Charles W Russo
Ph.D.: University of Central Florida
DEGREE AT A GLANCE:
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice prepares students for a wide range of careers within the criminal justice field, and at the same time enhances the professional career paths of those already within the discipline. The degree program’s interdisciplinary approach provides students with a sound knowledge base in the areas of U.S. law enforcement, criminology, investigations, law, and community relations. A wide range of course offerings further enable students to focus on juvenile issues, causes of crime and criminal behavior, corrections and incarceration, investigative procedures/techniques, and forensics. For those students interested, concentrations in Organizational Law Enforcement Leadership and Maritime Law Enforcement are available. The curriculum also provides the background and educational experience necessary for those who may wish to later pursue graduate study.
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In addition to the institutional and general education level learning objectives, the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice also seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. With reference to each of the respective areas of criminal justice, graduates in this degree program will be able to:
The criminal justice degree program provides graduates with an in depth understanding of areas such as juvenile issues, causes of crime and criminal behavior, corrections and incarceration, investigative procedures/techniques, and forensics. Some professions pursued by graduates may include police officer, sheriff, deputy, ATF agent, compliance officer, corrections officer, court clerk, crime scene investigator, criminologist, customs agent, DEA agent, FBI agent, CIA agent, forensics, private investigator, security, probation officer, secret service, U.S. marshals, as well as many other occupations.
Useful Skills within the Criminal Justice Field
Listening: Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary
Administrative Law Judges, Adjudicators, and Hearing Officers
The U.S. Department of Labor defines a Probation Officer as “someone who works with and monitors offenders to prevent them from committing new crimes.”
Types of Probation Officers:
Adult probation officers
Juvenile probation officers
Correctional treatment specialists
Education and Other Requirements
While each state, county, or agency has different requirements, most require a bachelor’s degree, a minimum age requirement of 21, and the ability to pass various background and drug testing.
Training for probation officers varies by agency, and is typically sponsored by the local, state, or federal government; many require candidates to pass a certification test.
For more information on becoming a probation officer, check with your local and state correctional facilities.
Gaining real life experience is an ideal way to start a new career. The career services website has an extensive list of internships and fellowships. Browse through the internships organized by interest or by federal program.
There are government-organized internship programs which provide students or recent graduates the opportunity to gain real-life experience. Many require students to maintain either a half-time or full-time student status. The best ways to identify potential opportunities such as these is to contact branch offices directly, to search USAJobs.gov, or to look at the agencies’ career portals. Keep in mind that these positions are not always posted online, so direct contact with the agency is key.
The Pathways Program is a federal initiative that offers internship programs for current students as well as training and career development opportunities for recent graduates. Recent graduates must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion (except for veterans; due to their military service obligation, they will have up to six years to apply). The internship program for current students replaces the replaces the former Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP).
The Presidential Management Fellows Program (PMF)
PMF is designed to attract outstanding federal service members from a wide variety of academic disciplines who have a clear interest in, and commitment to, a career in the analysis and management of public policies and programs. To be eligible, an individual must be a graduate student completing or expected to complete, during the current academic year, an advanced degree. Graduate students who have had their degree conferred in the preceding two years from the opening of the vacancy announcement are also eligible for PMF.
The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)
WRP is coordinated by the Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Defense, and aims to provide summer work experience and, in some cases, full-time employment to college students with disabilities. The program develops partnerships with other federal agencies, each of which makes a commitment to provide summer jobs and a staff recruiter. Each year, recruiters interview about 1,500 students with disabilities at college and university campuses across the nation and develop a database listing the qualifications of each student.
There are several government agencies and organizations that seek candidates with degrees in criminal justice. The list below provides a few places one might find employment specific to this degree.
Federal Agency Examples
While many of the major job search engines will have several positions to choose from, the list below are specific to the criminal justice field.
Professional organizations are a good way of staying up to date on the new technology, tools, and best practices in your field. Professional organizations are also a great networking opportunity. Below are a few professional organizations you may be interested in as a criminal justice major.
Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA)
Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA)
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
Crime Stoppers International (CSI)
The Institute for Law Enforcement Administration (ILEA)
International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA)
JUSTNET: Justice Technology Information Network (NLECTC)
Law Enforcement and Emergency Services Video Association (LEVA)
National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO)
National Center for Rural Law Enforcement (NCRLE)
National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Law Enforcement Publications
National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC)
National Sheriffs' Association (NSA)
Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
Airborne Law Enforcement Association 44th Annual Conference
Sept. 23-25, 2014
International Association of Chiefs of Police
Oct. 25-28, 2014
International Police Mountain Bike Association 24th Annual Conference
April 11-18, 2015
Law Enforcement and Emergency Video Association
Oct. 6-10, 2014
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
National Sheriffs’ Association
June 26-July 1, 2015
The course will provide the student with an overview of the American criminal justice system as an interdisciplinary social science involving aspects of criminology, sociology, law, and political science. This course will also examine the complexity of the American Criminal Justice System through its administrative process.
This course will examine research methodology and the application of research to the criminal justice system. The course will focus on the methods commonly utilized in social science research such as qualitative, quantitative and mix methodology. Additionally the course will examine the application of theory, inquiry structure, ethical concerns, and data interpretation in the research process. Students will also evaluate peer reviewed research articles and discuss their applicability to criminal justice and security management issues. Students shall also be introduced to the American Psychological Association (APA) 6th edition style of writing in regards to basic research paper formatting.
This course is an evaluation of the breadth and complexity of contemporary police administration from a systems perspective, a traditional structural perspective, a human behavioral perspective, and a strategic management perspective. Students will apply terms and ideas in the study of policing; and be able to demonstrate and assess the historical development of law enforcement at local, state and federal levels. Additionally they will be able to critically analyze contemporary problems and trends facing law enforcement agencies including their functions, operations and management styles. Managerial theories and practices in organizations will be examined and assessed as to their application in law enforcement organizations.
This course examines criminal behavior in relationship to various criminological theories and analyses these theories through a historical context. These theories include classical theories and current theories of crime as they relate to criminal involvement. Additionally this course will analyze society's response to criminal behavior through the assessment of legal approaches and the various aspects of the criminal justice system. Additionally types of criminal behavior and the systems reaction to these crimes will be distinguished. Research affecting social policy and public crime concerns are examined including social problems and social responsibility perspectives as well.
This course is an analytical examination of crime detection and solution, including such topics as crime scene procedures, physical evidence, interviews, field notes and reporting, follow-up investigation, interrogation, and rules of evidence. Specific detail is given to investigations involving homicide, sex-related offenses, and crimes against children, robbery, larceny, vehicle thefts, computer crime, environmental crime, arson, and drug abuse. There is an in depth analysis of investigation methodologies addressing inductive and deductive reasoning to assess the decision making process to solve crimes.
This course concentrates on the major functions, structures and processes that underline ethical issues within the American Criminal Justice System. This course will explore the structure and nature of the various types of ethical debates within the American judicial system. There will be an assessment of the ethics in criminal justice, as it explores the issues of morality, virtue, honesty, and making ethical decisions in the United States criminal justice system. Assessments of various issues will be examined as they relate to decision making and ethics.
A comprehensive study of the context, practices, and special interests of corrections. Topics include the early history and current trends of correctional thought and practice, jails and other short-term facilities, intermediate sanctions, the prison experience, women in prison, institutional management, educational/treatment programs, prisoners' rights, and race/ethnicity challenges.
This course is an introduction to Constitutional Law, the Supreme Court, and other aspects of the legal system using the case analysis approach. Its concentration is on the study and analysis of United States Constitution. It emphasizes an in-depth study of the Bill of Rights, specifically those rights pertaining to Civil Liberties. Topics include: the historical events that led to the development of the Constitution; principles governing the operation of the Constitution and the role of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Judiciary; characteristics and powers of the three branches of government; development of due process and individual protections to include right to speech, freedom of religion, right to bear arms, right to vote, and right to counsel.
This course familiarizes the student with the basic law, procedures and rules that govern the criminal justice system in America. It is designed to produce students who can understand, appreciate and discuss the benefits and problems with the criminal justice system in America today. The students will become conversant with the Bill of Rights, basic criminal law terminology and procedures. The course emphasizes the principles of criminal liability and the acts, mental state, and attendant circumstances that are necessary ingredients in crimes against persons or property or in offenses involving theft, fraud, drugs, morality and decency, public peace, or public justice.
This is a procedural law course which includes an overview of the law of arrests, search, and seizure, the making of bail, adjudication, pre- and post-trial activities and the nature of plea bargaining. Substantial emphasis is given the constitutional protections afforded through the Bill of Rights. This course examines procedures used by American police, prosecutors, and courts to bring criminal cases to trial and explores some of the defendant’s rights at trial and on appeal. The course will consider the Common Law, constitutional, and statutory bases of procedural practices in American criminal law. The student will be exposed to a comprehensive overview of the processes involved in the use of criminal evidence including rules of evidence; arrests, searches, and seizures; interrogations, confessions, and non-testimonial evidence, impeachment and cross-examination of witnesses; opinion evidence; hearsay evidence; and articles and exhibits of evidence.
Forensic anthropology is the application of physical anthropology in a medico-legal context; forensic anthropologists use the tools of archaeology and physical anthropology to discover, recover and identify human remains. Students will be exposed to the interdisciplinary, scientific basis of forensic anthropology, along with legal and ethical issues forensic anthropologists face. The course is designed to give students a broad overview of the field by introducing them to the process of human remains identification; the archaeological and laboratory methods incorporated in human remains recovery; and, a review of the work forensic anthropologists work do with law enforcement, forensic pathologists and odontologists in recovering and collecting victims of foul play as well as those of mass fatalities, such as the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
This course is an introduction to the philosophy, history, and constitutional limitations of law enforcement. The course will focus on the function of law enforcement within society, ethics and professionalism, theories of law enforcement, and the legal aspects that impact law enforcement.
This course will provide an introduction to the collection, preservation, and basic crime scene investigations. Furthermore this course will also focus on the laws and court decisions relating to the admissibility of evidence as well the appropriate methods of interrogation and its uses in the criminal justice process.
This course will explore the stresses of law enforcement, specific stress factors in law enforcement (i.e., shift work, hazards and dangers, dealing with death and severe injury, post-shooting trauma, testifying in court, and undercover work). Methods and techniques for reducing stress will be discussed as will applying these techniques in the field.
This course will provide an in-depth overview of the concepts and theories associated with being a patrol officer. The student will become familiar with aspects of community-oriented policing; problem-oriented policing, civil liability, ethics and day-to-day police activities that make patrol work the backbone of law enforcement.
This course will explore the sociological and psychological perspectives of sexual crimes as well as examine the legal and forensic aspects of rape. The impact rape has on its victims and society's reactions to sexual violence will be analyzed not only within the United States but around the world. Additionally the class will focus on aspects of causation and rehabilitation of rape crime as well as the proper collection, preservation and analysis of evidence in rape crimes.
This course will introduce students to the principles of juvenile delinquency. It will provide a historical overview of juvenile delinquency in America. The course will examine the psychological, social, and environmental theories of juvenile delinquency while also covering the juvenile court system and treatment options for delinquency.
This course will provide an overview of rehabilitation, reentry, and reintegration through examining the most current research. Students will explore the corrections topics such as reentry, drug treatment, probation and parole, and community corrections.
This course is an in-depth study of the epidemic of drug abuse and its association with crime. The course encompasses all aspects of both legal and illegal drug abuse, pharmacology, gang activity, youth, violence and behavioral pathology. This course will also provide an examination of public policy issues associated with resolving the national drug control issue, drug trafficking, legalization, and the law enforcement response. Students will have the opportunity to discuss contemporary drug related issues of the day related to enforcement, medical treatment, harm reduction or educational responses.
This course will examine a broad range of contemporary criminal justice issues. Including but not limited to sentencing issues, gun control, profiling and search and seizure laws. Students will required to research current criminal justice issues from journals and news articles in order to exchange analytical observations while employing concepts and methodologies covered in this course.
An examination of the theory and practice of probation and parole, including pre-sentence investigation, supervision of probationers, parole administration and services, treatment theory, parole officers, juvenile services, and new concepts (such as community-based corrections, the justice model, and determinate sentencing) that have impacted traditional probation and parole theory.
The course will prepare students to use intelligence methodologies and templates to assist in case support or investigations, security and counterintelligence, trend development and forecasting, and efficient use of open source information to maximize resources. The course will examine the current use of intelligence in law enforcement (federal, state, and local) and its applications in support of investigations and operational planning. The methods examined in this course will be applicable in the private sector.
This course assesses the problems associated with domestic violence and also explores into the social, economic, political, and cultural stereotypes of causation. There will be an examination of the relationship between family life and anti-social behavior. A review of various theories as well as research regarding the effect of family structure, marital conflict, parental anti-social behavior, and parent’s child rearing practices on a child’s risk for conduct problems and delinquency are assessed. Adult anti-social behavior is also explored in terms of showing how various family socialization processes and childhood behavior problems influence probability of later adult crime. Students will also evaluate the aspects of gender, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status of victims of family abuse and their perpetrators.
This course will provide an examination of the evolution of organized crime in the United States, with a focus on the social and legal factors that contributed to its development and the groups involved. Additionally this class will explore how organized crime is structured and how it can be exposed and controlled. Theoretical explanations of organized crime are also covered.
This course covers issues in relation to street gangs and their general impact on the criminal justice system. This course will focus on explaining gang practices, methods of communication, structure, and enforcement techniques as well as the history of gangs in the United States. Finally, the course will help the learner by explaining basic ways to deal with and suppress gang violence in the United States and elsewhere.
This course explores criminal behavior, its motivation, and the environmental influences and patterns of offending. Other topics examined are the approaches to profiling and how these investigative techniques are applied to helping solve crimes. This course will address aspects of behavior, taking into consideration the definition of criminal profiling as the inference of offender traits from physical and/or behavioral evidence. Evaluations will be made of the history, theories, and investigative techniques regarding profiling crime offenders, using a unique blend of both social science, as well as psychological and legal research. It includes legal case excerpts to demonstrate the role of the profiler (investigator). This provides the student a solid knowledge foundation of the integral relationship between the profiling techniques and theories of criminal behavior and the court system. It is recommended students take either CMRJ101 or CMRJ306 prior to enrolling in this course.
This course will examine contemporary practices for analysis and measurement of crime including the use of geographical information systems (GIS) to map various aspects of crime. Modern crime analysis focuses on reducing crime and improving police efficiency by illustrating the impact of crime on the community and community impact on crime through the use of the SARA (scanning, analysis, response, & assessment) problem-solving model. Crime analysis facilitates informed decision making on criminal activity and prevention, thereby being instrumental in helping society learn the linkages between crime and other factors such as poverty or drug abuse. Additionally there is a review of the crime analysis function within the law enforcement organization and a demonstration of how to develop, implement, and operate a crime analysis unit.
The purpose of this course is to educate students regarding the everyday operations of state and federal crime laboratories and the forensic services provided by these organizations. The course is scientifically oriented and will concentrate on the significance of forensic evidence and various testing procedures and instrumentation used to analyze biological, chemical, pattern, and trace items of evidence. Another focus will be the proper recognition, collection and preservation of physical evidence obtained from systematic searches of crime scenes.
This upper level, undergraduate course focuses on the effect of the media on law enforcement, crime, and violence. Various theories such as strain and behaviorism and their impact will be analyzed vis-a-vis late modernity and post modernism society. Emphasis is given to the negative effects phenomenon, media construction of crime news, portrayal of law enforcement, and the “surveillance culture,” as well as the impact of the internet on deviance. It provides students with an overview of problems affecting law enforcement, crime, and the public in general in assimilating and understanding information from various media outlets. Important topics such as the media’s impact on moral panics, and portrayal of female offenders will also be explored.
Human Trafficking is an upper level undergraduate course designed to help students gain a better understanding of contemporary human trafficking and modern day slavery. In this course students will assess the different legal frameworks used to combat human trafficking around the world and analyze the different discourses used to discuss the trafficking phenomena. Students will learn important terminology in this field, the different types of human trafficking that exist and an understanding of the scope of the problem, both domestically and globally. In addition, the course will explore the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual trauma experienced by victims of human trafficking and the methods used to recruit and control them. The roles entities such as government, the criminal justice system, the media, faith-based organizations, organized crime, and culture play in this complex human rights and social justice issue.
This course will examine contemporary practices for investigating sudden, unexpected and violent death. Two major topics will be explored: the first focusing on the manner of death (the social circumstances under which the death occurs), the second focusing on the cause of death (the particular material actions which result in death).The following types of deaths will be considered: asphyxial, blunt and sharp force, firearms, natural causes, mass disaster, child abuse, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and suicide. Estimating the postmortem interval and identification of human remains will also be considered. It is recommended that students take CMRJ306 before enrolling in this course.
Pre Reqs: Criminal Investigation(CMRJ306)
An opportunity for Criminal Justice students to pursue an independent research project or examine a specific area of Criminal Justice under the mentorship of a single professor. Participation is at the discretion of the faculty member. This course will require a major research paper of approximately 25-30 pages; there will be no examination. Students will submit a proposal prior to the start of the project, an annotated bibliography, and a final paper at week 8, all of which will count toward the final grade. To be eligible for an independent study, students must be enrolled in a bachelors degree program, must have completed 24 hours at APUS toward their current degree program, and should have already contacted a professor and gained approval for the independent study topic. Once these conditions are met the student should contact his/her academic advisor. Once the course is open the student must complete an official online registration for the course.
This course develops interpersonal, group, and presentational communication skills that are applicable in personal and professional cross-cultural relationships, and focuses on differences in values, message systems, and communication rules across cultural boundaries and in multicultural settings.
This course is designed to focus on communication within the workplace, personal activities, and family life in order to establish and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships. This course serves as an introduction to major theories and empirical research regarding the role of interpersonal communication as it relates to personal, contextual, and cultural variables in the development of various types of relationships.
This course differentiates historical and contemporary patterns, modus operandi, capabilities, and vulnerabilities of organized crime organizations. Course content includes a review of the contemporary literature of South American, Mexican, Asian, European, and African criminal enterprises, traditional organized crime, Outlaw motorcycle gangs and transnational criminal enterprises.
The rapid increase in multinational analysis and transnational organized crime, corporate drug trafficking organizations, and the impact of crime on national and international policy has created a critical need for law enforcement intelligence experts in the relatively new field of criminal intelligence. The course provides the student with an introduction to the methods and techniques of criminal intelligence analysis and strategic organized crime. It will demonstrate how to predict trends, weaknesses, capabilities, intentions, changes, and warnings needed to dismantle criminal organizations.
This course is an introduction to the structure of the American court system. Topics include prosecution, right to counsel, pretrial release, grand jury process, and sentencing concepts. The course will assess the U.S Courts System and how it relates to the criminal justice system in America. Students will become familiar with the chronological events from the arrest process to sentencing and appeals. Students will be able to explain concepts of stop and frisk arrest, searches under warrant, and presentation of the case to the magistrate. Assessments of the criminal trial process and phases of pretrial and trial proceedings will be examined.
This undergraduate course will focus on the basic legal rules governing kinds of information which can be developed and received at trial, and how evidence may be considered by the trier of fact. Students will study how policies favoring probative evidence must be weighed against policies protecting against hearsay, opinion, prejudice, time consumption, and other harmful matters. Proper examination and impeachment of witnesses will also be explored.
This course examines various elements and aspects of International and Domestic Terrorism. Students explore the cultural and ideological philosophies, as well as the social, economic, political, and religious conditions of select states, groups, and individuals that comprise the phenomena of terrorism. By examining the historical and contemporary aspects of terrorism students develop a working knowledge of the current Global War on Terror and are better prepared to comprehend terrorist motives and ideologies. Topics include: History and Development, Types of Terrorism, Conventional and Unconventional terrorist tactics, the Media’s impact on terrorism including the US Counterterrorism Policies. Particular attention is addressed to the Al-Qaeda terrorist network.
This course is an overview of the principles and issues in business and organizational security management. It reviews the classical management functions including the role of the Chief Security Officer and the principles of organizing the security function. It assesses the traditional management theories and concepts of planning, staffing, span of control as they are applied to the organization. Students examine the challenges embodied in various aspects of physical, personnel, and information security. Principles of loss prevention and the protection of assets are also considered. The history, legal foundations, functions, operations, processes, and tools of security management are explored to ensure the student has a broad understanding of security management and its current role in government and business operations.
This course is designed to provide a solid foundation for undergraduate study in the online environment. Students will be introduced to learning theory, the tools available in the online classroom and campus, and online research. Identification of personal learning style allows students to improve their study/learning techniques and prepares them to succeed in college level courses. Students will be introduced to formatting and citation styles. APUS policy and procedure is addressed. There is an emphasis on written communication to assist students in the transition to the online environment.
This seminar is a senior level course designed to allow the student to review, analyze, and integrate the work the student has completed toward a degree in Criminal Justice. The student will complete an approved academic project or paper that demonstrates mastery of their program of study in a meaningful culmination of their learning, as well as assess their level of mastery of the stated outcomes of their degree requirements. Student must have SENIOR standing to register
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