Criminal Justice students study the impact of the criminal justice system on minorty groups.

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Department of Criminal Justice

Minorities and the Criminal Justice System

California State University, Fullerton

Fall 2007


General Information:

Instructor:                     Raymond E. Foster, MPA

Day/Time:                     Thursday, 7PM to 9:45 PM

Location:                      H228

Office Hours:                Thursday, 6PM to 7PM

Office Location:            TBA

Office Telephone:         909.599.7530

Email:                           raymond@hitechcj.com

Website:                       http://www.hitechcj.com/minoritiesandcriminaljustice


 Course Objectives:


This course provides an overview and discussion of the themes and issues surrounding the relationship between minority groups and the criminal justice system.  The course focuses on overt, institutional and subtle racism and discrimination and its relationship to the criminal justice system.  Subjects will include personnel and organizational policies, policing, corrections, juveniles and the courts.


Learning Goals:


  1. Place the issues of race and gender in the criminal justice system in a broader societal context by examining the historical developments of race and gender issues.
  2. Explore the criminal justice system responses to minority groups
  3. Understand the extent and differences in the nature and cause of crime by and against minority groups.
  4. Develop an awareness and understanding of different cultures.


Required Readings:


(The following texts are available at the Titan Bookstore)


With Justice for All: Minorities and Women in Criminal Justice, Janice Joseph, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Dorothy L. Taylor, University of Miami: 2003

ISBN No. 0-13-033463-4 / Prentice Hall


Multicultural Law Enforcement: Strategies for Peacekeeping in a Diverse Society, 3/E Robert M. Shusta, Deena R. Levine, Herbert Z. Wong, Philip R. Harris: 2005 ISBN No. 0-13-113307-1 / Prentice Hall 2/e



(The following readings are available at the course website)


What is a Minority Group? Based on Richard T. Schaefer, Racial and Ethnic Groups 5 - 10 (1993).

Creation and Consequences of Minority Group Status, Based on Richard T. Schaefer, Racial and Ethnic Groups 18 34  (1993).

What is Race? Ian F. Haney Lopez, The Social Construction of Race: Some Observations on Illusion, Fabrication,  and Choice, 29 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 1-62, 6-7, 11-17 (Winter, 1994)

Language of Closet Racism: An Illustration, Paul Gorski (2004)

Defining Race Racism and Racial Discrimination, Vernellia R. Randall, Professor of Law, The University of Dayton, School of Law

Institutional Racism, Vernellia R. Randall, Professor of Law, The University of Dayton, School of Law

Domestic Violence Handbook, U.S. Department of Agriculture Safety, Health and Employee Welfare Division

What is Community Orientated Policing?, Community Orientated Policing Services, Department of Justice


Course Requirements:


The following responsibilities apply to all students:

1.                  Attend class and take notes.

2.                  Read and prepare to discuss the assigned reading by the dates identified in the course syllabus.

3.                  Prepare five reaction papers to subjects identified by the instructor.

4.                  Complete a project paper.

5.                  Prepare and deliver a presentation.

6.                  Complete a mid-term examination.

7.                  Complete the final examination.


Method of Evaluation:


Reaction Papers                       25% (5% each)






















Below 60

Website Presentation                10%

Mid Term Examination             15%

Project Paper                           20%

Final                                        20%

Participation                            10%    

Semester Total                        100%




Additional Information:


Final Examination The final examination will consist of two essay questions and will be cumulative.  Five potential final questions, two of which will be the final examination, are listed on the course website.  Although this is not an open book test, students may use any notes they took during class or while studying for the final examination.  They must be the students notes refer to the syllabus section on ethical conduct for further information.     


Extra Credit None.


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 (2) class session will not receive any credit for attendance/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.


Participation Credit Participation is ten percent of the students final grade.  Participation will be measured by the use of a 1) student participation log; 2) attendance recorded on a sign-in sheet; and, 3) participation in the online threaded discussion. The participation log is available for download on the course website.  The students are expected to obtain the log and keep a record of their participation.  The log must be handed in at the time of the final; and, it may be periodically requested by the instructor for review.  Attendance will be tracked by a sing-in sheet.  It is the students responsibility to sign-in for each class meeting.  More information and hyperlinks to the threaded discussion are available on the course website.


Project Paper - Students will be required to write a typed, 5-7 page analysis of a course related issue identified by the instructor.  The student will have a choice of ten issues which are listed on the course website.  At a minimum, it is expected that the students will produce an academically sound and properly formatted work (APA format is strongly encouraged).  The instructor will provide more information concerning Issue Paper expectations during class.  The papers are graded on content as well as exposition.    


Mid-Term Examination The mid-term examination consists of 50 short answer, true/false and multiple choice questions.  It will cover all readings to the date indicated on the syllabus; including supplemental web-based readings; and, lecture and PowerPoint presentations.


Website Presentations Each student will be assigned to conduct a review of a specific website.  They will then provide a ten minute presentation on that website, as well as a one-page briefing paper.  The student shall provide a copy of the briefing paper to each member of the class.


Reaction Papers Students will be required to write five typed, 1-2 page reactions to subjects identified by the instructor.  The instructor will provide more information concerning Issue Paper expectations during class.  The papers are graded on content as well as exposition.  The due dates of the reaction papers are listed on the syllabus and course website.  Late papers will lose one letter grade per week.  Papers more than three weeks late will not be accepted.     


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 CSUF regulations.  For additional clarification of cheating and/or plagiarism, refer to the CSUF website or the instructor.

Website -
The course has four companion websites.  The first was developed and is maintained by the instructor.  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).  The second website is the threaded discussion forum.  It is also linked off of the primary site.  The third website is the companion to the main text book.  As part of the course orientation, the websites will be reviewed.  Blackboard will be used as a means to communicate grades.

Multicultural Law Enforcement: Strategies for Peacekeeping in a Diverse Society (4th Edition)
Robert M. Shusta  More Info

According the book description of Multicultural Law Enforcement: Strategies for Peacekeeping in a Diverse Society, “For courses in Multicultural Law Enforcement and Special Topics in Policing. MULTICULTURAL LAW ENFORCEMENT now in its 4th edition! This classic is used in criminal justice programs throughout North America - from universities and colleges to police academies and professional development programs in law enforcement. This new edition provides culture specifics on major ethnic and minority groups as well as cases, protocols, and guidelines to improve law enforcement within a diverse workforce and society. Multicultural Law Enforcement, 4th Edition, with accompanying instructional tools, is a complete learning package designed to assist all levels of criminal justice representatives in understanding the pervasive influences of culture, race, and ethnicity in the workplace and in multicultural communities. The textbook's information and insights will undoubtedly contribute to the increased professionalism required to address the complex diversity issues that affect law enforcement today. This new edition has been updated and expanded to provide practical information and guidelines for law enforcement managers, supervisors, officers, and instructors.”

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