Sociology and Criminal Justice

Jeffrey Herndon (Interim Head)
Location: Ferguson Social Sciences Building, Room 210, 903-886-5332
Sociology and Criminal Justice Web Site: http://www.tamuc.edu/academics/colleges/humanitiesSocialSciencesArts/departments/sociologyCriminalJustice/default.aspx

The mission of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice is to provide quality learning experiences to equip students with social, intellectual, leadership, and critical thinking skills, preparing them for a global and diverse society.

The department offers several majors which prepare students for entry into a variety of careers or graduate professional study. In addition to a major and minor in sociology, students may select a broadfield major in criminal justice or a minor in criminal justice. Also, a number of courses in anthropology are offered in the department.

Although most courses are offered every semester (not including summer sessions), particular courses in sociology and criminal justice are offered alternating semesters. Please note the courses denoted with (1) are offered only during the fall semester, and those denoted with (2) are offered only during the spring semester.

  • Courses transferred in from a Community College cannot count for a 300-400 level course.
  • Fifteen Semester Hours in the major must be taken at Texas A&M University-Commerce.
  • All courses in the major must be completed with a grade of “C” or higher.

CJ 101 - Introduction to Criminal Justi
Hours: 3
(CRIJ 1301) Introduction to Criminal Justice. Three semester hours. An overview of law enforcement, courts and corrections from historical, ethical, philosophical, and practical perspectives. A focus on defining crime, searching for its causes, and studying its impact on society through the investigation and arrest of suspects, prosecution and defense of the accused, and punishment and rehabilitation of criminals.

CJ 201 - Police & Law Enforcement
Hours: 3
(CRIJ 2328) Police and Law Enforcement. Three semester hours. A general survey of the history and social issues involved in law enforcement in a democratic society with significant problems of crime. The course will also focus on aspects of police administration and police-community linkages.

CJ 301 - Criminal Investigation
Hours: 3
Criminal Investigation. Three semester hours. An examination of theories and practices of the investigation process in the criminal justice system. An analysis of information and application of operational techniques relating to crime scenes, forensic sciences, interviews, and interrogations. A study of issues concerning rules of evidence, trial testimony, and other constitutional processes.

CJ 326 - Juvenile Delinquency
Hours: 3
Juvenile Delinquency. Three semester hours. The study of the nature, extent, causation, treatment, and prevention of juvenile delinquency. Prerequisite: CJ 101

CJ 328 - Juvenile Justice System
Hours: 3
An overview of the American juvenile justice system with an emphasis on contemporary themes of its different aspects including school violence and drugs. It will explore the juvenile justice system from arrest through intake, prosecution, adjudication, and dispositions. It will also cover the organization, processes, and functions of the juvenile justice system in the United States, its historical antecedents, and contemporary challenges. Consideration is also given to sociopolitical factors in juvenile justice decision-making including surveys of juvenile law and a comparative analysis of adult and juvenile justice systems. Prerequisites: CJ 101 or SOC 1301.

CJ 330 - Crime & Criminology
Hours: 3
Crime and Criminology. Three semester hours. The scientific study of the creation, causation, and societal reaction to crime. Focus is on criminological theories and developing a sociological understanding of trends and patterns of specific crimes and types of criminal offenders. Pre-requisite: CJ 101

CJ 338 - Dealing with Terrorism
Hours: 3
Dealing with Terrorism - Three semester hours This course covers critical thoughts on the meaning and focus of terrorism. It addresses the social and criminal justice impact of terrorism at the global, national, and local levels. The many explanations for terrorism are presented. The multiple ways of preventing it from intensifying as a serious type of so-called "dirty violence" are investigated.

CJ 340 - CJ Policy and Practice
Hours: 3
Criminal Justice Policy and Practice This course will evaluate various policy dimensions of crime and criminal justice. Students will learn the process through which policy is made, will critically evaluate current criminal justice policies, and will study the impact of policy decisions on criminal justice practice. Pre-requisites : CJ 101

CJ 360 - Mass Media and Crime
Hours: 3
This course examines the media's effects on perceptions of crime and justice in America. An examination is performed on media-generated crime and criminal justice policies. An example of media-generated crime would be when politicians/media "emphasize" a problem to essentially "create" a crime or crime wave. A discussion of the effect of social constructionism and the ability of the various types of media to create a new type of crime will occur. An investigation of the impact of various types of media (radio, television, motion pictures, records, and printed sources, etc.) on criminals, crime fighters, and the courts will be conducted. An example of criminal topics to be discussed is the drug problem, sex offenders, murders, etc.

CJ 383 - CJ Administration and Mgmt
Hours: 3
Criminal Justice Administration and Management - Three semester hours The study of criminal justice administration (i.e., police, courts, and corrections) with special emphasis on applying theoretical concepts to practical planning and application, including the policy-making process, implementation of new policy, and policy assessment. Pre-requisite: CJ 101

CJ 384 - Terrorism
Hours: 3
The course provides various meanings and interpretations of terrorism as a unique form of violence in human society. It identifies various forms of types of terrorism such as one based on suicide. The course also explores a variety of theoretical as well as empirically based explanations, and preventive strategies for terrorism around the globe along with their relevance to the American criminal justice system

CJ 390 - White-Collar Crime
Hours: 3
White-Collar Crime. Three hours. This course examines the theories, ideas, nature and scope that are dominant in the field of white-collar crime. An examination of the structural foundation of occupational, political, and organization/corporate crimes, with some comparison with street (predatory) type crimes will occur in this class. Multi-level responses and forms of intervention will also be discussed.

CJ 397 - Special Topic
Hours: 3
Special Topics. Three semester hours. Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

CJ 420 - Crime Profiling
Hours: 3
Crime Profiling. Three semester hours This course examines various types of crimes, in terms of offender profile, victim profile and situational elements, using both national crime and victimization data. Within each crime typology, data are utilized to examine the characteristics of the most likely offender, and the circumstances under which the crime is most likely to be committed. Pertinent theories are examined, relating to both the crimes and offenders, by types of crimes. Responses to each type by law enforcement agencies are also discussed.

CJ 430 - Courts and Criminal Procedure
Hours: 3
Courts and Criminal Procedure. Three semester hours. A survey of federal, state, and local judicial systems with an emphasis on pretrial, trial, and appellate criminal procedure. A description of court structures and roles of the judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, juries, and other court personnel. Prerequisite: CJ 101 or equivalent.

CJ 431 - Criminal Law
Hours: 3
Criminal Law. Three semester hours. Introduction to the basic concepts, principles and the nature of criminal law. The course also examines the mutual relationships between criminal law and society.

CJ 468 - Correctional Systems
Hours: 3
Correctional Systems. Three semester hours. (1) A theoretical, historical, and pragmatic overview of institutional corrections, including the administration, design, and organization of adult prisons and jails and juvenile detention facilities and reformatories. An examination of punishment and treatment philosophies and objectives. Prerequisite: CJ 101 or equivalent.

CJ 469 - Victimology
Hours: 3
This course will present a number of different definitions of Victimology to include early theorists and recent theories as to the causes of victimization. Methods of reporting crimes, both official (government) and unofficial reports will be examined including the Uniform Crime Report (UCR). The course will offer an examination of the criminal and civil process as it relates to victims. It explains the impact of crime on victims; a global perspective of victimization; and responses to victimization.

CJ 470 - Criminal Justice Internship I
Hours: 3
Criminal Justice Internship I. Three semester hours. An academically based work experience within selected agencies of the criminal justice system. The purpose of the internship is to provide an arena for the application of classroom principles within the context of the day to day reality of the criminal justice system. The internship includes field supervision as well as classroom experiences. Prerequisites: Junior standing with 12 hours in criminology, law enforcement, and permission of the instructor. NOTE: Students with previous work experience within the criminal justice system are not eligible.

CJ 478 - Community-Based Corrections
Hours: 3
Community-Based Corrections. Three semester hours. (2) A study of probation, parole, diversion, pre-trial release, and intermediate sanctions. A critical analysis of the statutes and policies relating to the administration of community-based correctional programs. Prerequisite: CJ 101.

CJ 479 - Offender Reentry
Hours: 3
Offender Reentry - Three semester hours Offender reentry is the process of transitioning offenders from prison/jail to the community. This course will provide students with an in-depth analysis of the issues impacting successful offender reentry, including employment, drug treatment, family reunification, and housing issues. In addition, this course will educate students about barriers and impediments to offender reentry such as voter disenfranchisement. Pre-requisites : CJ 101

CJ 480 - Senior Sem in Criminal Justice
Hours: 3
Senior Seminar in Criminal Justice. Three semester hours. A review and discussion of significant current research and case studies in the criminal justice field. Examination and application of methods of transferring theoretical perspectives, knowledge, and skills from academics to the work environment. An overview of career opportunities, resume preparation, and job interviewing skills. Prerequisite: CJ 101, declaration as a Criminal Justice major, and completion of at least 90 semester hours.

CJ 488 - Ethics in Criminal Justice
Hours: 3
Ethics in Criminal Justice. Three semester hours. A review of ethical theories and their application to the fields of law enforcement, courts, and corrections. The development of ethical reasoning, familiarity of professional standards and codes of ethics, and resolution of complex ethical dilemmas.

CJ 489 - Independent Study
Hours: 1-4
Independent Study. One to four semester hours. Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisite: Consent of department head.

CJ 490 - Honors Thesis
Hours: 3

CJ 491 - Honors Reading
Hours: 3

CJ 497 - Special Topics
Hours: 3
Special Topics. Three semester hours. Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

SOC 310 - Psy & Soci Diverse Popula
Hours: 3
Psychology and Sociology of Diverse Populations. Three semester hours. (Same as PSY 310; equivalent to PSY 311) This course will examine the variables which affect the perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors of various microcultures which comprise our population. The course will include, but will not be limited to, culture as a function of socioeconomic status, religion, sex and gender, language, age, exceptionality, geographical origins and ethnicity. Included in the course will be an analysis of issues related to race, age, sex, and handicap. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

SOC 311 - Social Class,Wealth/Power
Hours: 3
Social Class, Wealth, and Power. Three semester hours. The relations among social classes are examined as systems of privilege with inequalities of wealth, power, and prestige among individuals and groups. Forces giving rise to social classes, how one's position in a class system affects behavior and personality, class conflict, and the impact of other social institutions, especially the economic and political, are studied.

SOC 316 - Marriage and Family
Hours: 3
Marriage and Family - Three semester hours This course is a general introduction to marriage and family relationships in the United States, along with comparative examples of other cultures for critical thinking. Topics covered include an overview of the institution of marriage and family, theoretical perspectives on the institution, research approaches in studying the institution, gendered identities, love and intimacy, human sexuality, dating and courtship, the single life, kinship responsibilities, cohabitation, communication, dual career marriages, conflict and divorce, aging process, and marital adjustment and enrichment.

SOC 318 - Urban Sociology & Anthro
Hours: 3
Urban Sociology and Anthropology. Three semester hours. This course examines the city and urban life in international perspective. Sociological and anthropological studies will be used to examine the development and growth of cities. The course examines concepts such as urbanism, over-urbanization, and urban primacy as well as social problems characteristic of contemporary urban life.

SOC 320 - Deviant Behavior
Hours: 3
Deviant Behavior. Three semester hours. An introduction to the general phenomenon of social deviance. The course focuses on criminal as well as non-criminal deviance such as mental disorders, drug use, and prostitution. Theoretical approaches which seek to explain deviance will be critically explained.

SOC 323 - Soc of Health and Illness
Hours: 3
This course examines the social contexts of health, illness, and medical care. It gives prominence to the debates and contrasting theoretical perspectives which provide insight into the political, economic and cultural factors which affect the recognition, distribution and response to illness and disease. Topics include the social construction of health and illness; the global nature of the AIDS epidemic; the patient's perspective on illness; the development of the health professions and the health work force; alternative systems of healing; ethical issues in medicine as they relate to medical technology; and comparative health care reform.

SOC 331 - Intro to Social Research
Hours: 3
Introduction to Social Research. Three semester hours. An introduction to the process, logic, and skills of social science research inquiry. The range of research designs, their strengths and weaknesses, the specific research tools needed for the collection of sociological data, and introductory analytical techniques are examined. Required of all majors and a prerequisite for Sociology 332.

SOC 332 - Mthds of Stat Analys
Hours: 4
Mthds of Stat Analys. Four semester hours. (3 lecture, 1 lab) This course provides an in-depth introduction to descriptive and inferential statistics that are especially appropriate in quantitative analysis used in the social sciences (including t tests, z scores, regression, measures of central tendency, etc.). Setting up data files, manipulating variables and running statistical programs using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) are integral components of the course. Prerequisites: Sociology 1301, and 331 or SWK 350, and MATH 1314 or 1324 or 179.

SOC 333 - Social Psychology
Hours: 3
Social Psychology. Three semester hours. The study of the importance of others' influence on one's attitudes, perceptions, motivations, and behavior, the dynamic fragility and power of group participation, and the extent to which human potential is enhanced or severely limited in the context of group life.

SOC 335 - GLB/Global Social Issues
Hours: 3
This course examines a variety of social issues from a global perspective. In today's world nations are linked by vast networks of trade, communication, and travel. As a result, social issues once thought of as "local" are rapidly becoming globalized. Issues associated with these increasing linkages are the focus of this class. They include human rights issues, the implications of global media, the transnationalization of crime and terrorism, global environmental issues, international migration, urbanization, and global social and economic inequalities.

SOC 341 - Soc of Complex Organizations
Hours: 3
Sociology of Complex Organizations. Three semester hours. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the nature of contemporary complex organizations and leadership from a critical perspective. An array of concepts, perspectives and theories, corresponding to the three major sociological approaches, will be presented. These approaches are Rational, Natural, and Open Systems. Different aspects of complex organizations will be analyzed through the use of scholarly journal articles from recognized publications in the United States and overseas. The course will examine the topic of complex organizations on a global scale so international corporations can also be studied. This course contributes three credit hours toward students' fulfillment of degree requirements. The target students are sociology, criminal justice, social work, business and education administration.

SOC 350 - US-Drugs & Society
Hours: 3
Drugs and Society. Three semester hours. This course examines the major categories of drugs- stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and narcotics. It also investigates other drug related topics and events such as the use of steroids and inhalants; the abuse of over-the-counter drugs; dependency and addiction; and intervention topics. As a capstone this course includes critical thinking about the drug culture, and emphasis is placed on a cross-culture perspective. Integrating the viewpoints of other disciplines and professions about the drug culture is also a goal of this course. Prerequisite: Junior standing.

SOC 370 - Minority Groups
Hours: 3
Minority Groups. Three semester hours. A general survey of race, ethnic, and minority relations in the United States. Emphasis is placed on theories of prejudice/discrimination and institutional racism in education, politics, and economics.

SOC 416 - Sociology Conflicts in Society
Hours: 3
Conflicts in society are studied as ongoing realities of everyday life. The course will focus on a few conflicts in society, exploring each in considerable depth. Critical, as opposed to descriptive, thinking will be emphasized. The course will be geared not only toward helping students realize the difference between the two perspectives but to appreciate and apply critical thinking to the social conflicts being examined. Prerequisites: SOC 1301.

SOC 436 - Sociological Theory
Hours: 3
Sociological Theory. Three semester hours. This course examines the nature of theory and reviews major sociological theories, especially structural-functionalism, conflict theory, exchange theory, and interactionism. Special attention is given to leading figures representative of the above schools of thought. Prerequisite: Sociology 1301 or its equivalent

SOC 470 - Sociology Internship
Hours: 3
Sociology Internship - Three semester hours This course will be an academically-based work experience within selected organizations related to the discipline of sociology. The purpose of the internship is to provide an arena for the application of classroom principles within the context of the day-to-day reality of the professional world of employment. The internship includes field supervision as well as classroom experiences. Pre-requisites : SOC 1301 and SOC 331

SOC 485 - Senior Seminar in Sociology
Hours: 3
Senior Seminar in Sociology. Three semester hours. (1) The course examines ways sociology majors can synthesize sociology curriculum and apply the sociological perspective to the real world, along with their knowledge and skills outside the academic world in real work settings. In addition, this course will guide students in the process of resume preparation, interviewing skills, graduate program, and career opportunities available with a sociology major. Special attention will be given to leadership skills needed in the world of work. Pre-requisites: Soc 111, 331, 332, 436, and a senior status.

SOC 489 - Independent Study
Hours: 3
Independent Study. One to four semester hours. Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated when the topic varies. Prerequisite: Consent of department head.

SOC 490 - H Honors Thesis
Hours: 3
PSY 490 - H Honors Thesis - Hours: 3 Individualized instruction/research at an advanced level in a specialized content area under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisite Consent of head. Note May be repeated when the topic varies.

SOC 491 - H Independent Honors Rdgs
Hours: 3

SOC 497 - Special Topics
Hours: 1-4
Organized class. May be repeated when topics vary.

SOC 1301 - Introduction to Sociology
Hours: 3
This course is designed to help students better understand the social world in which they live as well as provide a foundation for other in sociology. It provides an overview of major concepts and principles of sociology, including globalization, diversity,socialization, social control, social order, social stratification, ethnicity, social deviance, and social change. This course emphasizes global dynamics (issues, trends, processes, and systems) from a sociological perspective, and helps students view themselves as engaged citizens within an interconnected and diverse world.

SOC 1306 - GLB/US-Social Problems
Hours: 3
A critical discussion of the sociological perspective on studying descriptions, causes, and prevention of social problems such as crime, mental illness, drug abuse, environmental degradation, poverty, terrorism, and declining quality of life in today’s world.

Vivian Dorsett
Assistant Professor
B.S., M.S., Texas A&M University-Commerce; Ph.D., Texas A&M University-Prairie View

Willie J. Edwards
Associate Professor
B.A., M.A., East Texas State University; Ph.D., University of Minnesota.

Nicole Farris
Assistant Professor
B.A., Ph.D, Texas A&M-College Station, M.S. Texas State

Martha Henderson Hurley
Department Head and Professor
B.A. Furman University, M.A and Ph.D, University of Cincinnati

David Hurley
Assistant Professor
B.S., University of Dayton; M.S., Ph.D., University of Cincinnati

Raghu N. Singh
Professor
B.A., M.A., Punjab University; Ph.D., Mississippi State University.

Jiaming Sun
Professor
B.A., Shanghai University; M.A., Fudan University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago.

William E. Thompson
Professor
B.A., Northeastern State University; M.S.Ed., Southwest Missouri State University; Ph.D., Oklahoma State University.

Yvonne Villanueva-Russell
Associate Professor
B.A., M.A., Western Illinois University; Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia.

Elvira White-Lewis
Associate Professor
BS., North Carolina A&T State University, M.A., University of Maryland, J.D., University of Maryland School of Law, Ph.D., Prairie View A&M University.