The basic course to provide the student with an orientation to the
criminal justice system. The course is the backbone of the criminal
justice curriculum that shows the relationship of the administration of
justice system with the community. It orients the student to a potential
for all persons to have a better understanding of the law and the function
and complexity of the system.
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the evolution of the administration of
2. List the objectives of the system, the crime
problem and role expectation of criminal justice personnel.
3. List the system's responsibilities to the communi ty,
some general concepts in crime causation, and the social implications
of crime on society.
4. Demonstrate knowledge about the various agencies, their organizational
structure, and roles of each subsystem within the criminal justice
5. Identify through affective senses an appreciation of education,
training, and professionalism in the system.
6. The student will learn concepts of the Criminal Justice System
identified in Learning Domain 2 (min. 8 hrs.) of the Basic Law
Enforcement Course Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training
(P.O.S.T.) Objective numbers covered: 1.7.1, 1.7.2, 1.8.1, 1.9.1,
1.9.2, 1.10.7, 3.37.1 (Refer to course outline for specific content).
a. Attendance and class participation
b. Testing and grading policies
c. Outside class assignments
d. Explanation of the AJ/Basic Course "Transition Program - Project"
2 Overview of the Criminal Justice System
a. Philosophy of the justice system in a democratic society.
b. Philosophy of the social control over system components
c. Major goals of the criminal justice system - Law Enforcement,
Judicial, Corrections (1.7.2)
d. "Cause and Effect" relationship between system components.
3. Evolution of Criminal Justice System
a. History of the American system of justice (legal-social)
b. Development of the subsystems
4. The explanation and scope of the crime problem
a. Criminology and concepts of crime causation
b. Sources of crime data (Uniform Crime Reports/National Crime
survey/"Dark Figure of Crime" - unreported crime).
c. Volume and rates of criminal activity
d. Victimology and fear of crime
e. Research methodology and intrepretation.
5. The development and structure of law enforcement.
a. Key historical events which marked the development of law
enforcement in the United States and California
6. Organization and operation of law enforcement
a. Identification of principal local, state, and federal law
enforcement agencies (1.7.1 & 1.8.1)
7. Innovations and role expectations for law enforcement personnel
a. Constitutional provisions - Effects of legal interpretations
(search and seizure, Miranda, use of force).
b. Emphasis upon order maintenance.
c. Concepts in patrol and investigative methodology (community-
oriented policing; use of computes; scientific innovation in
the analysis of evidence).
d. Overseeing the police - citizen complaint investigation,
civilian review, ombudsman.
e. Equal opportunity employment and the changing faces of the
8. Structure and Role of Courts
a. Federal (United States Supreme Court, U.S. Circuit Courts
of appeal, U.S. District Court).
b. California Appellate Courts (District Court of Appeals and
Supreme Court (1.9.1).
c. County Trial Courts (Justice, Municipal, Superior (1.9.1)
d. Court officers - roles and expectations (1.7.1).
9. Key Steps in the Judicial Process (1.9.2)
d. Preliminary hearing
e. Pre-plea conference
10. Constitutional Law in the Judicial System
a. Identify key U.S. Constitutional rights protected by the 1st.
4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 14th (Due Process and Equal Protection)
11. Prosecutor's Role in the Judicial System
a. U.S. Attorney
b. State Attorney General
c. District and City Attorney (1.7.1)
d. Prosecutor's use of discretion: legal sufficiency, system
efficiency, trial sufficiency.
12. Defense Attorney's Role in the Judicial System
a. Public Defender (1.7.1)
b. Private attorney and appointed counsel
c. Defense counsel as an "agent-mediator"
13. Real vs. Ideal System of Justice
a. Due process model and crime control model
b. Plea bargaining - role and purposes
c. "Going rate", pre-plea conference, "copping out".
14. Purpose and Structure of the Correctional System
a. Contemporary correctional philosophy (warehousing v. rehabilita-
tion, 8th Amendment issues, recidivism, increased commitment
rates,inmate code, special population problems,"shock probation"
b. California Department of Corrections overview.
c. County and local corrections (1.7.1)
15. Probation and Parole
a. Probation definition and purposes (1.7.1 & 1.10.7)
b. Probation functions - investigation, supervision, institutions.
c. Parole definition and purposes (1.7.1 & 1.10.7)
d. Parole functions - supervision
16. Special Issues Affecting the Criminal Justice System
a. Social change and challenge (hate crimes, gangs)
b. Role and impact of changing demographics & cultural diversity in
the justice system.
17. Career Paths for Criminal Justice Employment
a. Role of education & training
b. Job Preparation
c. Employment detractors (background, use of drugs, etc.)
d. Pre-employment testing procedures and hiring process (local,
18. Review of Course Objectives & Final Examination
California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training,
California Dept. of Justice, Basic Law Enforcement Course Unit
Guides 1 and 2. (1996)
Cole, George F., THE AMERICAN SYSTEM OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE,7th ed.,Brooks/
Cole Publishing Co.: Monterey, 1994.
N.C.J.R.S. MONTHLY ACCESSIONS LIST. Contact: Teresa Turner, National
Institute of Justice/NCJRS, Box 6000, Rockville, MD 20850.
Newman, Donald J., Patrick R. Anderson, INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINAL
JUSTICE, 5th ed., Random House, Inc.:Westminister, MD, 1995.
Cole, George and Christopher Smith, CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN AMERICA,
Wadsworth Publishing Co., San Francisco, 1996.