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Undergraduate Criminal Justice (CRIJ) Course Descriptions

1301/CRIJ 1301 Introduction to Criminal Justice (3-0). Topics for this course include history and philosophy of criminal justice and ethical considerations, crime defined, its nature and impact, overview of criminal justice system, prosecution and defense, trial process, corrections.

1306/CRIJ 1306 Courts System and Practices (3-0). Topics for this course include the judiciary in the criminal justice system, right to counsel, pre-trial releases, grand juries, adjudication process, types and rules of evidence and sentencing.

1310/CRIJ 1310 Fundamentals of Criminal Law (3-0). Topics for this course include a study of the nature of criminal law, philosophical and historical development, major definitions and concepts, classification of crime, elements of crimes and penalties using Texas statutes as illustrations, criminal responsibility.

2313/CRIJ 2313 Correctional System and Practices (3-0). Correction in the criminal justice system; organization of correctional system; correctional role; institutional operations: alternatives to institutionalization; treatment and rehabilitation; current and future issues.

2314/CRIJ 2314 Criminal Investigation (3-0). Topics for the course include instruction on investigative theory; collection and preservation of evidence; sources of information; interview and interrogation; uses of forensic sciences; case and trial preparation.

2323/CRIJ 2323 Legal Aspects of Law Enforcement (3-0). Topics for the course include instruction on police authority, responsibilities, constitutional restraints: Law of Arrest; Search and Seizure; Police Liability.

2328/CRIJ 2328 Police Systems and Practices (3-0). Topics for the course include instruction on the police profession, organization of law enforcement systems: The police role; police discretion; ethics; police-community interaction; current and future issues.

3302 Research Methods (3-0). An introduction and overview of the methods used to conduct research in the field of Criminal Justice and social sciences in general.

3303 Theory and Practice in the Juvenile Justice System (3-0). An intensive examination of the juvenile justice process. Topics focus on the specialized nature of the juvenile system, including juvenile law, the varied roles of juvenile courts, the police and correctional agencies, and an analysis of contemporary American juvenile justice philosophy and practice.

3304 Transnational Crime (3-0). This course differentiates the historical and contemporary patterns, modus operandi, capabilities, and vulnerabilities of transnational criminals and 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. In this seminar course the student will conduct directed research on a transnational crime topic and present the results of that research to the class.

3305 Perspectives on Crime in America (3-0). An intensive examination of American crime problems in historical perspective. Through the lens of various perspectives regarding the cause and prevention of crime, the course explores the social and public factors affecting crime, the divergent trends in criminal behavior, and the social characteristics of specific types of criminal deviance.

3306 International Drug Trafficking (3-0). 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. It will also provide a robust examination of public policy issues associated with resolving the national drug control issue, drug trafficking, trends towards decriminalization/legalization, and 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. Professor directed research in any of these drug policy issue areas will close out the course, enabling students to apply knowledge gained from the course to formulate intelligently their own opinions to develop possible societal solutions to this important national policy crisis.

3308 International Human Trafficking (3-0). This course distinguishes between various types of human trafficking; provides an overview of the history of human trafficking and counterstrategies; discusses the causes and consequences of human trafficking; and critically assesses the achievements of counterstrategies devised and implemented by governments, international organizations, and private actors. This is a writing intensive course in which the student will perform directed research on topics related to human trafficking.

3312 Criminal Justice Administration (3-0). This course surveys the managerial and organizational philosophies and principles available to criminal justice administrators. It explores the strengths and weaknesses of various practices used to organize and manage personnel, define operational procedures, and determine essential functions within policing, judicial, and corrections agencies.

3323 Wildlife Crimes (3-0). This course is designed to begin with an overview of the world’s wildlife and conservation crime problem from a global perspective as well as the United States Fish and Wildlife Department. The wildlife crime problem is a preferred economic business practice of many organizations, including transnational organized crime groups and some terrorist organizations. The modules created for use in this course are designed to progress from the world view of wildlife and conservation crime to a more localized perspective that encompasses the full spectrum of social, political, and economic issues affecting the United States. Finally, the violence and threat emanating from many wildlife criminal organizations will be studied, and future trends and implications will top off the course. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Border Security 3323.)

3325 Cyber Space, Cyber Security, and Cyber Crime (3-0). This course provides an overview of cybercrime and its impact on today’s criminal justice system. This course will focus on the type and extent of various cybercrimes, and theoretical explanations of these crimes. Students will also learn about the interrelationships between cybercrime and traditional crime within the context of criminology.

3345 Cybercrime Laws and Procedures (3-0). Students in this course will define current cyber laws and regulations as they relate to cybersecurity and cybercrime. Students will also examine the cybercrime investigation procedure, as well as criminal justice responses to cybercrimes, including how to set up a secure lab, the process for forensic investigation including first responder responsibilities, and how to handle various incidents and information on the various reports used by computer forensic investigators.

4071 Internship in Criminal Justice (1-6 SCH). A participant-observation course designed to familiarize students with the application of knowledge gained in course work and with operations and issues in the areas of local law enforcement or criminal justice agencies. Students must be officially pursuing the criminal justice degree and have senior standing. Instructor approval is required.

4091 Independent Research: 1 to 6. A specialized course that may be directed reading or research for superior students majoring in Criminal Justice. Department approval required.

4310 Community Corrections (3-0). Focuses on the analysis and evaluation of programs and processes in community settings such as diversion, probation, parole, and other community-reintegration procedures. Programs are discussed in terms of definition, history, purpose, possibilities, administration and process, problems, cost, and effectiveness.

4315 Cybercrime Investigation (3-0). Students in this course will conduct an in-depth analysis on investigative processes related to deconstructing and disassembling crimes committed in cyberspace. Students will examine how traditional investigations of crime have each evolved through the use of technology and digitalization to include using computer systems as both tools for crime and targets of crime. Students will also explore and define the various roles of law enforcement in investigating cybercrime, facilitating relationships with other organizations, and managing cyber-victimization.
Prerequisite: Criminal Justice 3325 and 3345.

4330 Seminar on Correctional Problems (3-0). Examination of the most important obstacles faced by corrections in America. Emphasis on professional shortcomings, system deficiencies, and public inadequacies.

4341 Comparative Study of Justice (3-0). This course examines issues related to crime throughout the world. It enables students to learn how to identify, analyze, and compare the criminal justice in the U.S. with those of other countries. Also, it encompasses the basic worldwide philosophies of law and justice and the international cooperation for prime prevention and law enforcement.

4350 Seminar on Police Problems (3-0). An examination of the most important obstacles encountered by American law enforcement with emphasis upon professional shortcomings. Relies heavily upon guided independent student problem identification, research, analysis, and the formulation of recommendations. Requires completion of the law enforcement transfer curriculum and senior standing.

4354 Professionalism and Ethics in Criminal Justice Agencies (3-0). The study of theories and practices in areas of legality, morality, values, and ethics as they pertain to criminal justice. Included will be such topics as police corruption, brutality, and methods of dealing with such practices, as well as the concept of profession and professional conduct. This course is for Border Security or Criminal Justice majors and minors only. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Border Security 4354.)
Prerequisite: Senior standing.

4360 Police Personnel Management (3-0). An examination of the present dimensions and future trends of police personnel management with special emphasis on employee development programs, performance appraisal, discipline, and labor relations, including collective bargaining and police unions.

4369 Gangs: Causes and Consequences (3-0). This course provides students with a comprehensive introduction to gangs. The substantive focus of this course is the causes and consequences of, and responses to gang behaviors and processes. Students will be exposed to a range of issues related to gangs.

4381 Special Topics (3-0). A course dealing with selected topics in the criminal justice field. (May be repeated once for credit when topic varies.)
Prerequisite: Junior standing.