Introduction to Criminal Justice



Introduction to Criminal Justice with Jason Leggett
Section: Pol 6300


Syllabus (*experimental interactive)
Kingsborough Community College
of the City University of New York

Course Number and Title: Pol 63 Intro to Criminal Justice
Meets: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday at 9:10 – 10:10 AM
Credits: Three
Professor: Jason M. Leggett, J.D.


Free Culture and Remix by Lawrence Lessig.
European Witchcraft by William Monter.
Power/Knowledge by Michell Foucault.
A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The Trial by Franz Kafka.
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.
Going South by Debra Schultz.
Paganism to Christianity in Anglo-Saxon England by William Chaney.
The Pursuit of Reality: Recent Research into the History of Witchcraft by Malcolm Gaskill.

Office Hours, Location, and how to reach me.
Office: D-221 on Mondays 10:20 – 12:20
Email me: or

Why a Syllabus is important to the professor:

We will go over this entire syllabus in class together. You should print and bring a copy, keep in your folder, or have a digital copy available. An interactive copy is also available on our course website at

Statement: Some people believe the syllabus is a contract but I do not for one simple reason: a contract requires an offer and acceptance with a bargained for exchange. We have not bargained, there is no exchange, and you did not have a chance to reject the syllabus. So why is this thing important? In short, this document provides a snapshot of what we (you, me, and your classmates) hope to accomplish with our time together. It represents our commitment to higher education, to the CUNY system, and to this college that we take this job seriously. It also gives you a chance to see how your grade will be determined and what topics we will study in case you want to take this class with someone else or take a different class.

CUNYFIRST Course Description:
Introduction to the criminal justice system in the United States. Includes study of crime and the three elements which comprise the criminal justice system: police, courts and corrections. Attention is given to civil liberties issues which involve the procedural due process rights of persons accused of crime.

Successful completion of this course satisfies one Civic Engagement interaction.

My course Description:
This class is a very broad survey course that introduces us to the ways in which we can examine concepts like criminal and justice as a system and not isolated concepts. It is a good course for those interested in the four year degree of criminal justice when they transfer and a good class for students who want to know more about the topics in the field. However, this is a political science course and will cover methods used in political science. Criminal justice tends to be found in Sociology and/or behavioral sciences and those methods are different. As a law and society scholar I will provide many alternative methods to both political science and sociology but I will make these clear to you and help you practice for future study.

Student Learning Outcomes
If Pathways See: This is not a Pathways Approved Course

If Liberal Arts See: This is an “American Politics” Course

If CRJ See:

My Learning Outcome or Goals
Rubric or Rubrics: Civic learning and democratic engagement: are you able to apply the classroom learning to our communities and democratic institutions as well as being more engaged with campus issues and governance?

See AACU for example

See: Learning Outcomes per College

Required Materials and Class Preparation:

See Cuny First:; this is an Open Educational Resource, or Zero Cost Textbook Course. All materials will be made available for free on Blackboard and our Course Website.

See Department for previous syllabi and materials: D-309

See Program or Liberal Arts for resources: College Catalogue Online

Our Course Materials are found on the Course Website at:

Recommended Materials:

What should students already have read?
It would be helpful if you had read the following materials prior to enrolling in this class:

1. United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.
2. Constitutional Amendments.
3. Federalist Papers.
4. Anti-Federalist Papers.
5. Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
6. Criminal Justice, A Very Short Introduction.

What should students bring to class?
1. You should bring a blank copy of the Lecture Notes Template or have a copy open on your digital device.
2. You should bring a blank copy of the Discussion Notes Template or have a copy open on your digital device.
3. You should bring a copy of “A Study in Scarlet” by Arthur Conan Doyle. You will find a PDF on the Course Website and on Blackboard.
4. You should bring a notebook to take additional notes, an audio recording device, or a digital device to take notes.
5. You should participate in small group discussions, large class dialogues, and activities and ask me questions.

What should students use to study?
1. You should use your lecture notes, discussion notes, Study in Scarlet, Powerpoints, Youtube Videos, and any Podcasts to supplement your learning.

2. You should make 3×5 notecards of your organized notes; you will be able to use these on the final exam.

Attendance Policy: CUNY Kingsborough expects that you will not miss more than 6 hours of class during the semester. If you are experiencing challenges coming to class you must come talk to me in person or over email. If it is evident you are missing a significant number of classes or are not completing the course work you will receive a grade of WU (Withdrawl).

SPECIFICALLY – You should review and get familiar with your rights and responsibilites, including any punishments you might receive and the grade appeal information from the Student Conduct office and pay special attention to the Student Handbook – see:

Class “etiquette” or behavioral assessments/expectations:
In general you are allowed to eat in class, use your mobile device, and go to the bathroom without permission. I expect you to behave like an adult and professionally. If you are distracting me or other classmates I will let you know. You should try to be in class and ready to learn within 5 minutes of the starting time. You will not be given participation credit if you are habitually late, leave early, are not a productive participator, or fail to evidence comprehension of learning materials. Higher Education is intended to be training for a career and a better life, both individually and socially. I will work with you on this improvement within reason.

Kingsborough Email, Announcements, Blackboard, other websites:

1. Your Kingsborough email is important because you get a variety of notifications including scholarships, financial aid, problems with your registration, class information, college closures, events, and more.

2. You should check Blackboard daily. I will use the following sections for this course: Announcements, Course Information; I will not use: Grade Center, TurnitIn, or other features.

3. I make my own website using the CUNY Commons because I have more control over the design and work that you submit using this interface. It is accessible on any device and browser. You should save or bookmark this website because it is the one I will refer to most often:

Academic Integretity and what is plagiarism?

1. You are supposed to produce your understanding of the learning materials and not copy work produced by others.

2. You should not copy or use other classmates work.

3. You should not copy and paste words from websites or journal articles into your essays.

4. You should read and refer often to this website:

Accessibility and Campus Services

1. I utilize a motivational framework for all students to learn.
2. You should contact me if you have any questions or
3. You should review the policy on accessibility and services at:
4. You can visit the Accessibility office at D-205 or email at

Course Work and Grading:

Extra Credit:
(a link to the extra credit page with instructions and sign up google form is located on the course website:

Assessment: I want you to be able to understand the historical and structural significance of the concepts of “criminal” and “justice” and to be able to analyze both historical and modern problems/issues using this historical and structural understanding by identifying the system that helps construct our understandings and shape behaviors/beliefs about the CRJ system.

Our CRJ Learning Outcome for Final Grade:
demonstrate critical thinking skills within the context of evaluating the complexity of criminal justice issues

Our Liberal Arts Learning Outcome for Final Grade:
Comprehend the methods of inquiry within Political Science and Law and Society.

P-PRIM: Most students believe that there are “good” and “bad” actors and that the police were invented to catch bad guys in order to punish them appropriately; what is more, they believe the system is necessary and sufficient to acheive this mythical goal and that any other system would result in anarchy which they describe as a free for all, murder, theft, pillaging, etc., in a man against man, or a Hobbesian state of nature. You will be given a P-PRIM diagnostic on the first day of class. You will refer back to this diagnostic in your final reflection essay.

You will be given a quiz at the end of Week 2 that will measure your existing skills (previous knowledge) in:

Reading comprehension
Critical thinking
Basic writing
Google search

The Cheating Barista Problem at Google Form:

You can access the PDF:


What makes deviant behavior a system inneficiency?
Is deviant behavior bad, immoral, or evil in your opinion? Why or why not?
Provide an example of deviant behavior that leads to a system inneficiency.
Using Google Scholar, find a legal case that mentions the word deviant. Type and paste the weblink (address from browser) here.

There will be a quiz during week 4 that will measure your understanding of the material presented in weeks 1, 2 and 3.

This quiz will be given in class.

There will be a midterm in Week 7 that will measure your ability to thinking logically (logical reasoning and deduction) using a “Sherlock Holmes Case Study (Study in Scarlet) and a 25 Question multiple choice section that will measure both deduction/reading comprehension and your ability to recall things you have learned in weeks 1-7.

This exam will be given in class.

You will then work on your final three main assignments, meant to be scaffolded, or built up, to your final exam. The first is a 3 page-film-photo essay (instructions and examples are available on the course website) about Sherlock Holmes, Artificial Intelligence, Crime and Policing, and a comparison from the 1860s – 1900’s to today; The second assignment will be a reflection essay where you answer the following: 1) Before this class I thought; 2) Through this class I learned; and 3) Now, after this class, I am thinking that…; and finally you will give a short (5 minute) presentation about your learning using an outline, a visual, a powerpoint, discussion points, question and answer, or another agreed upon style/method.

The final exam will present a comprehensive Sherlock Holmes based case study which will include all elements of what you have learned (or supposed to learn; see study guide on course website), and Long Essay answer to evidence your ability to logically deduct and analyze a modern CRJ- criminality/policing issue, and a 10 Q multiple choice section to test the main points which a intro to CRJ student should know to move on (John Jay College focused). You may use flash cards (3×5 cards) for this exam.

This work will be graded, along with participation and attendance, as follows and will use the following grading rubric, part of which you will construct and sign in agreement.

Week 4 Quiz: 20%
Midterm Exam: 25%
Photo-Essay, Reflection Essay and Presentation: 20%
Final Exam: 35%
Extra Credit and participation: up to 10% increase in grade.


Your contribution:
You should complete the readings.
You should take thorough notes.
You should review your notes, edit them, and organize them.
You should participate consistently.
You should study outside of class and utilize college services or web-based assistance.
You should open your mind to new ways of thinking, studying, and organizing.
You should come to office hours or email me.


Week 1
(Dates to be filled in by Student on last day of week 1)
P-Prim Diagnostic: Verbal and Written.
Getting to know everyone and special guest Anthony Chatman.
PowerPoint: Lecture One Law and Edu: Copywrong
(links to powerpoint or Google Slides and link to lecture notes template are on course website).

Big Idea: Intellectual Property, Influence of the Rich (elites), definitions of crime, enforcement as arbitrary and capricious, resistance of lower classes and younger generations. Basis for OER work.

Do Now: 1 Page Essay: Due Wednesday
Career, major, program, skills
(link to page – Assignment Instructions + Example on course website)
This is a getting to know you assignment and will be graded as Pass/Fail. Failure to complete this assignment will result in a final grade of INC, Incomplete.

Week 2
Continued conversation with Mr. Chatman and special guests – what advice for students today?
In Class Test: End of 2nd Week Diagnostic; also on Google Form.

Week 3
PowerPoint: Lecture Two – Example SLO: LSA Law and Evil: Witchcraft, a very brief historical introduction

Big Idea: Structure of crime/justice changes over time, introduction to rationality, religion and morals, empirical realities.
court structures and standards of evidence

Week 4
Quiz: structural/historical/pov

Guest Presentation: Anthony Chatman – Intro to Investigative Function

Week 5
Do Now: Begin Sherlock Holmes: Pages 1-44
PowerPoint: Lecture 3: Foucault, Revolutionary Criminals and the Middle Class.

In Class Activity: Begin Clue

Big Idea: Small Group Discusion: What have you learned about logical deduction from the Sherlock Holmes Story thus far?

Week 6
Continue Sherlock Holmes: Pages 44 to End.

Big Idea: Large Class Dialogue: How does the reading apply to the transition from agriculture to the Industrial Revolution? How does history influence the structure of crime and policing? Where did prisons come from?

Week 7
MIDTERM EXAM Multiple Choice (25Q) & Sherlock Case Study

SPRING BREAK STARTS 4/19; Classes Begin again April 29

Week 8
Watch Sherlock: Film in class

Assignment: Film Photo-Essay (3 pages) Due end of Week 9. Watch another Sherlock film or a film about a Detective and write a three page essay using photos. (Assignment sheet on course website).

Big Idea: Small group discussion to Large Class Dialogue: Tech, Artificial Intellegence, Crime today – compare/contrast

Week 9
Begin Draft Final Reflection Essay in class
Discuss Final Reflection Essay Draft
Activity: Clue Continued

Week 10
Essay, PPT, other

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13
Discuss Presentations and Grading Rubric

Final Exam:

Case Study Comprehensive Long Essay Answer

Multiple Choice (10Q)