Criminal Justice

Professor Kelly A. Dagan
Assistant Professor Jericho McElroy
Assistant Professor Jaclyn Tabor
Assistant Professor David Walter
Instructor Angela Gonzales Balfe

The Criminal Justice Major at Illinois College is housed in the Department of Sociology and is rooted in the liberal arts and the sociological perspective. At Illinois College, a major in Criminal Justice is dedicated to developing students’ knowledge of the breadth, depth, and complexities of the criminal justice system. Through our courses, experiential learning, and faculty advising, 1) we ask students to examine the impact of larger cultural values and social dynamics on the operation of this social institution, paying particular attention to issues of stratification, and 2) we prepare students to pursue various criminal justice careers. In addition, we encourage students to recognize the ways in which various academic disciplines usefully illuminate issues in criminal justice.

Students must earn a ‘C-’ or better in each course to be counted toward the major or minor. All prerequisite courses must be completed with a C or better. Courses in the Criminal Justice major can share only three courses with a Sociology major. Courses in the Criminal Justice minor can share one course with a Sociology minor.

Note: CJ 160 is a prerequisite for CJ 210 and CJ 215. CJ 160 or SO 101 is a prerequisite for SO 286, SO 341, and SO 343. Status as a sophomore or above is a prerequisite for CJ 220, CJ 310, and PO 379.

Majors & Programs


CJ 160: Introduction to Criminal Justice

An introduction to the evolution of the system of criminal justice in the United States; differing approaches to law enforcement, the process of criminal justice from intake to dismissal through its main agencies: police, courts, corrections, probation, and parole. Current ethical issues, experiments, and reforms in criminal justice, as well as planning for a career in criminal justice are covered.

CJ 201: Criminal Justice Administration and Leadership

This course is designed to provide the student with a solid foundation in understanding criminal justice agencies. It will provide the student with the tools and knowledge they will need in order to build an understanding of what, how, and to what end management is conceived and implemented in criminal justice agencies. In doing so, this course will present a general descriptive and theoretical overview of agencies and their components (structures, processes, and behaviors). The readings and discussions will focus primarily on equipping students with the skills, knowledge, and solid understanding they need to effectively deal with the challenges they will face in their own criminal justice careers. Key topics as civil liability, political power, ethics and budgeting will be covered.

CJ 210: Issues in Policing

Study and practice of policing in a free society. Included are crime prevention and detection, patrol tactics, criminal and traffic enforcement, accident investigation, arrest and apprehension procedures, trial court testimony, and an emphasis on ethical issues in police work. 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.

CJ 215: Criminal Investigations

This course design is to introduce students to the unique aspects of criminal investigations. Students will explore the investigative theory, the collection and preservation of evidence, concepts of interviewing and interrogation, the use of forensic sciences, and trial preparation. The course focus is investigative techniques employed, how to gather information, and applying legal concepts to solving crime. The course will examine concepts and methods of investigation of major index crimes.

CJ 220: Victimology

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.

CJ 310: Criminal Law and Procedure

This course introduces students to substantive criminal law and criminal procedure. Students will develop skills in legal analysis and learn the elements and defenses associated with criminal offenses. The course examines criminal statute^ the common law, legal terminology, defenses, court procedures, the trial process, evidence, sentencing, appeal probation, jail, prison, parole, civil commitment, and current events. Extensive reading, analysis, classroom participation, and writing is required.