Course Information and Outline
Students will engage in a study of the American criminal justice system. Topics to be covered include; evolution of law, types of crime, justice as a system, the police, the courts and prisons. Students will learn through text, class discussions, and student oral presentations. Students will also be exposed to a variety of topics and will meet a number of professionals who work in various jobs related to the field.
· A three-ring binder. The binder must have rings with a diameter of at least 1½ inches. The binder must be divided into 3 clearly labeled sections: Class Handouts, Notes and Homework, and Returned Work. The Notes and Homework section must have lined loose-leaf paper.
· A cover for your textbook. Textbooks are expensive and it is costly to have them fixed/replaced. Students who have seriously damaged their textbooks will be charged for repairs/replacements.
· Pens and pencils (Pencils are needed for Scantron sheets. Pens must be used on written tests, quizzes, and in-class essays.)
· It is always wise to have index cards, highlighters, Post-it notes, and computer storage media (CDs or flash drives) available at home.
The grade for each ten-week period is divided into the following categories:
Homework includes your reading, and other specific assignments. I will assign homework for most classes. The more you focus on and actively engage with your assignments, the more prepared you will be for tests—most of your studying will have been done ahead of time.
Essays will be done in class. Students will often have class time to organize essays beforehand. This will be a major portion of this course in order for to improve persuasive writing skills. Projects are long-term individual or group research assignments. You may be asked to create a poster or pamphlet, prepare a PowerPoint presentation with a group, follow a WebQuest, or participate in a debate.
Participation includes group work, discussions, class and group participation. Class discussions will require that students have done the assigned reading; we will then expand upon that and attempt to make conclusions, connect what we have read to other things we have learned, and see how the content we are studying has relevance to current events. Being disruptive and disrespectful in the classroom will lower your participation grade!
· Quizzes: 35%
Quizzes are based on nightly readings from the textbook or other outside sources. You should always be prepared for a quiz the day after a reading assignment is given.
· Tests, Essays and Projects: 45%
Tests are based on whole chapter and/or larger units of study. Tests will be made up of several types of questions such as multiple-choice, matching, true or false, and fill-in-the-blank. Unit tests will have significant writing sections as well. Presentations will count as test grades.
The two ten-week grades (40% each) and the final exam (20%) will count as the FINAL grade for the course.
With our schedule, classes do not meet every day of the week, so on either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, we will not meet as a class—but students should expect to be working on assignments every night. Being absent on the day class does not meet will not excuse students from turning in work if they were present the day it was assigned as well as the day it is due. It is important not to miss class! Even with borrowing someone else’s notes, it is difficult to make up the things learned from discussions and from hearing and seeing lessons and activities firsthand. Being successful in this course means being here for every class possible.
See the Student Handbook for policies on tardiness, absence, credit, and grades.
Making up work: Obviously, some absences are unavoidable and will be excused. Students may make up work for excused absences. Check the website or contact classmates to get the assignment for the next class (or e-mail me, but I may not be checking my e-mail often once I leave the building for the day). If illness, a family death, or something else means a student will miss several classes, try to reach me so that I make the assignments available in advance. In most cases, make-up work has to be turned in before the end of a unit, but that will depend on when the absence occurs.
Tests and quizzes will be made up as soon as possible—within the first few days of returning to school. See me immediately to arrange to take the test during lunch/activity period or after school.
Cheating and the Honor Code
The Student Handbook describes the consequences for cheating—which includes plagiarism. When any student turns in homework or a test, he/she is saying that he/she did all the work and gave credit to others when their work was used as sources. Copying the exact words out of the textbook to answer assigned questions is plagiarism and is unacceptable. We will be covering source citation in class. For class essays and projects, students will be expected to use formal documentation (such as MLA style).
Success in This Class
A student is the only one who can guarantee his/her success. Teachers, parents, and other students can offer help and guidance, but each individual has to do the work that brings personal success. In high school, grades reflect the effort and the quality of student work. But grades aren’t the only sign of success. I hope this class will be fun for all students and will help them to think about what is happening in the world in terms of what has happened in the past.
For questions or concerns, please see me before school, during lunch/activity period, or after school. Feel free to e-mail me as well.
Rules of the Classroom
This is a short list of my major expectations. I have the right to add or amend rules as we progress through the class if I feel it is necessary and proper.
1. Civility is of the highest importance to successful learning. We learn best when we listen to others, are open to their ideas, and offer others the respect we also wish to receive.
2. Be on time and ready to work and learn. A pass is always required if you are late to class.
3. Once the bell rings, class has started. You should end all personal conversations after the bell rings. Be in your seat and ready to start.
4. Being prepared for class is a sign of respect. Bring all the supplies you need and do all the assigned work.
5. Students will raise their hands if they wish to speak during class. Additionally, students are responsible for listening in class and for all instructions/directions given orally.
6. Students will sign out whenever they leave class and will sign in when they return or are tardy.
7. Food and drink will be allowed in the classroom until it becomes a distraction, makes a mess, or is left behind as trash in the classroom. This includes chewing gum as well.
8. Do not touch anything on my desks without permission. I will respect your property and privacy and demand that you respect mine.
9. We all have rights—to have the quiet atmosphere needed for discussion and learning, to have our property (and communal property, such as the classroom) respected. Students that misuse or abuse classroom materials and resources will lose their privilege to use them.
10. Use of electronic devices such as cell phones and iPods are not allowed in class. They should be turned off and placed in lockers. If they are used during class, those items will be confiscated and a parent/guardian will have to pick them up at school.
11. There will be no whining about or haggling over grades. If you have a question or concern about grades, I will be more than happy to discuss it before school, during lunch/activity, or after school. It is not appropriate for a student to demand shared class time to argue over his/her individual scores.
A Quick Math Lesson
I would like to take a minute to demonstrate the impact a 0 can have on your grades. All too often I see students show little concern for their averages until it is too late to change. I hope this will drive home how important it is to complete your work.
Lets say you have two assignments on one you receive a 100 and on the other a 0. Your average will be a 50 or an F.
Now let’s say you score another 100. 100+100+0 /3= 66.6 Average = D
100+100+100+0 /4= 75 or C
100+100+100+100+0 /5= 80 or B-
So if you get even one zero it will take 4 100’s to get a B-. This of course works the same way for quiz and test averages. Stay on top of the assignments.
Potential Topics to be Covered:
1) Evolution and Necessity of Law:
Why do we need Law?
British Common Law:
2) Crime and Justice in America:
Crime and Justice as Public Policy Issues-
Types of Crime-
The Crime Problem Today-
4) The Criminal Justice System:
Te Goals of the Criminal Justice System-
Criminal Justice in a federal System-
Criminal Justice as a System-
Operations of Criminal Justice Agencies-
The Flow of Decision Making-
Crime and Justice in a Multicultural Society-
5) Criminal Justice and the Rule of Law:
Foundations of Criminal Law-
Substantive Criminal Law-
Procedural Criminal Law-
The Supreme Court Today
History of police-
Law enforcement agencies-
Organization of the Police-
Police and the Community-
7) Police and Constitutional Law:
Legal Limitations on Police Investigation-
Plain View Doctrine-
The Exclusionary Rule-
Courts and Pretrial Process-
Prosecution and Defense-
Determination of Guilt-
Punishment and Sentencing-
Development of Corrections-
Organization of Corrections in the U.S.-
Jails: Detention and Incarceration-
The Law of Corrections-
Correctional Policy Trends-
10) Juvenile Justice:
Youth Crime in the U.S.-
The Development of Juvenile Justice-
The Juvenile Justice System-
The Juvenile Justice Process-
Problems and Perspectives-