Syllabus for AOJ-484



Public Policy, Crime, and Criminal Justice provides an analysis of intergovernmental relations in the forming and implementing of criminal justice policies, laws, and procedures. Emphasis is placed on the development of quantitative and qualitative information in analyzing and formulating policy.


After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Assess public policy issues, processes, and resources as they relate to the area of criminal justice.
  2. Interpret and critically analyze the research bases of knowledge in the field, and demonstrate how they are developed and used.
  3. Integrate criminal justice theory with practical issues in the discipline.
  4. Critically analyze the relationships between the public, law enforcement personnel, perpetrators of crime, and the criminal justice system.
  5. Analyze criminal justice problems and propose solutions.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

  1. Criminal Justice: Policy and Planning, 4th edition, by Wayne N. Welsh and Philip W. Harris (Waltham, MA.: Anderson/Elsevier, 2013).

    ISBN-13: 978-1-4377-3500-0

Chapter Pedagogy

You will find chapter summaries and lists of main points in the Chapter Pedagogy area of the course Web site.

Web Links

Each module provides web links that may enhance your study or help with writing assignments.


Public Policy, Crime, and Criminal Justice is a three-credit online course, consisting of eight (8) modules. Modules include learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Introduction
  2. Module 2: Analyzing the Problem (Stage 1)
  3. Module 3: Setting Goals and Objectives (Stage 2)
  4. Module 4: Designing the Program or Policy (Stage 3)
  5. Module 5: Action Planning(Stage 4)
  6. Module 6: Program/Policy Implementation and Monitoring(Stage 5)
  7. Module 7: Evaluating Outcomes (Stage 6)
  8. Module 8: Reassessment and Review (Stage 7)

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take online quizzes, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded "Introductions" forum, Public Policy, Crime, and Criminal Justice requires you to participate in seven (7) graded class discussions.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses.

You will be evaluated both on the quality of your responses (i.e., your understanding of readings, and concepts as demonstrated by well-articulated, critical thinking) and quantity of your participation (i.e., the number of times you participate meaningfully in the assigned forums). Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Meaningful participation in online discussions is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement.

For posting guidelines and help with discussion forums, please see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete eight (8) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the courses modules. The written assignments are the primary means for you to express yourself verbally during the semester, controlling content and meaning.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with the  Modules of the course Web site, and read through the written assignment question before you begin the reading for that assignment.

Your answers to the assignment questions should be well developed and convey your understanding of the readings and concepts. They should also adequately answer the questions posed. If you need help in writing, take a look at The Writing Center: University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Also, formulate responses in your own words. Do not merely copy answers from your reading materials. When quoting or paraphrasing from the text or other sources, be sure to cite the source of information properly according to APA guidelines (see also Basic Documentation Rules). If you have further questions, your mentor will guide you in accordance with the correct style of documentation.


Your objective in completing each written assignment is to demonstrate comprehension of an issue and to formulate and clarify your position on that issue. You will be presented with a question or a statement and will be given guidelines on how to formulate your response. Successful completion of this assignment involves accomplishing the following tasks:

  1. Clearly define the issue addressed in the question or statement. What is the most important aspect of the issue? Are some facets more important than others? As you define the issue, you automatically clarify it—which helps you present your position effectively.
  2. Boldly state your position on the issue. The reader of your position paper should have no doubt about where you stand on the issue you have selected.
  3. Defend your position. You should present several arguments to support your stand on the issue. When evaluating your paper, I will consider the extent to which you:

  1. Identified the most important arguments needed to support your position.
  2. Provided facts and information.
  3. Presented your case accurately, coherently, logically, consistently, and clearly.
  4. Included appropriate citations and a bibliography.

  1. Conclude concisely. Your conclusion should sum up your argument clearly, persuasively, and concisely.

Prepare your written assignments using whatever word processing program you have on your computer. Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.

Before submitting your first assignment, check with your mentor to determine whether your word processing software is compatible with your mentor's software. If so, you can submit your work as you prepared it. If not, save your assignment as a rich-text (.rtf) file, using the Save As command of your software program. Rich text retains basic formatting and can be read by any other word processing program.

Guidelines for your position papers and the rubric that will be used to assess your position papers can be found in the Rubrics folder within this course site.

For help regarding preparing and submitting assignments, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.


You are required to complete eight (8) quizzes. Quizzes are graded assessments. You can take each quiz only once.

After completing each Module, take the associated quiz.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during the quizzes. Cheating means:

  1. Looking up any answer or part of an answer in an unauthorized textbook or on the Internet, or using any other source to find the answer.
  2. Copying and pasting or in any way copying responses or parts of responses from any other source into your online test. This includes but is not limited to copying and pasting from other documents or spreadsheets, whether written by yourself or anyone else.
  3. Plagiarizing answers.
  4. Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take the quiz.
  5. Copying any part of the quiz to share with other students.
  6. Telling your mentor that you need another attempt at the quiz because your connection to the Internet was interrupted when that is not true.

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in your quiz, the quiz will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

Final Project

There are no examinations in this course. A 15-20 page final project acts as your final assessment. You may begin work on this project at any time during the course, but you must submit it by the last day of the semester.

Complete instructions for your final project, as well as your choice of topics, can be found in the Final Project area of the course Web site.

A list of final project requirements and the rubric that will be used to grade your final project can be found in the Rubrics folder within this course site.

For help regarding preparing and submitting assignments, see the Student Handbook located within the General Information page of the course Web site.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (7)—14 percent
  1. Written assignments (8)—34 percent
  2. Quizzes (8)—12 percent
  3. Final project—40 percent

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.
  2. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.
  3. Arrange to take your examination(s) by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.
  5. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
  2. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.


Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > "Citing Sources.")

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else's. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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