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Criminal Justice

The mission of the MacMurray College Criminal Justice department is to prepare students for careers in the criminal justice system by producing students who understand the theory, research, policies, and procedures of criminal justice and its relationship to the liberal arts. Students are immersed in a well-rounded curriculum that prepares them or a wide variety of careers in criminal justice or with private and government security agencies. Classes are geared for all disciplines, including policing, corrections, probation, parole, federal or state agents, government security, and private security.

The Criminal Justice faculty have diverse, practical backgrounds with decades of experience in the field. They either currently work or have worked as professionals at local, federal, and state agencies, and they bring to the classroom that experience, expertise, and their many contacts in the field of criminal justice and homeland security.

Their extensive background in police and investigative work enhances the learning environment. This hard-earned practical knowledge allows them to combine unique, real-life experience with theoretical knowledge, enabling the MacMurray College student to be prepared to transition to the professional field upon graduation.

Program Learning Outcomes

MacMurray College's Criminal Justice program is committed to providing graduates the knowledge and skills to become successful professionals in the criminal justice field. The Criminal Justice program is designed to help students

Students majoring in Criminal Justice for either the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degree will complete the following required courses: CRIM 101, 128, 143, 201, 202, 232, 244, 250, 318, and 325, with grades of C or better.

A student who receives a D or F grade in any Criminal Justice course may repeat the course only once. If a student withdraws from a Criminal Justice course with a current grade below C, the withdrawal will be noted in the department as WF (withdrawal while failing). The subsequent attempt of the course will be counted by the department as a repeat.

For more information about MacMurray College's requirements to earn a Criminal Justice degree, please consult the checklists.

Admissions Process


CRIM 101. Introduction to Criminal Justice. (3) The evolution of the system of criminal justice in the United States; differing approaches to law enforcement; and the process of criminal justice from intake to dismissal through its main agencies: police, courts, corrections, probation, and parole. Current problems, experiments, and reforms in criminal justice. Planning for a career in criminal justice.

CRIM 128. Juvenile Justice. (3) An analysis of the factors causing juvenile delinquency; theory and practice of delinquency prevention and intervention; the juvenile justice system involving arrest, prosecution, and rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents; and juvenile codes. No prerequisite.

CRIM 143. Writing in Criminal Justice. (3) Study and practice of written reporting as required in criminal justice. Strong emphasis on the mechanics of report writing, including accurate choice of words, spelling, grammar, syntax, style, punctuation, editing, and proofreading. Prerequisite: Criminal Justice major.

CRIM 201. Criminal Law. (3) Purpose and scope of criminal law, the definition of criminal conduct, the classification and definition of specific offenses, defenses to criminal liability, complicity and vicarious liability, and inchoate offenses. Prerequisite: CRIM 101 or HSEC 101 with a grade of C or better or permission of instructor.

CRIM 202. Criminal Procedure. (3) A detailed analysis of due process of law from the initial investigation to the ultimate disposition of the case, including search and seizure, interrogation, hearings, motions, pleas and trial procedures, the role of the principal trial participants, basic rules of evidence, sentencing, and the appellate process. Prerequisite: CRIM 201 with a grade of C or better or permission of instructor.

CRIM 232. Criminology. (3) The nature and causation of crime. The nature of criminal behavior, theories, and research. Prerequisite: SCWK 101 or permission of instructor.

CRIM 244. Victimology. (3) This course focuses upon crime and the justice system from the victims' perspective. Students will study and gain an understanding of the legal, social, psychological, and economic perspectives, approaches, and consequences of victimization from an individual, institutional, and legal point of view. The course will examine the levels, dynamics, and major correlates and consequences of primary and secondary criminal victimization and the appropriateness of a variety of formal and informal responses aimed at preventing and/or remedying them. Emphasis throughout the course will be upon developing students' skill at systematically clarifying the definition of those problems and proposed or existing responses, as well as understanding and applying criteria and methods by which alternative responses might be evaluated. Prerequisite: CRIM 101.

CRIM 250. Issues for Criminal Justice Interns. (3) Supervised field experience in criminal justice. Working with their advisors and the Career Services Office, students arrange an internship in criminal justice. The students will then work in the field during the semester, meeting in the classroom to report on related reading and the field experience. Pass/Fail grading. Prerequisites: second semester sophomore or above and minimum 2.00 grade point average. Must have permission of instructor prior to registration.

CRIM 300. Corrections. (3) An overview of corrections including rationales for punishment, the history of corrections, alternate means of correction, and contemporary issues in corrections. Class will include visits to correctional institutions. Prerequisite: Criminal Justice major with 18 hours of courses in the major or permission of the instructor.

CRIM 305. Community Corrections. (3) This course explores the history, functions, purposes, and operations of community-based corrections programs and how they are linked to the larger criminal justice system. Particular emphasis will be placed on the development of community corrections as an alternative and supplement to incarceration. No prerequisite.

CRIM 314. Security. (3) An overview of security including the history and future of security, career opportunities in security, specialized security fields, risk management, crime prevention, and technological services. Prerequisite: CRIM 101 with a grade of C or better or permission of instructor.

CRIM 318. Constitutional Law and Criminal Justice. (3) Significant cases, principles, and trends in the interpretation of the United States Constitution. The class emphasizes those sections of the Constitution most directly related to the Criminal Justice system. Prerequisites: CRIM 101, 201, and 202 with grades of C or better or permission of instructor.

CRIM 320. Policing. (3) Study and practice of some of the commonly performed duties of police. Included are crime prevention and detection, patrol tactics, criminal and traffic enforcement, accident investigation, arrest and apprehension procedures, and trial court testimony. This course is designed to give the student an understanding of the importance that each of the above components have on the success of a police agency. Prerequisites: CRIM 101, 201, and 202 with grades of C or better or permission of instructor.

CRIM 325. Criminal Investigations. (3) This course is designed to introduce students to the unique aspects of criminal investigation. Students will explore investigative theory, the collection and preservation of evidence including the legal aspects, sources of information, concepts of interviewing and interrogation, the use of forensic sciences, and trial preparation. Emphasis will be placed on investigative techniques employed, identification of motives and modus operandi, and the use of informants. Learning how to gather information through interviews and interrogation and applying legal concepts to solving crime will be important focuses of the course. The course will also examine concepts and methods of investigation of specific forms of crime (for example, homicide, sexual assault, arson, and robbery). Prerequisite: CRIM 101 with a grade of C or better.

CJ 390. Special Topics in Criminal Justice. (3) Topics address recently identified current events, trends, skills, knowledge, and/or attitudes and behaviors pertinent to criminal justice and relevant to the professional development of the student. This course may be repeated if topics and learning outcomes vary.

HSEC 101. Introduction to Homeland Security. (3) This course provides students with an overview of homeland security in the United States including homeland security policy, legal issues, and the organizational structure of the Department of Homeland Security. The course will explore terrorism, the all-hazards emergency management approach to homeland security, as well as safety and security issues, mitigation prevention and preparedness, and response and recovery practices. No prerequisite.

HSEC 102. Domestic and International Terrorism. (3) This course examines domestic and international terrorism by looking at the historical roots of terrorism in the United States and abroad and its ramifications for homeland security in the United States. Major issues such as the theories, history, strategies, and motivations of terrorism are examined. The course will also explore terrorist tradecraft and the challenges homeland security professionals will face now and in the future. No prerequisite.

HSEC 202. Tradecraft and Weaponry of Terrorism. (3) This course introduces students to various types of techniques and weapons utilized by terrorists. Students will be introduced to how terrorist groups operate, terrorist strategies, how targets are selected, and how such groups prepare for attacks. The course will address all terrorist weaponry, including weapons of mass destruction such as chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives. Students will be introduced to basic principles of weapons of mass destruction and the recognition, identification, decontamination, and treatment protocols associated with response to these types of incidents. The use of personal protective equipment as well as the toxicology and physical and chemical properties associated with such weapons will also be explored. Prerequisite: HSEC 101 or permission of instructor.

HSEC 203. Transportation Networks and Homeland Security. (3) This course provides students with knowledge of ground, air, and waterway transportation networks and of the security issues associated with protecting these systems. The course will introduce students to the concept of Total Security Management (TSM) and methods used to secure fixed assets, assets in transit, and human capital. Business continuity planning and risk and vulnerability assessment will also be discussed. Prerequisite: HSEC 101 or permission of instructor.

HSEC 300. The Role of Intelligence in Homeland Security. (3) This course explores the importance of intelligence in homeland security. The history of intelligence, the agencies comprising the intelligence community, methods of intelligence gathering, the intelligence cycle, and intelligence products will be examined. The role of the intelligence community in providing risk assessments, warnings, and determining vulnerabilities for U.S. policy makers will also be examined. Prerequisites: HSEC 101 and 201.

HSEC 302. Management of Critical Incidents. (3) This course introduces students to the emerging science of critical incident decision making which is a systemized body of knowledge covering the principles and doctrines associated with managing emergency responses. Management of Critical Incidents provides students with the skill sets necessary for effective decision making in crisis situations. Students are exposed to the proper selection of responses and resolutions, operations planning and management, logistics, communications, and the essential approach of unified command as required with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS). Prerequisites: HSEC 101 or permission of instructor.