Pre-Test Take the Pretest above. This is not a test for a grade. It is aimed at finding out how much the class as a whole knows about law and the legal system before beginning the program.
Syllabus Review We will go over it word-by-word. There will be no excuse for not knowing the expectations of this class.
Getting To Know You Here's where you get to tell me something about yourself and share your expectations for our time together. This is a new class, so if you are interested in something not on the syllabus, I will take that into account and modify the class if needed.
Week 2 THE NATURE OF CRIME, POLICING, AND THE COURTS
Four Components of the Criminal Justice System The adult criminal justice system is comprised of four components; legislation, law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Each of these four components is comprised of subcomponents. Furthermore, each component and subcomponent has a specific function. Who Makes Laws In general, the legislative component is responsible for enacting laws that define offending behavior, as well as supporting interventions and a host of other societal laws. Proactive vs. Reactive Policing Is it better for police to stay out of our way until they are requested, or should they actively work to prevent crime? .
The court component is comprised of numerous court structures such as civil courts, adult criminal courts, and specialty courts such as drug courts, mental health courts, and domestic violence courts, among others. These courts hear specific types of cases. Courts provide justice in response to a range of criminal, non-criminal, and social matters. Justice options can include punishment, treatment focused on rehabilitation, or a combination of these two options.
The corrections component includes institutional facilities, such as city or county jails, and State, Federal and private prisons, as well as community-based supervision settings including probation and parole. A former offender released from prison may be placed on parole supervision while living in the community. The former offender may be mandated to comply with parole conditions or face violations, which could result in a variety of sanctions including re-incarceration. These conditions may be drug testing or participating in a treatment program, for example. Conversely, a parolee may be released from prison without conditions.
Week Three Police and Law Enforcement Overview
Basics Law enforcement describes the agencies and employees responsible for enforcing laws, maintaining public order, and managing public safety. The primary duties of law enforcement include the investigation, apprehension, and detention of individuals suspected of criminal offenses. Some law enforcement agencies, particularly sheriff’s offices, also have a significant role in the detention of individuals convicted of criminal offenses.
Training Sworn law enforcement officers generally receive training throughout their careers, beginning with basic training for entry-level recruits, followed by in-service training. Basic law enforcement training academies are operated by state-level organizations.
Use Of Force As part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Congress obligated the Attorney General to “acquire data about the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers,” and “publish an annual summary of the data acquired” (see 34 U.S.C. §12602).
WEEK FOUR Week 7&8 – Penal Systems Overview Week 9&10 – Role and Function of the Police Week 11&12 – Civil Vs. Criminal Law Week 13& 14 – Pretrial and Trial Procedures Week 15&16 – Punishment and Sentencing