FALL 2000


Instructor: Chris Meyerhoeffer
Office: Canyon Building 206B
Office Phone: 733-9554, ext 2337
E-Mail Address:

Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. M, W, F
                        9:00a.m. 11:00a.m, 1:00 p.m. -3:30 p.m. T,Th

Class Schedule: 7:00 p.m. – 9:50 p.m. Wednesday; Shields Building Room 114

Course Description: Study of basic issues of law as a means social control including broader issues of social justice such as poverty, racism, sexism, and alienation.  Provides foundation for examining relevant critical issues in American society.

Prerequisite: None

Required Textbook: Anthony Walsh & Craig Hemmens, From Law to Order: The Theory and Practice of Law and Justice (1st  Edition, 2000) American Correctional Association.

Social Science Department Goals: This course addresses the following Social Science Department goals.  During this course the student will:  (1) learn important facts and concepts of the subject (2) understand theories of the subject (3) acquire techniques and methods used to gain new knowledge in the subject (4) develop ability to distinguish between fact and opinion (5) draw reasonable inferences from observations (6) use analysis to break a whole idea into component parts (7) use synthesis to bring component parts together into a concept (8) combine subject matter, analysis, and synthesis to solve problems (9) increase the capacity to make wise decisions (10) develop an openness to new ideas, (11) prepare to transfer to a university, and (12) acquire an informed appreciation of other cultures.

Course Objectives: The intended outcomes of CRIJ 101 are that students: (1) understand the historical development of our laws and justice system and how justice is implemented in criminal justice systems at both the state and federal level, (2) understand when and why the law and therefore justice is not always applied in a uniform manner, (3) understand the relevant distinctions between criminal law, civil law and juvenile law, and (4) use evaluation, analysis and insight from that understanding to interpret and apply that understanding.  The textbook, lectures, discussion and videos will help the student achieve the social science department goals and the course objectives. 

The course material will be divided into 3 separate units with distinct learning objectives.  These learning objectives are intended to assist the student in meeting the overall course objectives.  The exams, quizzes and reaction papers will cover specific material that relates to the learning objectives. A student has successfully met the course objectives when the student’s cumulative grade on all exams, quizzes and papers is 70% (or more) of the total points possible for the course.


Learning Objectives:

1.      Know the definition of law and how law governs peoples conduct.

2.      Know the characteristics of a “culture” and how a culture affects the development of law.

3.      Know and be able to define the Consensus Perspective and the Conflict perspective and how they affect the development of law.

4.      Be able to distinguish between law and justice, and understand the relationship between law and justice.

5.      Be able to define and distinguish Distributive Justice and Retributive Justice.

6.      Be able to understand and define the Crime Control Model and the Due Process Model.

7.      Understand the development of the common law and the common law’s major characteristics.

8.      Know and understand the individual rights granted to citizens in the Bill of Rights.

9.      Understand the concept of Judicial Review and know how judicial review impacts the development of the law.


Learning Objectives:

1.      Know and understand the how courts get the authority (jurisdiction) to hear cases and the different types of jurisdiction.

2.      Know and understand court systems at the state and federal level.

3.      Be familiar with the criminal court process, i.e. how a criminal proceeds through the system.

4.      Know the sources of criminal law and the elements that make a criminal offense.

5.      Know the defenses to criminal liability.

6.      Understand criminal procedure laws and know the sources of criminal procedure laws.

7.      Understand the exclusionary rule and know how it affects a criminal prosecution.

8.      Know how civil law differs from criminal law, and know the main bodies of law, which make up the civil law.

9.      Know how the juvenile justice system differs from the adult criminal justice system, and know the major characteristics of the juvenile justice system.


Learning Objectives:

1.      Know and understand how the law is used as a social control mechanism.

2.      Know and understand how the law functions as a cause of social change.

3.      Know and understand how the Supreme Court uses the United States Constitution as a mechanism for social change and to prevent social change.

4.      Understand how our criminal justice system differs from criminal justice systems in other countries.

5.      Know and understand how the criminal justice and legal system in United States deals with differences in class, race and gender.

6.      Understand the historical evolution of women in the United States and the legal profession.

Outcomes Assessment is measured by the Following


Social Science Department Goals

Understanding multiple choice and true/false question each exam and quiz


Interpreting essays for each exam


Interpreting Reaction Paper


Bonus self-assessment in estimating exam, quiz, and reaction paper grades


Bonus Attendance points



Policies and Procedures

Attendance Policy: Students are expected to attend class.  I will take attendance each day we are scheduled to meet.  If a student misses two classes during the first three weeks of class, I may drop the student from the class.  Students with no absences during the semester will receive 10 bonus points, one-absence 8 points, and two absences 6 points.

Honesty Policy: I follow the honesty policy in the CSI Student Handbook.  If a student cheats on an exam or plagiarizes on a writing assignment, I will give the student a zero on that exam.  If a student violates the honesty policy more than once, I may fail the student.

Late Policy: I expect students to take exams and quizzes on the day scheduled.  I will notify students at least one day in advance of giving a quiz.  No make up quizzes will be given if a student is absent on the day a quiz is given.  If a student can not be present on the day an exam is scheduled, please notify me in advance.  Make up exams will be given, but I may give the student a different exam.  I will deduct 10 points from make up tests if the absence is not excused prior to the exam.  Excused absences are absences that are excused by me prior to time the exam is scheduled.  Writing assignments are due as indicated in this syllabus unless other arrangements have been made.

Required Assignments: I expect students to read the assigned material prior to each class.  This helps facilitate student learning, and makes meaningful discussion about the lecture material possible.  In addition, quizzes will be based upon the assigned reading material for a particular class. 

Grading Practices: I will give three exams each worth 100 points during the semester.  Each exam will have between 30 and 40 objective questions worth 2 points each.  Each exam will also have two or three essay questions worth 10 to 15 points each.  The exams will be designed to assess the course objectives.  I will also give 4 quizzes worth 25 points each (total 100 points) during the semester.  Each quiz will have 10 objective questions.  I will flip a coin to determine if the quiz is given before or after the lecture for that class.  One reaction paper (2-3 pages) worth 100 points will also be required during the semester.  I will provide you with reaction topics and a sample paper to use as an example.

The following grading scale will be used:

A = 450 to 500 Points (90-100%)
B = 400 to 449 Points (80-89%)
C = 350 to 399 Points (70-79%)
D = 300 to 349 Points (60-69%)
F = Less than 300 Points (0-59%)

Self Assessment: To encourage self assessment, each student will be asked to predict on the answer sheet for exams and quizzes the letter grade they expect on that exam or quiz.  If the prediction is accurate, the student will receive three bonus points.





August 28

Course Introduction


Sept. 4

What is the Law


Sept. 11

Justice and the Law, Quiz 1


Sept. 18

Making Law, Review


Sept. 25

Exam 1

1, 2 & 3

Oct. 2

The Federal and State Courts, Quiz 2


Oct. 9

Criminal Law


Oct. 16

Criminal Procedure, Quiz 3


Oct. 23

Civil Law and Juvenile Justice, Review


Oct. 30

Exam 2

4,5,6 & 7

Nov. 6

The Law and Social Control


Nov. 13

The Law and Social Change


Nov. 20

No Class, Thanksgiving


Nov. 27

Comparative Law, Quiz 4


Dec. 4

Women and the Law


Dec. 11



Dec. 18

Exam 3

8,9,10 & 11