Criminal Justice Course Description

Introduction to Criminal Justice introduces students to the U.S. legal system, including constitutional, criminal, and civil law. Students learn about legal concepts, historical foundations, and principles and procedures of law, experiencing law and justice as dynamic forces, shaped by people and events over time. Students understand the role of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, learning why and how laws are created, enforced, interpreted, and changed. They look at the relationship between law, public policy, and advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels of government. They learn the foundations of criminal law with a focus on crimes against the person and the foundations of civil law with a focus on strict product liability and negligence. Finally, students explore civil and human rights issues and the role of advocacy and civics in reforming our legal system. At the center of each unit in the course is a Key Assignment that involves substantial reading, critical
thinking, collaborating, writing, listening, and speaking.  Students will participate in simulations, mock trials, multimedia presentations, Socratic seminars*, and debates.  In addition, throughout the year, students explore legal, public services, and criminal justice career pathways through interaction with
industry professionals.