We're highlighting two Criminal Justice courses available this spring on USA's Baldwin campus.
This particular class is critical to a student’s undergraduate education. It is one of the valuable lessons that can separate those with a college degree from those without one, and the class is more enjoyable than one may think. In this class, students concentrate both on research methods and the interpretation of basic statistics. They will also learn how to operate statistical software which significantly increases their value to employers. Most importantly, students will learn about the scientific method, how to conduct research, and how to evaluate research that is published in academic journals and public forums such as various news sources.
This class allows students to become better-informed consumers of information. After taking this class, students can better interpret the results of “studies” discussed in the news, and decide for themselves the value and validity of the results. Detecting biases in studies is part of this class, which is increasingly important as the quantity of information in the news increases while quality decreases. Students will also learn to find and interpret statistics related to criminal justice. They no longer have to rely on others to provide and interpret information for them. Overall it is an interesting class where students will examine many of the contemporary topics in criminal justice and some of the myths surrounding these issues.
Criminal law is one of the most fascinating areas of legal practice. This course covers the Alabama criminal code, as well as important Federal statutes. In this class, students will learn about the development of important Supreme Court cases as well as the rights that individuals have in our society. Also, there is a focus on the sociology of law, or how these laws came about in the first place, which makes the course even more interesting.
Students will also work on understanding why certain things are illegal, as well as how other countries treat similar behavior. A basic understanding of individual and collective rights, as well as criminal law, is essential for becoming a well-rounded criminal justice student. This class allows students to understand the nature and origin of law and how the application of law differs from the law as it is codified. Students will participate in discussions about legal discrimination and how power differentials lead to certain behaviors being criminalized while others are ignored or punished lightly regardless of the social harm caused. A working knowledge of this subject allows students to engage in meaningful conversations involving many contemporary topics that often appear in the public discourse.
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