CRJ-131: Introduction to Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice

Liberal Arts
Social Sciences
Criminal Justice
Academic Level
Course Subject
Criminal Justice
Course Number
Course Title
Introduction to Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Eligible to take ENG courses at HFC.
Catalog Course Description

An overview of the criminal justice system in the U.S. Topics covered are: the history of law enforcement: the political, sociological, and philosophic, and background of police functions; and the criminal courts. Constitutional problems as they relate to the police function are surveyed, and the use of recent technology in criminal justice is discussed.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. What Is Criminal Justice
    • Define Criminal Justice
    • Explain the difference between individual rights vs. public order
    • Identify 3 components of the Criminal Justice System
  2. Crime Picture in America
    • Describe the 2 ways crime data is collected in the U.S.
  3. Crime Causation: The Search for Causes
    • List some theories of crime causation
  4. The Nature and Purpose of Law
    • List 2 types of law
    • Define the elements of a crime
    • Explain types of defenses to criminal charges
  5. Policing: History, Structure, Purpose and Organization
    • List 3 levels of Law Enforcement
    • Describe the historical eras of policing
    • List 3 styles of policing
    • Define police discretion
    • Define racial profiling
  6. Legal Aspects
    • Identify individual rights from the Bill of Rights*
    • Explain search and seizure, arrest and interrogation
    • List court cases relevant to legal issues in policing
    • Explain the importance of ethics in law enforcement
  7. The Courts: Structure and Participants
    • Identify the 2 court systems in the U.S.
  8. The Courts: Pretrial and Trial
    • Identify the various pretrial activities
    • Describe the stages of a criminal trial
    • Discuss the importance of case law
  9. Sentencing
    • Define the different types of sentencing
  10. Probation and Parole
    • Define probation and parole
  11. Terrorism and Multi-National Criminal Justice
    • Define types of terrorism
    • Discuss causes of terrorism
    • Explain differences of the U.S. System, Saudi Arabia and Chinese systems

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement
The primary method to assess the achievement of learning objectives will consist of a 50 question Pre- and Post-Test (multiple choice and true and false) and a written essay exam. Topic to be determined by faculty staff.


General Education Categories
  • Social Sciences
Institutional Outcomes
  • Civil Society and Culture - U.S. and Global
MTA Categories
  • Category 4: Social Sciences
Satisfies Wellness Requirement
Effective Term
Winter 2022