Psychology in the Criminal Justice System

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Course Number: PSYCHLGY 7030
Course Name: Psychology in the Criminal Justice System (Online)
Course Description:    This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the use of psychological methodologies and theoretical models within the criminal justice system. Special attention is applied to criminal and police psychology with some coverage of forensic psychology.
Prerequisites:    None
Level: Graduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online

Registration Instructions

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes

  • Critically evaluate both endogenous and exogenous theories of criminal behavior.
  • Assess how our personal conclusions influence our interactions with individuals in and out of the system.
  • Evaluate the usefulness of profiling for law enforcement.
  • Evaluate what patterns of behavior may be population-specific.
  • Recommend group-specific interventions.
  • Evaluate impact of personal and professional ethics.
  • Assess current shifts in terrorist ideology.
  • Evaluate commonalities in recruitment and marketing among various domestic groups.
  • Consider appropriate prevention techniques that balance the needs of the community against the freedoms of the individual.
  • Evaluate current screening/selection processes for law enforcement personnel.
  • Identify personality characteristics that facilitate/inhibit long-term satisfaction with law enforcement careers.
  • Review current psychological research in conflict resolution.
  • Evaluate effective implementation of such research into daily practices.
  • Identify significant stressors in law enforcement.
  • Evaluate current intervention strategies to reduce short- and long-term impact of stress on law enforcement personnel.

Unit Descriptions

Unit 1: Criminal Psychology
Lesson 1: Theories of Deviancy
Lesson 2: Profiling
Lesson 3: Special Groups
Lesson 4: Ethics
Lesson 5: Terrorism

Unit 2: Police Psychology
Lesson 6 Police Personality/Selection
Lesson 7: Crisis Negotiations
Lesson 8: Stressors
Lesson 9: Personal Management

Number of Exams:  There are no exams for this course.

Number of Assignments:  There are 17 individual assignments for this course.

Number of Projects:  There are 4 group assignments for this course.

Grading Information

Assignment Weights and Points

Reaction/critique assignments
Original submissions: 20 points each (commentary component = 10 points + article component = 10 points); 9 submissions @ 20 points each = 180 points total; Reactions/follow-up discussion to your and others' commentaries = 50 points total.

Group exercises
Topic submissions: 5 points each; 2 topic submissions (1 per exercise) @ 5 points each = 10 points total
Final group submissions: 30 points each; 2 final group submissions (1 per exercise) @ 30 points each = 60 points total

Hot Topics
Defense of your topic: 20 points
Critique of others': 30 points total

Course discussions and Icebreaker assignment
Icebreaker: 5 points
Responses to other students' reaction/critique submissions: 20 points total

Expectations What follows is a description of what is expected from you for each assignment and how that is reflected in the point scale shown here:
100%: Writer responded fully to what the assignment entailed. Analysis was clear and concise, and excellent supporting materials were provided to buttress position. Work was free (mostly) of grammatical and spelling errors.
80%: Writer responded minimally to what the assignment entailed. Analysis was either vague or inconsistent. Supporting documents were weak or irrelevant to point.
50%: Writer failed to adequately respond to assignment. Responses were lacking clear support. Poor writing mechanics were evident.

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