examination for Intro to Systems of Justice 2:10 pm to 4:40 pm Note: You must take the final exam on December 15. No exceptions.