Link to What's New This Week Special Topics: Careers in Criminal Justice (aka The Criminal Justice Profession: CRMJ 490, Spring 2009, UWP

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Careers in Criminal Justice (aka The Criminal Justice Profession)
Syllabus for CRMJ 490. Spring 2009

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: August 24, 2003
Latest update: April 30, 2009

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Index of Topics on Site Syllabus for Careers in Criminal Justice
(aka The Criminal Justice Profession)

Susan Takata
Office: 362 MOLN
Office Hours: WF 8:45-9:45am & by appointment
Phone: (262) 595-2116
FAX: (262) 595-2471
Class meets MWF 11-11:50 a.m.

Brief Description:

CRMJ 490 explores the evolution and development of the criminal justice profession -- historical changes, present-day issues, and future directions. In addition, this course focuses on various topics raning from the macro-level occupational strucutres and the interdependent relationships within the profession to the micro-level social processes of professional socialization. Throughout the semester, you will critically examine the criminal justice profession in theory as well as its policies and practices .


  • Spencer Johnson. Who Moved My Cheese?.
  • Mark Jones. Criminal Justice Pioneers in U.S. History.
  • Susan R. Takata & Jeanne Curran. Theory, Policy and Practice of a Career . (on DH site).
  • J. Scott Harrs & Karen M. Hess. Careers in Criminal Justice and Other Related Fields. bundled with free access to the Cengage Learning's Careers in Criminal Justice website.
  • Dear Habermas Website [refer to handout]

  • Richard Bolles. What Color is Your Parachute? (optional)
  • Randy Pausch. The Last Lecture. (optional)


You must have:
  • a three-ring binder
  • an e-mail address (available through the university)
  • Internet access (access to PCs in microcomputing labs on campus)

Course Objectives

  • Answerability Objective: To master the concept of aesthetic processes of answerability and its role in creating an atmosphere of morality and ethics in our institutions and world systems, particularly the educational system. Outcomes: You will participate in class and online discussions, respecting the answerability of every member of the community, and the aesthetic process of collaborative creation. You are expected to demonstrate active and involved learning. Written expression is as important as dialog participation and other means of expression (such as art or photography). Silence will not be acceptable, though I am willing to consider a preference for interpassivity.

  • Technological Objective: To master the simple use of any computer that happens to be available. Our assignments and readings are on the Internet. Please be sure you know how to access them and to post ot the discussions. Outcomes: You will be expected to access class materials on the Dear Habermas website and to post the online discussions.

  • Theoretical Objective: To come away from this course with a deep understanding of the role that theory plays in our lives, particularly as it relates to careers in criminal justice. To use a vocabulary which permit discussion of theory: anomie, alienation, division of labor, bureaucracy, hierarchy, presentation of self, dramaturgy, labeling, social constructionism, difference, the Other, structural violence, privileging subjectivity, unstated assumptions, relativism, tolerance of ambiguity, inequality, diversity, and so forth. Outcomes: Measured by inclusion of references in written and oral contributions to discourse. In your submissions to our online discussion group and during class discussions, you will consider the framing of the facts you cite, the illocutionary discourse in which you must engage to hear one another in good faith, and the importance of such a forum to in depth consideration of issues in the criminal justice profession.

  • Criminal Justice Career Objective: To review and evaluate materials on the criminal justice profession by creating a visual presentation and/or career portfolio of your learning in this course. Outcomes: You will present at least two visual projects or a two-part career portfolio to the class (one at midterm and the other at the end of the semester). Visual projects/portfolios should reflect your competence and creativity in this course.

  • Praxis Objective: To recognize differences between theory, factual knowledge and the application and synthesis of that knowledge in praxis. Outcomes: You will apply theoretical discussions to examples within your own institutions and life worlds, as they relate to the criminal justice profession. Focus on conceptually linking critical theory to current events and personal narratives shared in face-to-face and Internet discussions.

Grades and Grading

Grades can be important feedback when they are collaborative and used as feedback to guide further learning. They are harmful when they become a reified end in their own right. Because we are required by the institution to give grades, there must be a means of your letting us know what you hae learned. We expect each of you to communicate with us, so that we come to know you and your learning. Meaningful learning comes when we stretch the corners of each other's mind by looking at these concepts from multiple perspectives that come from our myriad unique experiences. You are invited to choose the measures of learning that best fits your learning style best. More details will be provided in class.

The 6Cs - communication, courtesy, consistency, competency, creativity, and cooperation continue to represent our standards for evaluation. Refer to Grades on the Dear Habermas web site. Your coursework must show scholarly discipline in conceptually linking your learning to theory, policy, practice, and to course readings, class discussions, and other materials.

Ideally, four progress checks (meeting with the professor every four weeks) throughout the semester is recommended. A minimum of two progress checks with the professor is required (at midterm and at the end of the semester).

The minimum requirements for a course grade of "C" are: 1) the completion of all the weekly discussion questions, 2) participatory class attendance (not only attending but participating in class discussions), and 3) at least a "C average" on pop quizzes (to note "do not count" on the majority of pop quizzes is "below average"). Measures of Learning

  • First Half of the Semester (30%)
  • Midterm Career Portfolio (10%)
  • Second Half of the Semester (40%)
  • Final Career Portfolio (20%)

    Grade Scale

    95-100 = A
    90-94 = A-
    88-89 = B+
    85-87 = B
    80-84 = B-
    78-79 = C+
    75-77 = C
    70-74 = C-
    68-69 = D+
    65-67 = D
    60-64 = D-
    59 and below = F

  • Statement on Plagiarism - DON'T DO IT!! Give credit to those whose ideas and words you use. Cooperation and sharing in this class will earn you a better grade. Adversarialism is not a part of our teaching. We believe that learning flowers in an environment that permits mutuality to flourish.

    Communication - It is your responsibility to communicate an emergency and other situations in a timely manner to the professor. Communicating your whereabouts is important. Don't be a field mouse.

    Students with Disabilities - Students with disabilities are encouraged to meet with me as soon as possible to discuss accommodations. Accommodations should be authorized through the Disability Services Office, WYLL D175. Dr. Renee' Sartin-Kirby - Coordinator can be reached at (262) 595-2610.

    Deadlines/Due Dates/Meeting Times - All due dates, meeting times, and deadlines are firm. Late assignments will not be accepted. A "no show" will result in an "F" for that particular task.

    Groupwork: You may work in groups on any or all exercises or assignments. Cooperative learning groups are strongly encouraged. You can work with more than one group, and with different groups. All names of active group members should be recorded as indicated on the exercise material. (Refer to Cooperative Learning on the Dear Habermas site ).



    WeekTopic and Class PreparationTextual Readings
    Week 1
    Careers and the Teaching/Learning Model T&C, preface & ch. 1
    Johnson, entire book
    Week 2
    The Teaching/Learning Model
    An Overview of the Criminal Justice Profession

    ** Wednesday, 1/28 - 12 noon -- Optional Dear Habermas Workshop in the library microcomputing classroom
    Johnson, entire book
    Week 3
    Evolution & Historical Development of the Profession Jones, part 1 & 2
    T&C, ch. 2 & 3
    Week 4
    The Modern-Day Professionalization of Criminal Justice
    The Formal CRMJ Organization & Institution
    Jones, part 3, 4, 5
    T&C, ch. 4 & 5
    Week 5
    The Economy, Outlooks & Prospects
    Anomie and Alienation
    H&H, section 1
    Week 6
    The CRMJ Hierarchy, Bureaucracy & Division of Labor
    ** Midterm meetings begin on Wed, 2/25
    T&C, ch. 6 & 7
    Week 7
    Gatekeeping Isms
    Affirmative Action & Glass Ceilings
    Stress, Burnout, Juggling

    ** Friday, March 6th - Midterm Career Performance Portfolio due
    H&H, section 2
    Week 8
    Midterm Career Portfolios and Beyond
    **Friday, 3/13 Last Day to Drop Course
    "everything" read to date
    Week 9
    Spring Break
    ** Mon. 3/16, Wed. 3/18 & Fri. 3/20 -- No Class
    no readings
    Week 10
    The Informal CRMJ Organization & Structure
    Blumer's Symbolic Interactionism
    T & C, ch. 8
    H & H, section 3
    Week 11
    Micro-Social Processes in the CRMJ Profession
    Goffman's Presentation of Self
    T & C, ch. 9
    Week 12
    The Dramaturgical Approach, Social Learning
    Professional Socialization
    T & C, ch. 10
    Week 13
    Professional Socialization
    T & C, ch. 11
    Week 14
    The Future: Career Changes, Promotions & Advancement H & H, section 4
    Week 15
    The CRMJ Profession in Theory, Policy, Practice
    ** Friday, May 1st - Final Career Portfolio due
    T & C, ch. 12 & Now What?
    Week 16
    The CRMJ Profession: Career Portfolios and Conclusions
    ** Friday, May 8th - Last Day of Class
    Pausch (optional)

    Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, August 2003.
    "Fair use" encouraged.