Key Concepts in Research
Students will summarize key concepts in criminological theories, evaluate strengths and weaknesses of the theories, and apply the theories to practical problems in sociology and the criminal justice system. Students will read, evaluate, and summarize current research and theory on crime and criminal justice.
Major Elements of Criminal Justice System
Students will learn the major elements of the criminal justice system and how they operate. Students will observe and evaluate law enforcement, courts, jails, and prisons using sociological tools and theories. Students will use research, theory, and logic to analyze issues and prepare policy recommendations.
Students will write a professional research paper in which they formulate an original research problem on some aspect of crime or the criminal justice system; conduct a literature review on the problem; use the literature and theory to refine the problem and develop specific testable hypotheses; identify a data set to test the hypotheses; describe the methods used to test the hypotheses (sample, measures, analysis, missing data); analyze the data and test the hypotheses; report the results; relate the findings to the hypotheses and discuss their meaning for theory and practice.