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Criminal Justice Ethics News


                              books on ethics, particularly in criminal justice and law enforcement can be found on this website.


    Every criminal justice program should have a course in ethics.

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    Ethics courses are generally an integral part of most criminal justice degrees online curriculum.

    Department of Criminology

    Department of Criminology

    Professional in Criminal Justice

    CRIM 112

    California State University, Fresno

    Fall 2006

    General Information:

    Instructor:                    Raymond E. Foster, MPA

    Day/Time:                  Tuesday and Thursday, 0930-1045

                                        Tuesday and Thursday, 1400 - 1500

    Location:                     0930-1015 meets in SS204

                                        1400-1515 meets in SS209B

    Office Hours:                By Appointment

    Office Location:          Department conference room

    Office Telephone:       909.599.7530

    Email:                          raymond@hitechcj.com

    Website:                      http://www.hitechcj.com/criminal-justice-ethics


    Introduction and Course Objectives:


    This course is an exploration of professionalism and decision making in criminal justice through the lens of ethics, professional codes of conduct and leadership in organizations.  The course will lay a foundation for exploration through a comprehensive survey of various ethical theories and leadership theories.  With this foundation, the students will examine their own decision making process and apply these theories to current problems and issues facing criminal justice professionals.


    Primary Learning Outcomes:


    As a result of this course, a student will:


    1.      Be able to list, compare and contrast various ethical theories and leadership theories;

    2.      Have improved technology literacy, research and writing skills;

    3.      Be able to analyze current issues in criminal justice using different ethical and leadership theories;

    4.      Be able to describe the development and importance of ethics, professional codes of conduct and leadership in criminal justice organizations;

    5.      Be able to discuss typical ethical lapses by criminal justice practitioners; criminal justice organizations; and, individual and organizational responses to those lapses;

    6.      Be able to list and discuss the development values, norms and culture in organizations and how they relate to ethical issues in criminal justice; and,

    7.      Have improved verbal communication skills.




    Per the catalogue, the prerequisites for this course are CRIM 2 and 20; and CRIM 100 and 170 are highly recommended.


    Course Materials:


    Required Books:


    Ruggiero, V. Thinking Critically About Ethical Issues. McGraw/Hill, 6/e.


    Meese, E. & Ortmeier, P. Leadership, Ethics and Policing. Prentice Hall.


    (Both are available at the University Book Store)


    Additional Materials:


    Students must have an email account and internet access.  The university provides each student with a free email account.  Students may sign up for the email online at https://email.csufresno.edu. Moreover, "At California State University, Fresno, computers and communications links to remote resources are recognized as being integral to the education and research experience. Every student is required to have his/her own computer or have other personal access to a workstation (including a modem and a printer) with all the recommended software. The minimum and recommended standards for the workstations and software, which may vary by academic major, are updated periodically and are available from Information Technology Services (http://www.csufresno.edu/ITS/) or the University Bookstore. In the curriculum and class assignments, students are presumed to have 24-hour access to a computer workstation and the necessary communication links to the University's information resources."


    Course Requirements:


    The following responsibilities apply to all students:

    1.                  Attend class and take notes.

    2.                  Read and be prepared to discuss the assigned readings by the dates identified in the course syllabus.

    3.                  Complete two examinations, one at approximately mid-term and one final examination.

    4.                  Prepare five, 2-3 page, reaction/reflection papers on ethical and professional issues identified by the instructor.

    5.                  Participate in class activities and discussions.

    a.       Keep a participation log;

    b.      Make eight entries in an online discussion forum; and,

    c.       Make meaningful contributions to class discussions.

    6.                  Complete a presentation project near the end of the semester.


    Method of Evaluation:











    59 and below








    Participation                                                    10%

    Reaction/Reflection papers  (10% ea)             50%

    Mid Term                                                         10%    

    Presentation Project                                         10%

    Final                                                                 20%


    Additional Information:


    Examinations The near mid-term examination will be one hundred questions that are a combination of multiple choice, fill-in-the-blanks, true/false and short answer.  All readings and lecture material covered in class and/or assigned on the schedule may be included in the test. An in-class review will be held prior to this examination.


    The final examination will consist of two essay questions and will be cumulative. Five potential final questions will be posted on the course website prior to the mid-term. However, only two of them will be part of the final examination.  The student should be prepared to answer all five at the time of final, because the two questions to be asked will be announced at the final.  Although this is not an open book test, students may use any notes they took during class or while studying during the final examination.  An in class review will be held prior to the final. They must be the students notes refer to the syllabus section on ethical conduct for further information.  The student MUST answer both questions.  Above average and superior responses to the final questions will include sourcing to the readings, lectures, videos and class discussions


    Papers - Students are required to prepare a five (5) typed, 2-3 page, reaction/reflection papers which are a discussion and analysis of a course related issue. At a minimum, it is expected that the students will produce an academically sound and properly formatted work (APA format is strongly encouraged); with a minimum of three sources from the readings, lectures or outside research.    The instructor will provide more information concerning the papers during class.  The papers will be graded on content as well as exposition.    Late papers lose grade per week or portion of a week late. 


    Presentation Each student will be assigned a different web-based resource designed to promote general ethics or ethical conduct; ethics or ethical conduct in criminal justice; professional standards in criminal justice; current issues in criminal justice; or, other web-based criminal justice resources.  The student is expected to thoroughly explore the resource and prepare a ten minute presentation and a one-page briefing paper.  The student must bring a copy of the briefing paper for each classmate. 


    Extra Credit No extra credit is available for this course.


    Attendance - Within the university setting, students are expected to attend class on a regular basis and participate in topic discussion to enhance the overall learning experience. As participation is directly related to attendance, students missing four (4) class sessions will not receive any credit for the attendance portion of participation.  Attendance will be recorded by a class roster that will be passed among the students during each class.  It is the students responsibility to sign the roster.  Furthermore, if a student is absent, it is their responsibility to obtain lecture notes and class announcements from that missed course.  As an example of a course announcement, this syllabus and schedule are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances and/or upon due notice and at the discretion of the instructor.


    Participation Participation is ten percent of the students final grade.  Participation will be measured by the use of a student participation log, class attendance and through participation in an online discussion forum of course related issues.  Each of these is one third of the final participation score.  The participation log is available for download at the course website.  The students are expected to obtain the log and keep a record of their participation in class.  The log must be handed in at the time of the final. To count toward the final participation grade, the online postings in the threaded discussion must be within 72 hours of the issue discussed.  More information regarding the threaded discussion is available on the course website and will be discussed in class.


    Ethical Conduct - Students should be aware that there are severe consequences for violations of academic ethical conduct.  Primarily, we are concerned with cheating and plagiarism. Students who are determined to have cheated or committed plagiarism will face disciplinary action as identified within university regulations.  cheating is the actual or attempted practice of fraudulent or deceptive actions for the purpose of improving ones grade or obtaining course credit; such acts also include assisting another student to do so.  Typically, such act occurs in relation to examinations.  However, it is the intent of this definition that the term cheating not be limited to examination situations only, but that it include any and all actions by a student that are intended to gain an unearned academic advantage by fraudulent or deceptive means.  Plagiarism is a specific form of cheating which consists of the misuse of published and/or unpublished works of other by misrepresenting the material (i.e., their intellectual property) so used as ones own work.  Penalties for cheating and plagiarism range from a zero or F on a particular assignment through an F for the course, to expulsion from the university.  For more information on the Universitys policy regarding cheating and plagiarism, refer to the schedule of courses (legal Notices on Cheating and Plagiarism) or the University Catalog (Polices and Regulations).


    Copyright policy - Copyright laws and fair use policies protect the rights of those who have produced the material. The copy in this course has been provided for private study, scholarship, or research.  Other uses may require permission from the copyright holder.  The user of this work is responsible for adhering to copyright law of the U.S. (Title 17, U.S. Code). To help you familiarize yourself with copyright and fair use policies, the University encourages you to visit its copyright web page:




    The course website and other websites to which it links, contain material protected by copyrights held by the instructor, other individuals or institutions. Such material is used for educational purposes in accordance with copyright law and/or with permission given by the owners of the original material.  You may download one copy of the materials on any single computer for non-commercial, personal, or educational purposes only, provided that you (1) do not modify it, (2) use it only for the duration of this course, and (3) include both this notice and any copyright notice originally included with the material.   Beyond this use, no material from the course website may be copied, reproduced, re-published, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in any way without the permission of the original copyright holder.  The instructor assumes no responsibility for individuals who improperly use copyrighted material placed on the website.


    Honor Code:  According to University policy, Members of the CSU Fresno academic community adhere to principles of academic integrity and mutual respect while engaged in university work and related activities.  You should:

    a)         understand or seek clarification about expectations for academic integrity in this course

    (including no cheating, plagiarism and inappropriate collaboration)

    b)         neither give nor receive unauthorized aid on examinations or other course work that is

    used by the instructor as the basis of grading.

    c)         take responsibility to monitor academic dishonesty in any form and to report it to the

    instructor or other appropriate official for action.


    Classroom Decorum An exploration of ethical issues should result in a variety of opinions and opposing points of view.  Indeed, a large of this course is aimed at growing critical thinking skills through the discussion and debate of issues.  Students are reminded that University policy says, "The classroom is a special environment in which students and faculty come together to promote learning and growth. It is essential to this learning environment that respect for the rights of others seeking to learn, respect for the professionalism of the instructor, and the general goals of academic freedom are maintained. ... Differences of viewpoint or concerns should be expressed in terms which are supportive of the learning process, creating an environment in which students and faculty may learn to reason with clarity and compassion, to share of themselves without losing their identities, and to develop and understanding of the community in which they live . . . Student conduct which disrupts the learning process shall not be tolerated and may lead to disciplinary action and/or removal from class."


    Students with Disabilities - Upon identifying themselves to the instructor and the university, students with disabilities will receive reasonable accommodation for learning and evaluation. For more information, contact Services to Students with Disabilities in Madden Library 1049 (278-2811).


    Website - The course has one companion website.  At that website the students will find hyperlinks to the readings, important course downloads (such as the syllabus and class log) and hyperlinks to other course related multimedia presentations (such as PowerPoint presentations, short videos, etc).

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    For a variety of courses on applied ethics in departments of Philosophy, Sociology, or Criminal Justice. A collection of essays which examine how personal and moral beliefs influence the relationship between criminal justice and social justice. The book is not a proscriptive manifesto of what criminal justice ethics should be, but an invitation for students to debate what criminal justice ethics are, while stressing the importance of individual ethics and morality. An introduction on ethical reasoning and ethics pedagogy is followed by sections on the nature of criminal guilt, law making, law enforcement, judicial processing, punishment and emerging issues (technology and media).

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