American Law and Justice

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American Law and Justice: Semester 1 Level: Honors

#02962 Credit: .5 (Semester course)
Prerequisite: Completion of U.S. History I, U.S. History II, and Modern World History
This informative semester course is the right choice for students with an interest in the criminal
justice system. It consists of a series of units involving law, justice, and the courts. Emphasis is
placed on such topics as criminal law, judicial decision making, law enforcement and the penal
system. The course enables students to critically analyze policy choices related to crime,
punishment, and rehabilitation. Throughout the year, students also learn about the range of
careers available in the criminal justice system. Essential questions addressed during the
course include What is crime? Who defines crime? What are the functions of a criminal justice
system? How do criminal justice systems balance the safety of the community with individual
rights? How do criminal and juvenile justice systems affect young people? Mock trials, debates,
and position papers are a significant part of the curriculum. Some example projects include
students learning and applying the various techniques used during a crime scene investigation,
including what types of evidence to collect and how that evidence can be used to deduce
information about the crime and/or perpetrator, and students role-playing prosecutors,
criminal defense lawyers, jurors, and court personnel conducting a mock criminal trial.

Rick Tivnan