CRJ-234: Criminalistics: Criminal Investigation Laboratory Techniques

School
Liberal Arts
Department
Criminal Justice
Academic Level
Undergraduate
Course Subject
Criminal Justice
Course Number
234
Course Title
Criminalistics: Criminal Investigation Laboratory Techniques
Credit Hours
3.00
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
A-E
Pre-requisites
CRJ-134
Catalog Course Description

Offers laboratory experience in the fundamentals of investigation, including fingerprinting techniques and the examination of hair, fiber, glass, firearms, and tool marks.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. History and Development of Forensic Science
  2. Photography
  3. Processing the Crime Scene
  4. Common Types of Physical Evidence
  5. The Significance of Physical Evidence
  6. The Metric System
  7. DNA
  8. Fingerprints
  9. The Microscope and Trace Evidence
  10. Firearms, Tool Marks and Other Impressions
  11. Serology and Blood Splatter
  12. Examination of Grass and Soil
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  1. History and Development of Forensic Science
    • Explain prominent European and American criminalists contributions to crime scene investigations
    • Describe the basic organization of a Forensic Crime Lab
    • Explain the role of a microscope in a Crime Lab
  2. Photography
    • Illustrate proper photographic techniques to be used at crime scenes*
  3. Processing the Crime Scene
    • Explain the primary responsibilities of an Investigator at a crime scene
    • Describe several types of crime scene search methods
    • Explain the concept of “chain of custody” of evidence
  4. Common Types of Physical Evidence
    • Identify the different types of physical evidence
    • Present the proper techniques in packaging different types of physical and trace evidence
  5. The Significance of Physical Evidence
    • Define "individual" and "class" characteristics of physical evidence
    • Explain the difference between the identification and comparison of physical evidence
  6. The Metric System
    • Convert English measurements into the Metric System
  7. DNA
    • Describe the parts of nucleotide and how they are linked together to make DNA
    • Explain the difference between nuclear DNA and mitochondrial DNA
  8. Fingerprints
    • Differentiate between the 3 basic fingerprint patterns
    • Analyze the impact of fingerprints on the investigation of a crime and subsequent court prosecution*
    • Identify several ridge characteristics on a fingerprint
  9. The Microscope and Trace Evidence
    • Identify the parts of a microscope
    • Describe the 3 phases of hair growth
  10. Firearms, Tool Marks and other Impressions
    • Explain general firearms impressions
    • Explain the “lands and grooves” in firearm identification
  11. Serology and Blood Splatter
    • Interpret blood splatter designs*
  12. Examination of Grass and Soil
    • Define physical and chemical properties
    • Compare metric and English units: length, volume, and mass

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

The primary method of assessing the achievement of the learning objectives will be written exams (multiple choice and essay, with a passing score of 70%). Additionally, students will perform numerous practical application “hands-on” exercises in class.

Outcomes

General Education Categories
  • Social Sciences
Institutional Outcomes
  • Civil Society and Culture - U.S. and Global
MTA Categories
  • Category 4: Social Sciences

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Fall 2020
ILT Approval Date
03/15/2019
AALC Approval Date
03/20/2019
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
04/01/2019