Criminal Justice 235

CRJU 235: Police & Society

Credit Hours: (3)

Survey of the psychological, sociological and philosophical role of the police as it relates to such topics as social conflict, criminal behavior, police brutality, police corruption, and stress.


Detailed Description of Content of Course



Why study the police?


II.History of law enforcement.
III.Police studies and development.
IV.Sociological factors affecting policing.
V.Law and the Police.
VI.Theories of crime and punishment.
VII.Elements of a crime.
VIII.Role of the police.
IX.Image of the police.
X.Organization and management.
XI.Role of the dispatcher.
XII.Theoretical and practical approaches to patrol.
XIII.Role of the investigator.
XIV.Specific Issues in Policing


            a) Traffic enforcement
            b) Social conflict and disputes
            c) Juvenile delinquency
            d) Police discretion v. discrimination
            e) Police-Community relations
            f)Police corruption
            g) Role of Internal Affairs


XV.Fourth Amendment issues.
XVI.The police personality: A psychological perspective
XVII.Police stress and management.
XVIII.Future of policing.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The basic format of this course is discussion and lecture, however students will participate in group activity projects, research, and role playing.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

The student will be able to:


a.demonstrate a basic understanding of the role of the police as it relates to social and psychological factors and conflict theoretical approaches of policing
c.develop an appreciation for issues concerning police-citizen contact
d.demonstrate the ability to communicate orally via classroom participation/discussion
e.demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate ideas and thoughts through writing.


Assessment Measures

Knowledge and understanding of the material covered in this course, as well as the ability to apply it to real life situations, may be measured using an array of assessment tools that include, but are not limited to, tests, quizzes, role-playing exercises, formal writing assignments, informal writing assignments, and formal and/or informed oral presentations.


Other Course Information




September 2001, Reviewed by Dr. Isaac Van Patten, Department Chair

June 20, 2015