CCJ 4486 Criminal Justice Ethics

Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Missouri State University
Spring 2015
CRM 598
Class Meeting:
Class Location:
Senior Seminar (Hybrid or blended class)
Wednesday 2:30-3:20 pm
Strong Hall 450
Bernard J. McCarthy, Ph.D.
[email protected]
(417) 836-6679 office
(417)576-04935 cell
Office: Strong Hall 222
Office Hours: my official office hours are listed below.
T: 1:30-3:30 pm
W: 10:00-11:00 am, 1:30-2:30 pm
Th: 1:30-3:30 pm
(I am in nearly every day and will be happy to meet with you
outside of these hours)
Catalog Description: CRM 598 Senior Seminar in Criminology
Prerequisite: Criminology major; and senior standing.
Course Description: Examination of contemporary issues involving crime and
justice in society. The seminar integrates coursework taken for the Criminology
major. Preparation for both academic and non-academic careers in criminologyrelated fields is covered. 3(3-0) F,S.
This is the capstone course for Criminology majors. It is the culmination of your
studies in the major and it is where you will have the opportunity to bring it all
together. I use a problem based approach in my teaching and in this class we
will use ethical issues in criminal justice as starting point to analyze issues and
problems in the administration of justice. The course is designed to encourage
you to use and apply the knowledge you acquired in the major to critically
examine and evaluate compelling issues in criminal justice. The criminal justice
system has been defined as a complex decision-making system designed to
prevent and control crime in our society. In this course, we will examine the
ethical issues associated with criminal justice in a democratic society. Criminal
justice is unique among government agencies because it is authorized to deprive
citizens of their rights, liberties and life under certain conditions. On a daily basis,
the criminal justice system tests the power of the state to intervene into the lives
of citizens and we will examine the many questions and issues associated with
this intervention. As part of this course, we will also look at various careers, the
employment prospects in the field and how to prepare for a competitive job
market. Finally, we will discuss how the field of criminal justice integrates
Missouri State’s Public Affairs mission.
Course Goals:
Students will be provided the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the
major to real world problems and issues facing the field of crime and justice.
Specific course objectives include:
 Reviewing and reassessing foundation issues (e.g., justice, discretion,
etc) and problems in criminal justice.
 Identifying and critically reviewing continuing and emerging issues gun
violence, legalization of marijuana and problems in the administration of
justice (conviction of the innocent).
 Examining the moral foundations of criminal justice and identifying how
they express themselves in the operational realities of criminal justice
agencies and in decision-making.
 I identifying key leadership issues in the field.
 Identifying and reviewing solutions to perplexing ethical issues in criminal
 Examining career tracks and identifying the most commonly experienced
ethical challenges within the criminal justice system, as well as reviewing
the strategies to deal with them.
 Providing students with a range of reasoning and problem solving skills
necessary to assess and respond to ethical dilemmas from both an
individual and organizational perspectives.
 Finally, the course will serve as a capstone course for majors by
integrating and critically analyzing crime and justice issues.
Justice, Crime &Ethics (8th) ed. (Braswell, McCarthy and McCarthy)
Note: Estimated royalties from the sale of this book at MSU will be donated to
the Missouri State Foundation for student scholarships.
Important Class Dates:
January 12
January 19
February 16
March 9-15
April 2-5
May 7
May 9-15
Classes Begin
Martin Luther King’s Birthday Holiday (no classes)
President’s Day Holiday
Spring Break
Spring Holiday
Last day of Class:
Final Exams
Special Note Senior Exit Exam Required
Student Assessment:
1. Class Participation
2. 1 Exam: Final reflection paper
3. Policy Analysis Paper
Policy on absences and makeups: No makeups will be permitted for anyone missing a
scheduled assignment or test unless prior permission is granted.
Breakdown on Assessment
1. Class Participation: (60 %)
Attendance and Completion of web assignments.
Article review and presentation 2 pages
Career Planning
o Vita 1-2 pages
o Career description and outlook
o Finding a job in your selected field
2. 1 Final Exam/Reflection paper (based on readings, class assignments and
3. Research/Policy Analysis Paper (10pp)
Outline for Paper:
Introduction: Identify a justice related news article occurring in 2014 that
interests you. Identify the underlying criminal justice issue (policy issues)
and why you picked the topic.
Identify and describe the depth and breadth of the issue using library
resources (just don’t google).
Description of agency or organization most involved with the topic
Describe role of the agency in the criminal justice system and identify the
powers/authority of the agency.
Identify and describe discretionary authority of the agency
Describe the problem/issue you are investigating (Problem Statement)
What are the primary causes of the problem/issue? Also briefly describe
the history of the issue.
What solutions or options are available?
What option or solution is the preferred choice and why?
Ethics Issue: Identify the ethical issues associated with the problem.
What guidance is available to assist with making ethical decisions?
Codes of Conduct?
Based upon your review, what is your assessment that this issue can be
resolved? Explain your answer.
Prior to the submission of the paper students should schedule and appointment and
submit a draft to the writing center on campus for review. This should be accomplished
by April 15, 2013. Your final draft will be submitted to me through the TurnItIn portal on
Note: All students enrolled in the Senior Seminar must take the Criminal
Justice/Criminology Exit Exam. The University’s accrediting agency (The Higher
Learning Commission) requires it. This exam will be graded pass/ fail. However
you will not receive credit for senior seminar without completing the test. This
exam is normally given during the final exam period.
Other Issues:
The use by students of cell phones, Ipads, laptops, pagers, or similar
communication devices including musical devices or radios during scheduled
classes is not permitted unless otherwise instructed.
Students who repeatedly arrive late to class or leave early will have their class
attendance grade penalized.
I intend to encourage class discussion on controversial issues during this class,
such as gun control vs gun rights and the death penalty. You are expected to
conduct yourself in a civil and professional manner.
Statement of nondiscrimination:
Missouri State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution, and
maintains a grievance procedure available to any person who believes he or she
has been discriminated against. At all times, it is your right to address inquiries or
concerns about possible discrimination to the Office for Equity and Diversity, Siceluff
Hall 296, (417) 836-4252. Other types of concerns
(i.e., concerns of an academic nature) should be discussed directly with your
instructor and can also be brought to the attention of your instructor’s Department
Statement on Disability Accommodations:
To request academic accommodations for a disability, contact the Director of
Disability Services, Plaster Student Union, Suite 405, (417) 836-4192 or (417) 8366792 (TTY), Students are required to
provide documentation of disability to Disability Services prior to receiving
accommodations. Disability Services refers some types of accommodation requests
to the Learning Diagnostic Clinic, which also provides diagnostic testing for learning
and psychological disabilities. For information about testing, contact the Director of
the Learning Diagnostic Clinic, (417) 836-4787,
Academic dishonesty policy:
Missouri State University is a community of scholars committed to developing
educated persons who accept the responsibility to practice personal and
academic integrity. You are responsible for knowing and following the
university’s student honor code, Student Academic Integrity Policies and
Procedures, available at and also
available at the Reserves Desk in Meyer Library. Students who violate
standards of academic honesty will fail the course.
Emergency Management Issues:
Students should familiarize themselves with the emergency management
policies of the university. You should know the evacuation procedures of each of
the buildings you use on campus as well as emergency response protocols. I
strongly suggest you sign up for the emergency notification tools the university
use. If you have any questions in this matter please let me know.
Finally, the instructor reserves the right to modify this syllabus based upon
changing conditions
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