Syllabus: CJ 200

Introduction to Criminal Justice
Department of Criminal Justice| College of Liberal Arts
Dhruba J. Bora

Please visit the "Schedule" link on this course’s homepage for the course schedule with dates for specific discussions, quizzes and exams.  For course start and end dates, as well as other deadlines such as add/drop and withdrawal, go to the Marshall University Academic Calendar.


Office Hours:
When communicating with me, you should email me using the Mail Tool from within the course. This will guarantee I respond in a timely fashion. Under normal circumstances, I will get back to you within 24 hours. However, there may be times when I am out of town and it may take me a little longer to respond. Please refrain from emailing to my main Marshall email account ( unless it is urgent. I like to keep my course emails separate from all others. Should you ever find yourself on campus, you can also look me up in person. My office is in Smith Hall 733, and my phone number is 304-696-3087.

About Me:
I am an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Criminal Justice Department. I am also a Marshall Alumnus, so I am delighted to be working in the department at which I started my academic career. Before joining Marshall in the fall of 2004, I taught criminal justice at Wheeling Jesuit University for seven years. I have a B.A. in Criminal Justice/Legal Studies from Marshall University, a M.S. in Criminal Justice from Eastern Kentucky University, and a Ph.D. in Criminology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. My primary areas of concentration are international/comparative justice systems, research methods, and statistics; however, I teach a wide variety of courses such as Crime & the Media, Drugs and Crime, Comparative Systems of Justice, Terrorism, as well as Introduction to Criminal Justice and graduate courses in Research Methods and Applied Statistics. My research interests also falls into the comparative realm, primarily comparative policing. I have worked on several projects/grants funded by the U.S. Department of Justice in the area of community policing. For more information about me, please visit my homepage at

Course Materials and Cost

Adler, F., Mueller, G., & Laufer, W. (2009). Criminal Justice: An Introduction (5th Ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw Hill Publishing. ISBN# 978-0-07-337995-1

The textbook is required and can be ordered online at The Marshall University Bookstore or at the Stadium Bookstore for approximately $115.00 (new).

Technical Requirements


304-696-3200 (Huntington, WV)

304-746-1969 (Charleston, WV)

877-689-8638 (Toll free)


Course Details


Course Description from University Catalog:

This survey course examines the various components of the criminal justice system, including law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Students will be introduced to various criminal justice agencies and career possibilities.

Credit Hours:






Desired Learner Outcomes:

Our main goal is to understand how the criminal justice system is actually many subsystems working toward a common goal. Each of these subsystems (law enforcement, courts, and corrections) must work in cooperation with each other in order to make sure justice is obtained and society is safe. At the completion of this course, students will be able to:


  • Understand the major issues that confront the study of crime and criminal justice. These issues include concepts such as justice, process, procedures, and roles. In addition, students will be able to differentiate various criminological theories and their importance to the study of crime.
  • Critically evaluate the sub-system of law enforcement through a review of its history, organization, role, function, and police procedure and its relationship to the rule of law.
  • Assess the criminal court system and its key players (i.e., the prosecution, defense, and judiciary) as well as understand the dual court system and trace the steps of the accused through the trial process to the point of implementing punishment.
  • Comprehend the value of the final, yet least understood, component of the criminal justice process known as corrections.



As this is an online course, you have some flexibility to work at your own pace within the course start and end dates. However, quizzes, exams, and discussions must be completed by the due dates posted. For more specifics, please see the Schedule link on the course homepage. It is strongly recommended that you complete all activities at least one day prior to the scheduled due date to be on the safe side. This way, if there is a technical problem, you can contact me and I can try to remedy the situation. If you contact me on the day an activity is due, I cannot do anything about it! In this case, you have forfeited your right to a remedy. Furthermore, even though you have the flexibility to work at your own pace, do not underestimate the amount of time necessary to go through the online content as well as thoroughly read the chapters from the text. You should be prepared to spend at least 15 hours (or more) per week both online and offline to successfully complete this course.


Readings and Organization of the Course:

It is expected that students will read the textbook chapters in their entirety. Each chapter in the text corresponds to the respective chapter in the course (although sometimes the titles may not be the same). The course is divided into four units: 1) Crime and Criminal Justice Process, 2) The Law Enforcement Component, 3) The Criminal Courts, and 4) Punishment and Corrections. Within each unit there are three to four chapters, one discussion session, one quiz, and one exam (however, the quizzes and exams will not be made available until the dates listed on the course schedule). Each chapter contains an outline and summary of the textbook chapter, a lecture corresponding to the topic at hand, and a PowerPoint slideshow from the book chapter as well as a printable PDF handout for each of the slideshow presentations. Furthermore, many lectures contain valuable web links to outside sources to enhance student learning about the topic, and it is strongly encouraged that students explore these sites in depth.


NOTE: The PowerPoint presentations have been developed by the textbook publisher and not the course instructor or the authors of the textbook. Therefore, the slideshows are copyrighted by the publisher, so they can’t be printed using the print function in WebCT. The only way to print them is one by one, which takes up a lot of ink and time. Furthermore, while every effort has been made to ensure that the slides are correct, every once in a while an error or inconsistency between the slides and the textbook may be present. If you notice such an error, please let the instructor know so that it can be corrected. The bottom line is that you should rely on PowerPoint slides as a study aid only. The textbook and lectures are of most importance.


Course Grading


The final grade for the course will be computed by taking your total points earned and dividing it by the total possible points of 300. The following scale will determine what letter grade you will receive:


A= 270-300 pts. (90-100%)

B= 240-269 pts. (80-89%)

C= 210-239 pts. (70-79%)

D= 180-209 pts. (60-69%)

F= 0-179 pts. (0-59%)


·         There are four exams in this course. Each exam is worth 50 points (200 points total). 

·         There are four short quizzes. Each quiz is worth 10 points (40 points total).

·         You are required to “actively participate” in all four discussion sessions. Each discussion is worth 15 points each (60 points total). This is explained in further detail below under the heading “Discussions.”


You may check your grades at any time by clicking the My Grades tool from the course homepage.


Exams and Quizzes

Exams and Quizzes are taken with the Assessments Tool. However, once a particular quiz/exam is made available to take, it also can be accessed from within the respective “Unit” page. The dates within which each assessment must be completed can be found on the course schedule. A proctor will not be required, nor will any other special arrangements be necessary. There are four exams (60 minutes each), one at the end of each unit. Each exam consists of 50 multiple choice and true/false questions. The exams need to be completed by the dates listed on the schedule, and you are allowed only one attempt at each exam, so make sure you are well prepared. Quizzes follow a similar format as the exams. There are four quizzes (12 minutes each), limited to one attempt, and must be taken by the due dates. Each quiz consists of 10 multiple choice and true/false questions. Please keep in mind when taking the quizzes and exams that they are timed.

NOTE: You should be thoroughly prepared to take the quizzes and exams without the use of your notes, textbook, or other resources as they are timed assessments (i.e., you will not have time to go searching for answers). In addition, each quiz and exam is randomly generated; therefore, no two assessments will be the same. 


Discussions can take place with the Discussions Tool or from within the “Unit” pages. I have posted a discussion question for each of the four units to be covered, and you must respond to either the question directly or to a point or issue that has been raised by another student. When participating in the discussions, supply your posts directly in the discussion/message area and not as an attachment. Your answer/response should be well thought out, articulate, and insightful. In formulating your posting 1) make sure to read all prior posts so that you are not repeating what has already been said, 2) you contribute substantively to the discussion and are not merely agreeing with what other students are saying, and 3) your response indicates that you have completed the readings associated with a given topic. I expect the postings to be written in a professional manner with proper grammar, spelling, and syntax. You should write it as you would any formal writing assignment and not an email or instant message. Furthermore, please refrain from using expletives, unless it is absolutely necessary (e.g., to make a point that would otherwise be hard to do without its usage).

Even though you have some flexibility to proceed at your own pace in this course, you must keep up with the discussions. It would serve no purpose for you to respond to a question from Unit 1 when the rest of the class is responding to a Unit 3 question. To assure that this does not happen, you must participate in each discussion by the dates listed on the course schedule. Moreover, each discussion topic will be switched to “read only” after the assigned date, which means new postings will not be possible after the due date. On the other hand, do not respond to a discussion until you have read the lectures and readings that pertain to a topic (i.e., do not respond to all the discussions at the beginning of the semester to simply get them “out of the way”).

In grading the discussions, I will take into account the criteria identified above as well as whether you are reading the other students’ postings. I have the ability to determine exactly how many posts each student reads. For example, you may provide an excellent post, but if I see that you have read only a handful of other postings, then you will receive a low grade on that particular discussion. I may be naïve, but my expectation is that students will read every single posting. If you happen to be one of those students who like to submit posts early to “beat the rush,” I still expect you to read every post that comes after yours; don’t just simply provide a post and think that your work is done. You should continue to monitor the new postings (again, I can check for this). The discussion sessions are a forum for learning from each other, not simply to make a comment and move on. To effectively do this, I encourage you to respond to each other’s posts, as this is what the sessions are all about (i.e., “active participation”). While I will monitor the discussions very closely, I will not participate in them or respond. That is your job!

NOTE: While I encourage you to participate in the discussions early, and not wait until the very last minute, it is inevitable that some students will do so. Therefore, I will wait at least 24 hours after a discussion has been locked to start grading them. This will give everyone enough time to catch up with the last minute posts. Again, I can’t stress enough that reading all the other postings are just as important to your discussion scores as providing and replying to posts!

On-Campus Requirements

There is absolutely no requirement that you come to campus. You can communicate with me via the course Mail Tool.

Course Policies



You must adhere to the dates listed for completion of exams, quizzes, and discussions. Once a due date has expired, the item will no longer be accessible (or writeable, in the case of discussions) and you will receive a zero for that particular item. While there is some flexibility in an online course to proceed at your own pace, it is imperative that you complete the quizzes and exams (a.k.a. assessments), as well as the discussion sessions by the due dates listed on the schedule to assure course completion. The assessments will become UNAVAILABLE after midnight on the due date. While you can take an assessment before the due date (as soon as it is made available), please make sure you are thoroughly prepared to complete it successfully, as you only have one attempt at each quiz/exam. At the same time, do not wait until the last available minute on the due date to complete an assessment because you never know when a technological glitch can occur (which I cannot be responsible for). As mentioned earlier, you should plan to complete all activities at least one day prior to the scheduled due date to be on the safe side. This way, if there is a technical problem, you can contact me and I can try to remedy the situation. If you contact me on the day an activity is due, I cannot do anything about it! In this case, you have forfeited your right to a remedy.



I do not deal with excuses [legitimate or otherwise] in online courses for why a particular activity was not completed. In most cases, discussions and assessments are open for two to three weeks, so there is no reason not to have them completed in a timely manner. Because there is a degree of flexibility in completing items, it is your responsibility to keep track of dates and give yourself enough time for completion. If you wait until the last minute, there is no one to blame but yourself.


Extra Credit:

I DO NOT offer extra credit in my courses (online or otherwise), so PLEASE DO NOT ASK!


Material on this Site:

Material and graphics on this site may be protected by federal copyright protection and may not be copied or reproduced.


Academic Dishonesty:

While this is an online course, the same standards used in the traditional classroom setting must be followed. That is, you are expected to do your own work. You must complete your exams and quizzes individually, without the assistance of another person. Anyone who violates this policy will receive a failing grade for the course.



Everyone knows what plagiarism is and why it is not acceptable, and why the university requires stringent penalties for students who do not submit their own work---these statements below are just reminders that may also help to clarify how plagiarism is defined....if you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to ask.)


Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. This includes everything from turning in someone else's work as your own, to buying a paper and submitting it as your own, to paraphrasing (i.e., putting into your own words) ideas you got from other sources, whether books or the Internet. Please read this statement below. (We apologize if it sounds harsh, but we are concerned that some students do not understand that plagiarism is an extremely serious academic offence with extremely serious consequences.) If you do not understand what plagiarism or paraphrasing is, please read the information about Marshall's policy on plagiarism at this site:

STATEMENT ON PLAGIARISM- As a student at Marshall University I fully understand what plagiarism is. If I have any questions whatsoever about whether or not something should be cited or whether or not using someone else's ideas or words is appropriate, I will NOT guess and will consult my course instructor or the website noted above. If I am still confused, I will ask the course instructor and follow his/her advice because I know that my instructor takes this VERY seriously. I also acknowledge that I am fully aware of the penalty in this class for plagiarism/cheating of any type: failure for the semester and referral to the administration. I further acknowledge that I know the administration will put a report on my plagiarism in my permanent record. The administration will also decide if further punishment is warranted, including academic probation and possible expulsion.




Don’t hesitate to contact me directly with questions or concerns. You can reach me through the Mail Tool or if necessary by phone at 304-696-3087. Please don't let your questions hang out there and simmer. If you are not sure about something the best thing to do is to ask about it right away! Something that may seem obvious to me may not be obvious to you at all!

The Online Writing Center:

As a MU student, you are also entitled to individualized, one-on-one assistance from a tutor at The Writing Center in the English Department, which also provides tutoring online. They can help you with any step in the writing process, from invention to revision. The service is free. If you have access to campus and would like to use the on-campus service, you can do so by calling 304/696-6254.


For complete information on how to use the Online Writing Center, please see:

Support Services:

Marshall University offers a variety of support services to students enrolled in online courses.


Marshall University
College of Liberal Arts
Department of Criminal Justice