Online Class: Criminology Basics

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Course Description

This course will explore the workings of the police, courts and the corrections system. Divided up in understandable lessons this course gives you a balanced, impartial look at both the policies and the legal issues that determine how the criminal justice system works. This course provides insights on crime control, criminal mindset, controversies involving the police, due process, prison life, rehabilitation, and much more. This information will not only offer a solid foundation to anyone interested in pursueing a career in the criminal law field, business law, or behavioral sciences; but is also ideal for anyone who wants to know how the criminal system works.

Course Requirements

This course will not require you to have previous experience in any particular area but you should have a high school reading level. No books will be required.

Course Goals

- Be able to define what the purpose and the intended result of the criminal justice system
- Identify the concepts that support this system
- Understand the legal and behavior aspects of a crime
- Identify the structure of the police system
- Understand the nature of police work
- Understand police powers, citizen rights and the constitution
- Identify the structure of American Criminal Courts and the players involved
- Identify the process of a trial
- Understand the American Prison experience

Course Outline

Lesson 1- The Criminal Justice System
Lesson 2- The Criminal and the Crime
Lesson 3- The Police (Part 1-- To Serve and Protect)
Lesson 4- The Police (Part 2-- their powers, procedures, and problems)
Lesson 5- The Courts (Part 1 -- The Players)
Lesson 6- The Courts (Part 2-- Justice is Served)

Course Materials

All course material will be provided in the lessons and netlinks. There are no required materials to purchase before taking the class

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a lesson review quiz along with one or two assignments that will encourage you to form an opinion about numerous issues. Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.


In this course, we'll talk about what the criminal justice system is and why we need it. We'll explore the key players and how it works. However, you need to know that every country has its own criminal justice system and we simply can't cover them all. What we are going to talk about in this course is the American criminal justice system

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Know the criminal justice system.
  • Know the role of police in society.
  • Know the power, procedures, and problems of police in society.
  • Describe the court systems and court procedures in society, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
Assignment 1: Do we need a criminal system?2
Lesson 1- The Criminal Justice System15
Assignment 2: Does Crime really pay?2
Lesson 2- The Criminal and the Crime70
Assignment 3: Is there an alternative to forcing good behavior?2
Lesson 3- The Police (part 1)35
Assignment 4: Why Do Some Police Break the Law?2
Lesson 4- The Police (part 2)20
Assignment 5: Do you think our justice system is too complex?2
Lesson 5- The Courts (part 1)15
Assignment 6: Retributive or Rehabilitative?2
Final Assignment 2
Final Exam155
Lesson 6- The Courts (Part 2)45
Total Points:370

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