Criminal Justice

Program Description

The Criminal Justice Program seeks to provide students with the knowledge, skills and critical thinking capabilities necessary for successful careers in the criminal justice field.
Criminal Justice is an inter-disciplinary social science that is concerned with issues of crime and punishment and the processes and agencies involved in addressing crime. It includes scholarship related to a variety of fields. For example, sociology aids in understanding what social factors underlie criminal behavior, political science lends perspectives on the processes of criminalization and punishment, psychology helps to clarify the roots of certain types of deviant behavior, and legal studies presents foundations for appreciating what can be criminalized and the rationales for various responses to crime.

Why take this major?

At La Salle, Criminal Justice is a demanding, high-quality program built on theory and a serious grounding in the liberal arts as a pathway to a variety of professional careers.

  • Approximately 200 majors currently
  • Small class size
  • Faculty accessible to students, in accord with La Salle's goal of "touching the hearts of our students"
  • Challenging curriculum
  • Emphasis on theoretical insights and practical applications
  • A multi-disciplinary approach, with an emphasis on social justice and social service
  • Solid preparation for graduate or professional school

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Awareness how various social factors (race, poverty, discrimination, gender) shape the criminal justice system.
  • Students will have a theoretical grounding in the theories that explain criminal justice outcomes.
  • Students will understand how qualitative and quantitative types of research are used in the study of criminal justice and students will develop writing proficiency.

Program Contact Information

Charles Gallagher, Chair

gallagher@lasalle.edu

350 Hayman Hall

(215) 991-2850

 

Degree Earned

B.A.

Number of Courses Required for Graduation

Major: 12

Total: 38

Number of Credits Required for Graduation

Major: 36

Total: 120

GPA Required for Graduation

Major: 2.0

Cumulative: 2.0

Progress Chart

Level One - Core Courses

12 courses and 2 modules required

Universal Required Courses (4 Courses)

Students must complete the following 4 courses.

ILO 8.1: Written Communication

ENG 110 - College Writing I: Persuasion

ILO 5.1: Information Literacy

ENG 210 - College Writing II: Research

ILO 1.1: Understanding Diverse Perspectives

FYS 130 - First-Year Academic Seminar **

NOTE. The following students use Level 2 Capstone Experience in Major instead of FYS 130: Honors, BUSCA, Core-to-Core, Transfer, and Non-Traditional/Evening.

ILO 2.1: Reflective Thinking and Valuing

REL 100 - Religion Matters

Elective Core Courses (4 Courses)

Students must complete 1 course in each of the following 4 ILOs.

ILO 3.1a: Scientific Reasoning

Choose course within ILO

ILO 3.1b: Quantitative Reasoning

SOC 301 - Principles of Statistics

ILO 6.1: Technological Competency

Choose course within ILO

ILO 8.1a/12.1: Oral Communication/ Collaborative Engagement

Choose course within ILO

Distinct Discipline Core Courses (4 Courses)

Students must complete 1 course in each of the following 4 ILOs. Each course must be from a different discipline. (A "discipline" is represented by the 3- or 4-letter prefix attached to each course.)

ILO 4.1: Critical Analysis and Reasoning

CRJ 161 Introduction to Criminal Justice

ILO 9.1: Creative and Artistic Expression

Choose course within ILO

ILO 10.1: Ethical Understanding and Reasoning

Choose course within ILO

ILO 11.1: Cultural and Global Awareness and Sensitivity

SOC 262 Dynamics of Race and Ethnicity

Universal Required Modules (2 Courses)

Students must complete the following 2 non-credit modules.
The Modules are not required for Transfer Students, Core-to-Core Students, or BUSCA Students. BUSCA students are required to take modules if/when they pursue a bachelor’s degree.

ILO 7.1a

Health Literacy Module

ILO 7.1b

Financial Literacy Module

Major Requirements

Major requirements include 4 Level Two ILO requirements, fulfilled through the major.

Students in this major must complete 38 courses in total in order to graduate. 12 courses will be from this major program.

Level Two (4 Courses)

Students must complete 1 course/learning experience in each of the 4 commitments.

ILO 2.2: Broader Identity (Capstone Course/Experience)

Fulfilled within major

Choose one ILO from 3.2a, 3.2b, 4.2, 5.2, 6.2, 7.2a, or 7.2b: Expanded Literacies

Fulfilled within major

ILO 8.2b: Effective Expression (Writing-Intensive Course)

Fulfilled within major

Choose on ILO from 10.2, 11.2, or 12.2: Active Responsibility

Fulfilled within major

All Other Required Courses

CRJ 161    Intro to Criminal Justice
CRJ 261    Criminology
CRJ 480    Research Methods (Cross listed with SOC 480)
CRJ 495    Ethics/Senior Seminar
SOC 262   Dynamics of Race and Ethnicity
SOC 301   Stat 1
SOC 302   Stat 2

A. Criminal Justice majors must take at least ONE of these three courses. The other two courses offered in section “B”  may be taken as an elective.

CRJ 324    Policing: Theory and Dynamics
CRJ 325    Criminal Courts
CRJ 326    Institutional and Community Corrections

B. Majors must take at least Four of these courses THREE of which must be CRJ:

CRJ 201    Social Problems
CRJ 280    Criminal Law
CRJ 320    Delinquency and Juvenile Justice
CRJ 324    Policing: Theory and Dynamics
CRJ 325    Criminal Courts
CRJ 326    Institutional and Community Corrections
CRJ 340    Crimes of the Powerful
CRJ 350    Violence in Society
CRJ 370    Crime, Space and Place
CRJ 387    Gender Crime and Justice
CRJ 483    Criminal Justice Research (Cross Listed with SOC 481)
SOC 265   Sociology of Law
ENG 308   Legal Writing
CRJ 481-482 Students who meet the 2.75 GPA requirements, have junior standing, and can be recommended by a faculty member and the department chair are strongly encouraged to take an Internship (CRJ 481-482)

Free Electives

In addition to the requirements listed above, students must take enough courses to the fulfill graduation credit requirements for their School and major.

Dual Major Requirements

REQUIRED FOR DUAL SOCIOLOGY/CRIMINAL JUSTICE DEGREE:

A. Dual Sociology and Criminal Justice Majors must take these TEN classes:

  • CRJ 161 Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CRJ 261 Criminology
  • CRJ 480 Research Methods (Cross-listed with SOC 480)
  • CRJ 495 Senior Seminar: Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice or SOC 481 Research Seminar (Counts as CRJ 483)
  • SOC 150 Principles of Sociology
  • SOC 151 Social Problems and Social Policy (Counts as CRJ 201)
  • SOC 262 Dynamics of Race and Ethnicity in Contemporary Societies
  • SOC 231 Love, Interpersonal Relationships, and Family or SOC 260 Men and Women in Contemporary Society
  • SOC 301 Principles of Statistics
  • SOC 302 Statistical Analysis and Data Base Design
  • SOC 310 Sociological Theory

B. Dual majors must take at least FOUR of these Sociology courses:

  • SOC 238 Environment and Society
  • SOC 265 Sociology of Law (CRJ Elective)
  • SOC 270 Sociology of Education
  • SOC 306 Complex Organizations in Contemporary Society
  • SOC 308 Social Inequality in Contemporary Society
  • SOC 312 Social Movements in Contemporary Society

C. Dual majors must take least FOUR of these Criminal Justice courses:

  • CRJ 161 Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • CRJ 340 Crimes of the Powerful
  • CRJ 350 Violence in Society
  • CRJ 387 Gender, Crime and Justice
  • CRJ 201 Social Problems and Social Justice (Counts as SOC 151)
  • CRJ 280 Criminal Law
  • CRJ 320 Delinquency and Juvenile Justice (Cross-listed with SOC 320)
  • CRJ 324 Policing: Theory and Dynamics
  • CRJ 325 Criminal Courts
  • CRJ 326 Institutional and Community Corrections
  • CRJ 483 Criminal Justice Research
  • SOC 265 Sociology of Law
  • CRJ 340 Crimes of the Powerful
  • ENG 308 Legal Writing
  • SOC Internship (SOC 340) or CRJ Internship (CRJ 481-482). Students who meet the 2.75 GPA requirements, have junior standing, and can be recommended by faculty and the department chair are strongly encouraged to take a Sociology (SOC 340) or CRJ Internship (CRJ 481-482)

Minor Requirements

Any six CRJ classes will satisfy the CRJ minor.

Students should take CRJ 161 (Introduction to Criminal Justice) and CRJ 261 (Criminology) in their freshman year. Requirements and electives should be taken every semester. In the junior year students should take SOC 301 (Principles of Statistics) in the Fall semster and SOC 302 (Statistical Analysis and Data Base Design) in the spring semester. In the their senior year, students should take CRJ 480 (Research Methods) in the Fall semeter and CRJ 495 (Senior Seminar: Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice) in the Spring semester.

Course Descriptions

CRJ 151 - Social Problems and Social Policy

Cross-listed with SOC 151

This course is an exploration of how social conflict and social organization affect human and societal well-being. Topics: mental health, personal safety, economic well-being, and intergroup relations in an industrial society and a developing nation.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

CRJ 161 - Introduction to Criminal Justice

This course is a survey of the discipline, including its use of social sciences and law in understanding the phenomena of crime and justice and how the two relate. Explores criminal justice theory and processes, as well as the roles of ideology, politics, and mass media in shaping crime policy. Seeks to foster deeper perspectives on how justice—for individuals as well as for society—relates to intensely human experiences like freedom and suffering.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall, Spring

ILO Met: ILO 4.1 - Critical Analysis and Reasoning

CRJ 261 - Criminology

This course explores major theories of deviance as they apply to behavior viewed as criminal or delinquent. Draws on a variety of academic perspectives to help understand and explain varied manifestations of crime and criminal behavior. Focus is on classical, positivist, and critical approaches, as well as the social policy implications of various theoretical frames of reference.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

CRJ 280 - Criminal Law

This course provides a journey into the legal principles that underlie substantive criminal law in the United States, including limits on the power of government to define crimes. Consideration of general principles of criminal liability and criminal defenses and legal requirements for specific crimes, including homicide. Appellate court decisions are a major part of the expedition to facilitate understanding of how criminal law is applied in par- ticular fact situations, how it evolves, and how it is influenced by sociopolitical factors.

Number of Credits: 3

How Offered: Face-to-Face

CRJ 320 - Delinquency and Juvenile Justice

This elective course involves a study of why youth become delinquent and the social responses to such behavior, both historically and currently. Includes consideration of definitions, measurement, and theories of delinquency. Also examines the role of socio-demographic factors and juvenile court processing and juvenile corrections. Implications for policy and practice are emphasized.

Number of Credits: 3

How Offered: Face-to-Face

CRJ 324 - Policing: Theory & Dynamics

This course offers an analysis of police roles, including evolution, public perceptions, administration, culture, and police deviance. Social and political contexts are emphasized through incorporation of social science research related to policing and organizations. Encourages integration of concepts of police on a micro level (the police occupation) with a macro level (the context in which social action occurs), facilitating understanding of the complex relationships between a society and its police.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall

How Offered: Face-to-Face

CRJ 325 - Criminal Courts

This course addresses the state and federal criminal courts in the United States. Consideration of social science and legal scholarship with regard to major court actors (especially judges, prosecutors, and defenders) and processes (including bail, plea bargaining, and trials). Also examines non-traditional approaches, such as treatment courts. An important theme is the degree to which the courts effectuate the noble goal of "justice."

Number of Credits: 3

CRJ 326 - Institutional and Community Corrections

This course examines the philosophy and history underlying attempts to deal with persons who commit crime. Emphasizes social science scholarship in corrections, including implications related to social justice. Topics include: philosophies of punishment, prisons, jails, probation, parole, intermediate punishments, capital punishment, and transformative approaches. The social worlds of prisoners are a major focus of the course. Attendance at multiple sessions at one or more corrections sites may be required.

Number of Credits: 3

How Offered: Face-to-Face

CRJ 330 - Constitutional Procedures in Policing

This course provides exposure to the legal rules that are supposed to be followed by law enforcement actors when they investigate crime (conduct searches, make arrests, interrogate suspects). Also, the social contexts of those rules are examined, including issues such as breadth of police powers, individual privacy, unequal enforcement, and political influences. State and federal appellate court decisions are the major means through which legal principles are examined.

Number of Credits: 3

How Offered: Face-to-Face

CRJ 340 - Crimes of The Powerful

This course offers a study of social harms perpetrated by persons of power and influence. Theoretical approaches for understanding elite deviance and legal issues in definition, investigation, prosecution, and sentencing will be considered. Specific crimes of the powerful will be explored, including through case studies.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall

CRJ 350 - Violence in Society

This course provides a study of traditional "street" violence as well as "intimate" violence. A variety of theoretical approaches to understanding violence are explored. A parallel theme is the role of the mass media in shaping how we think about violence.

Number of Credits: 3

How Offered: Face-to-Face

CRJ 355 - Drugs, Crime, and Justice

Cross-listed with SOC 355

This course is designed to provide students with an in-depth understanding of a variety of issues related to drug use, abuse, addiction, drug-related crime and drug control. The course begins with an examination of the effects of drugs on individuals and society, including prevalence rates, theories of addiction and the harms and benefits of use and abuse. The next unit assesses the relationship between criminal activity and drug use, abuse and criminalization. The final unit critically evaluates various drug control strategies, including supply reduction, demand reduction and possible alternatives.

Number of Credits: 3

How Offered: Face-to-Face

CRJ 358 - Crime Mapping

This course will provide an overview of crime theories that emphasize the spatial variation of crime and techniques used in the study of crime and justice. Students will explore why crime occurs where it does as well briefly explore techniques that can be used to map crime (using ArcGIS, a popular mapping system used by local and federal law enforcement agencies in the United States). No prior crime mapping/ArcGIS experience is necessary. Special attention will be given to urban crime patterns, specifically the spatial variation of crime in and around Philadelphia.

Number of Credits: 3

How Offered: Face-to-Face

CRJ 370, 470 - Special Topics in Criminal Justice

This is a course that addresses intensively a particular area of criminal justice. Topics vary from semester to semester.

Number of Credits: 3

How Offered: Face-to-Face

CRJ 385 - Theories of Deviance

This course focuses on an intensive analysis of contemporary theories of deviant behavior. Theories examined through seminar discussions of primary materials and critiqued by consideration of research findings. Social policy implications discussed and specific criminal justice programs considered in the light of these theories.

Number of Credits: 3

How Offered: Face-to-Face

CRJ 387 - Gender, Crime, And Justice

This course is a study of the gendered nature of criminal justice theory, policy, and practice. Among the major themes are: gender differences in criminal behavior, criminal victimization, and criminal processing. Includes consideration of the contributions of feminist criminologies.

Number of Credits: 3

CRJ 480 - Research Methods

This course examines the methodology of social research is performed, including through study- ing examples of criminal justice research. Focus is on becoming a more informed consumer of research information. Topics include: research ethics, sampling, field research, experimental designs, survey research, research using available data, and evaluative research.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall

How Offered: Face-to-Face

Prerequisites: CRJ 161, 261, and junior or senior status

CRJ 481-482 - Criminal Justice Internship

This elective course requires 15 hours per week (for three credits) of a supervised internship in an approved criminal justice setting. Students may take an internship in place of a criminal justice elective, after completion of the sophomore year. The department recommends doing two internships (during different semesters) during the last two years of your college career. To receive 3 credits, the internship must be approved in advance by the internship director for the department. The department recommends that you take 4 regular classes and the internship (done during that same semester) will count as your 5th class. Your grade is determined from a midterm question and answer, a final paper and your on-site supervisor's evaluation of your internship performance.

Number of Credits: 6-Mar

Prerequisites: Rising junior or senior status and minimum overall GPA of 2.7

CRJ 483 - Criminal Justice Research

Each student works on a particular research project in conjunction with a faculty member. Includes preparation of literature review, collection and analysis of data, and preparation of findings in a paper of publishable quality. Faculty authorization required for registration.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Fall

How Offered: Face-to-Face

Prerequisites: CRJ 161, 261, 480, senior status, and minimum overall G.P.A. of 3.0

CRJ 495 - Senior Seminar: Ethical Issues in Criminal Justice

This course is an exploration of the interaction between ethics and criminal justice practice, including application of ethical theory to criminal justice issues. Focus is primarily on normative ethics (both deontological and teleological views), including major theorists. The course helps to integrate knowledge gained from previous courses through the overarching theme of the pursuit of justice as an ethical ideal.

Number of Credits: 3

When Offered: Spring

How Offered: Face-to-Face

Prerequisites: CRJ 161 and 261; at least one of the following: CRJ 324, 325, and 326; and senior status and Criminal Justice Major.