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Criminal Justice

Major in Criminal Justice
Minor in Criminal Justice
Approved Optional Courses
Area Certificate in Criminal Justice
Departmental Honors Program
Course Descriptions



Marla Sandys


Ellen Dwyer, Harold Pepinsky, Leon Pettiway, Roger Levesque

Associate Professors

Steven Chermak, Stephanie Kane, Mary Lee Luskin, William Oliver, Philip Parnell, William Alex Pridemore, Steve Russell, Kip Schlegel, Arvind Verma

Assistant Professors

Veronica Herrera, Richard Spano, Jody Sundt

Senior Lecturer

William Head

Academic Advising

Tara Wargel, Sycamore Hall 336, (812) 855-9662

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The Department of Criminal Justice (CJUS) focuses on social norms, rules, and laws; the causes of their violations; and the social and legal response to these violations. Systems of regulation, including the criminal justice system and dispute resolution processes, are studied and evaluated as organizational, social, and cultural processes.

Criminal Justice is an interdisciplinary field that draws on the social sciences, legal studies, and the humanities. Teaching and research are carried out by a diverse group of scholars trained in criminal justice and criminology, law, history, political science, anthropology, sociology, geography, and psychology. The degree is designed for students interested in studying justice-related issues, including law.

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Major in Criminal Justice


Students must complete the following:

  1. At least 27 credit hours in criminal justice, including P100, P200, P202, P290, and K300 (or a substitute approved by the department; see undergraduate advisor).
  2. Two 400-level courses in criminal justice, and two electives. The electives must be at the 300- or 400-level. Only one of the electives may be taken from the list of Approved Optional Courses; the remaining elective must be in criminal justice.

Majors may substitute a course in statistical methods from another department of the College of Arts and Sciences, but in that case no courses from the list of Approved Optional Courses may count toward the major.

Students must complete the degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences including the requirement for a minimum of 25 College of Arts and Sciences credit hours in the major subject area.

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Minor in Criminal Justice


  1. P100, P200, and P202.
  2. Two courses in criminal justice at the 300-400 level to be taken on the Bloomington campus.
  3. At least 9 credit hours of the above courses must be taken in residence on the Bloomington campus.

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Approved Optional Courses

Note that courses taken in the School of Journalism or the School of Public and Environmental Affairs will be outside credit hours for College of Arts and Sciences students.

African American and African Diaspora Studies

A382 Black Community, Law, and Social Change (3 cr.) S & H


E405 Principles of Social Organization (3 cr.)


E308 Survey of Public Finance (3 cr.) S & H


A325-A326 American Constitutional History (3-3 cr.) S & H


P250-P251 Symbolic Logic I-II (3-3 cr.) N & M
P352 Logic and Philosophy (3 cr.) A & H
P342 Problems in Ethics (3 cr.) A & H
P345 Problems in Social and Political Philosophy (3 cr.) A & H

Political Science

Y302 Public Bureaucracy in Modern Society (3 cr.) S & H
Y303 Formation of Public Policy in the U.S. (3 cr.) S & H
Y304 Constitutional Law (3 cr.) S & H
Y305 Constitutional Rights and Liberties (3 cr.) S & H
Y308 Urban Politics (3 cr.) S & H
Y311 Democracy and National Security (3 cr.) S & H

Psychological and Brain Sciences

P319 Psychology of Personality (3 cr.) S & H
P320 Social Psychology (3 cr.) S & H
P324 Abnormal Psychology (3 cr.) S & H
P434 Community Psychology (3 cr.)
P460 Women: A Psychological Perspective (3 cr.) S & H

Religious Studies

R336 Religion in Modern America (3 cr.) A & H


S210 The Economy, Organizations, and Work (3 cr.) S & H
S316 The Family (3 cr.) S & H
S320 Deviant Behavior and Social Control (3 cr.) S & H
S326 Law and Society (3 cr.) S & H
S335 Race and Ethnic Relations (3 cr.) S & H

School of Journalism

J300 Communications Law (3 cr.)
J410 The Media as Social Institutions (3 cr.)

School of Public and Environmental Affairs

V373 Human Resources Management in the Public Sector (3 cr.)
V376 Law and Public Policy (3 cr.)
V432 Labor Relations in the Public Sector (3 cr.)

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Area Certificate in Criminal Justice


The certificate may be awarded to students who complete bachelor's degrees in other schools as well as departmental requirements for a major in criminal justice.

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Departmental Honors Program

The department offers outstanding students the opportunity to pursue important issues and problems in depth and to work closely with faculty in the departmental honors program. Students who have completed P100, P200, P202, P290, and K300, and who have a grade point average of 3.3 or higher, may be admitted to the honors program in their junior year. For graduation with a B.A. with honors in criminal justice, students must:

  1. Earn a GPA of 3.500 or higher in the major upon graduation.
  2. Complete P399 Honors Seminar. In P399 the student will do exploratory reading in an area of interest, select and develop a research topic, and write a prospectus for the honors thesis.
  3. Write and present an undergraduate honors thesis under the direction of a faculty advisor. The thesis must be read and approved by a three-person faculty committee. A maximum of 6 hours of credit may be earned for the honors thesis by registering for P499.
  4. Complete all other requirements for a major in criminal justice.

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Course Descriptions

P100 Introduction to Criminal Justice (3 cr.) S & H P: Freshman or sophomore standing. Historical and philosophical background, structure, functions, and operation of the criminal justice system in the United States. Introduction to and principles of formal behavior control devices. I Sem., II Sem.

P150 Introductory Topics in Criminal Justice (3 cr.) S & H Introduction to a specific topic related to crime and justice. Topics vary each semester: see listing in the online Schedule of Classes. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 6 credit hours. Credit will not count toward requirements of the major or minor.

P200 Theories of Crime and Deviance (3 cr.) S & H Critical examination of biological, psychological, and sociological theories of crime and deviance. Examination of individual, group, and societal reactions to norm-violating behaviors. I Sem., II Sem.

P202 Alternative Social Control Systems (3 cr.) S & H Structure and operation of institutions, such as family, religion, education, and mass media, that create norms and socialize individuals. Interaction of these with one another and with the criminal justice system. I Sem., II Sem.

P250 Issues in Criminal Justice (3 cr.) S & H Thorough review and analysis of issues currently facing the criminal justice system. Topics vary each semester: see listing in the online Schedule of Classes. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

P281 Internship Transfer Hours in Criminal Justice (1-3 cr.) This course is designed for students who want to transfer internship credit hours completed at another institution. Students currently enrolled at IU Bloomington cannot register for this class. Credit will not count toward requirements of the major or the minor. Students may complete no more than a maximum of 6 credit hours for any combination of P281 and P481.

P290 The Nature of Inquiry (3 cr.) Introduction to research methodology, nature of scientific inquiry, research design, basic research methods, and presentation of research findings. I Sem., II Sem., SS.

K300 Techniques of Data Analysis (3 cr.) N & M P: MATH M014 or equivalent. R: 3 credit hour mathematics course approved for College of Arts and Sciences mathematics requirement. K300 is the second half of a research methods-data analysis sequence. It covers the properties of single variables, the measurement of association between pairs of variables, and statistical inference. Additional topics, such as the analyses of qualitative and aggregated data, address specific criminal justice concerns. Credit given for only one of the following: K300, SOC S371, ECON E370 or S370, MATH/ PSY K300 or K310, or SPEA K300.

P300 Topics in Criminal Justice (3 cr.) Extensive analysis of selected topics and themes in criminal justice. Topics vary each semester; see listing in the online Schedule of Classes. May be repeated with different topics for a maximum of 9 credit hours.

P301 Police and Contemporary Society (3 cr.) S & H Examination of the rules and responsibilities of the police, history of police organizations, relations between police and society, and determinants of police action.

P302 Courts and Criminal Justice (3 cr.) S & H Structure, organization, composition, functions, and procedures of courts in the United States. Role of lawyers and judges in the criminal justice process.

P303 Corrections and Criminal Justice (3 cr.) S & H Historical and comparative survey of prison confinement and the various alternatives within the scope of the criminal justice system's policies and methods of implementation.

P304 Probation and Parole (3 cr.) Study of probation, parole, and community corrections as subsystems of criminal justice, including the police, courts, and prisons. Theoretical and historical developments will be considered along with current management and research issues.

P305 Deviant Images/Deviant Acts (3 cr.) S & H Examines cross-cultural theories of deviance and crime. From witchcraft to social construction, study of theories of deviance in different historical and cultural contexts, this course focuses on ways in which theories explain nonconformity and justify social control.

P306 Drugs and Society (3 cr.) S & H Analysis of the political, economic, social, and cultural factors that shape the use of consciousness-altering substances. Consideration of the way these factors influence the social and legal response to drug use.

P320 Foundations of Criminal Investigation (3 cr.) The pertinence to criminal investigation of physical evidence, people, and documents. Discussion of ethical problems, impact of legal systems on investigative process, and elements of effective testimony. Lectures and case materials.

P330 Criminal Justice Ethics (3 cr.) Study of major ethical theories with emphasis on their application to components of the criminal justice system. Personal and professional dilemmas and problem-solving strategies are emphasized.

P340 Law and Society: The Cross-Cultural Perspective (3 cr.) S & H Roles of legal institutions and processes in social and cultural systems. Cross-cultural examination of the foundations and contexts of legal forms and content and their relation to social, economic, and political systems and institutions. Analysis of legal impact, legal change, and legal development.

P360 Psychology and the Law (3 cr.) S & H Introduction to the use and misuse of psychology throughout the criminal justice system and its processes. The course also examines the psychological development of offenders, the psychological impact of crime on victims, and the role of psychology in enacting effective criminal justice policies.

P370 Legal Aspects of Criminal Justice Systems I (3 cr.) P: P100 or consent of instructor. Definition of common crimes in the United States and factors involving the application of criminal law as a formal social control mechanism. Behavior-modifying factors that influence criminal liability and problems created when new offenses are defined. I Sem.

P371 Legal Aspects of Criminal Justice Systems II (3 cr.) P: P100 or consent of instructor. Fundamental legal problems of criminal justice system processes. Emphasis on pretrial and trial phases of American system procedures. II Sem.

P375 American Juvenile Justice System (3 cr.) S & H Structure and operation of the juvenile justice system in the United States, past and present. Analysis of the duties and responsibilities of the juvenile police officer, the juvenile court judge, and the juvenile probation officer. I Sem.

P380 Dispute Management (3 cr.) S & H This course examines the processes through which individuals and groups publicly manage and settle their conflicts. Concentration on the processes of negotiation, mediation, and adjudication. Types of social and cultural situations in which these processes are used and developed to settle disputes. Processes that are most effective in settling particular types of disputes.

P381 History of Social Control in the United States (3 cr.) S & H Historical survey of ways in which Americans have tried to introduce social stability and curtail disorder within a democratic context. Includes changing definitions of deviance; development of institutions, such as prisons, mental hospitals, schools, and juvenile courts; moral reform movements; and the emergence of the corporate state.

P399 Reading for Honors (6 cr. max.) P: Approval of departmental honors advisor. May be repeated once for a maximum of 6 credit hours. II Sem.

P411 Criminal Justice Management (3 cr.) Examination of the ideas and concepts from various disciplines contributing to modern administrative theory, and translation of these insights to the management of criminal justice agencies.

P412 Sex, Drugs, AIDS, and Criminal Law (3 cr.) S & H An ethnographic and legal analysis of the AIDS epidemic and its implications for criminal justice. Consideration of the institutional, scientific, and symbolic dimensions of the epidemic and of ethnographic research regarding illegal behaviors, and the transmission of HIV.

P413 Police-Community Relations (3 cr.) S & H Examination of the relations between police and urban communities. Consideration of the social, economic, and political factors that shape these relations and alternative approaches to improving police-community relations.

P414 Adolescents and the Law (3 cr.) S & H Examination of the place of adolescents in American law and policy. Consideration of adolescents' rights, limits to these rights, and their relationship to socio-cultural images of adolescents.

P415 Crime and Madness (3 cr.) S & H The study of the chronic mentally ill and of career criminals. Examination of the groups so labeled, the responses of the criminal justice and mental health systems to them, and their movement back and forth between the streets, prisons, and psychiatric centers.

P416 Capital Punishment (3 cr.) Consideration of issues raised by the use of the death penalty in the United States. Emphasis on critical thinking and open dialogue.

P417 Urban Crime Patterns (3 cr.) S & H Perspectives from sociology and urban geography are used to analyze urban crime. Emphasis on urban spatial structure and its impact on crime rates, crime patterns, criminal behavior, and social ecology.

P418 Street Crime (3 cr.) Examination of a variety of street crimes. Consideration of acts so labeled, their incidence, participants, context, and manner of commission.

P419 Race, Class, and Crime (3 cr.) S & H Examination of the contemporary realities associated with race and crime. Consideration of the social, political, and economic factors that shape the life chances of American minorities; theories of minority crime causation; minorities in the criminal justice system; definitional problems associated with concepts of race and crime.

P420 Violence in the Black Community (3 cr.) S & H Analysis of the causes and consequences of interpersonal violence among African-Americans. Analysis of various social factors (e.g., racial discrimination, female-headed families, drug abuse, conceptions of masculinity) that contribute to this problem.

P421 Crime Prevention: Theory and Practice (3 cr.) Analysis of criminal behavior and victimization from the perspective of environmental criminology. Examination of situational techniques that may be applied for their prevention.

P422 Crime in the Mass Media (3 cr.) S & H Examination of the role of the media generally and in the criminal justice system in particular. Consideration of the construction of media images, images of crime and criminal justice in various mediums, and the ways in which the media affect beliefs about crime and criminal justice.

P423 Sexuality and the Law (3 cr.) S & H Interdisciplinary analysis of topics pertaining to sexuality and the law. Examination of legal and cultural debates regarding sexual images and acts, the criminalization of motherhood, the international prostitution industry, and mass rape.

P425 Women and the Criminal Justice System (3 cr.) P: P290, K300. The extent of participation and the role of women in all aspects of the criminal justice system are examined. Topics covered include women as defendants, offenders, prisoners, prostitutes, and victims (rape and domestic violence), and women as professionals in the system-law enforcement officers, lawyers, judges, and correction and parole officers. Readings are drawn from a variety of disciplines and sources, and professionals from criminal justice agencies may participate in relevant class discussions.

P426 Juvenile Delinquency (3 cr.) Focuses on the critical analysis of the impact of significant individual, social, and institutional influences on delinquency including the family, delinquent peer groups, schools, and the community to respond to the question, "What causes juveniles to break the law?"

P427 Girls, Violence, and Antisocial Behavior (3 cr.) Investigates the causes and consequences of girls' involvement in antisocial behavior, in particular violent offenses, and potential intervention and treatment.

P430 Law and the Legal System (3 cr.) Readings from fiction, history, sociology, and anthropology that illuminate English Common Law and its American adaptations. Supreme Court process, judicial review and judicial restraint, and the role of the judiciary in creating as well as reflecting social change. May address contemporary controversies before the courts.

P435 Minorities, Crime, and Social Policy (3 cr.) S & H Examines reasons for the overrepresentation of historically disadvantaged U.S. racial and ethnic minorities in the criminal justice system. Provides flexible forum for the discussion of these subgroups as processed from pre-arrest through death row: e.g., law enforcement, courts, corrections, parole, and theoretical attempts to explain the phenomenon.

P437 American Indian Justice Policy (3 cr.) Contemporary issues of United States policy toward American Indian nations viewed in historical context and through the lens of United States law including, but not limited to, American Indian citizenship, gaming, burial protection, religious freedom, and the status of individual American Indians within the criminal justice system.

P439 Seminar in Corrections (3 cr.) P: P290, K300. Seminar on selected topics in corrections, correctional theory, or pertinent current issues.

P444 Victimization (3 cr.) P: P290, K300 or consent of department. The extent and nature of victimization (generally and for specific population subgroups), the effects of crime on victims and the services available to deal with those effects, the experiences of victims in the criminal justice system, the victims' rights movement, and alternative ways of defining and responding to victimization.

P450 Pleas, Trials, and Sentences (3 cr.) Examines nature and roles of jury trials and pleas in the disposition of criminal cases, with attention to issues of jury decision making, the role of case pressure in plea bargaining, outcomes for defendants and society, and alternatives to plea-dominated systems. Historical and comparative dimensions are considered.

P457 Seminar on White-Collar Crime (3 cr.) S & H The nature and incidence of white-collar crime. In addition to studying the etiological theories relating to white-collar crime, the course will also focus on both the criminal and civil (regulatory) processes used to control corporate, organizational, and elite misconduct.

P460 Public Control of Deviant Behavior (3 cr.) P: P290, K300 or PSY P324, or consent of instructor. Description and etiology of selected deviant behavior patterns of a criminal or quasi-criminal nature. I Sem.

P461 Lethality: Homicide and Self-Destruction (3 cr.) An interdisciplinary approach to the study of suicide and homicide, drawing on the contributions of criminology, psychology, anthropology, and sociology. Empirical literature relating to theories of homicide and self-destruction.

P462 Child Abuse and Neglect (3 cr.) S & H P: P200 and senior standing, or consent of instructor. Cultural, societal, and personal components that lead to child abuse. Approaches to treatment within a typology of abusers.

P471 Comparative Study of Criminal Justice Systems (3 cr.) S & H P: P290, K300. Comparison of the American criminal justice system with those of other federated nations and of selected unitary states.

P481 Field Experience in Criminal Justice (3 or 6 cr.) P: Junior standing, completion of core requirements, and approval of project. Field experience with directed readings and writing. Credit will not count toward requirements of the major or the minor. Students may complete no more than a maximum of 6 credit hours for any combination of P281 and P481.

P482 The Family and Formal Control Systems in America (3 cr.) S & H P: P290, K300 or consent of instructor. Interdisciplinary examination of family factors in the causation, prevention, and correction of norm-violating behavior (juvenile delinquency, intrafamilial violence, etc.). Relationships between American family structures and social control systems.

P493 Seminar in Criminal Justice (3 cr.) Intensive study and analysis of selected problems in criminal justice. Topics will vary. May be repeated for a total of 9 credit hours with different topics.

P495 Individual Readings and Projects (1-6 cr.) P: P290, K300 and consent of chairperson. Individual study project under guidance of faculty member or committee. Credit will not count towards 400-level requirements of the major. May be repeated once for a maximum of 6 credit hours. I Sem., II Sem., SS.

P499 Senior Honors Thesis (3-6 cr.) P: Consent of departmental honors advisor. Honors thesis to be written under direction of a faculty member. Oral examination over thesis conducted by three faculty members. May be repeated once for a maximum of 6 credit hours. I Sem., II Sem.

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