Department of Sociology and Anthropology

SOC 345.01 CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

Prerequisite: Intro to Criminal Justice

Instructor: Dr. Zoran Milovanovich

Phone: (484) 365-8000, x3548

Office Location: DH 362

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The course is intended to develop general understanding of the science of inquiry and provide presentation of techniques, skills and limitations of the modern criminal investigation. Consideration includes all aspects of criminal investigation, as a system of thought and action. Discussion is centered on methods applied in detecting, examining and interpreting factual and legal dimensions of criminal cases. The course also examines concepts and methods of investigation of specific forms of crime (homicide, rape, robbery, etc).

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

·         Appreciate the importance of criminal investigation to the criminal justice system as a whole, know what constitutes a successful criminal investigation, and explain and contrast deductive and inductive reasoning.

·         Understand how the scientific method applies to criminal investigation and explain the necessity of legal guidelines and restrictions of the investigative function.

·         List and define the three major phases of a criminal investigation, explain the importance of physical evidence, and understand the complexities and difficulties surrounding the use of interview and interrogation.

·         Know legal meaning of specific forms of crime, their characteristics, and specific methods applied and problems encountered in the investigative processes.

 

COURSE EMPHASIS

As a critical thinking emphasis course, Criminal Investigation will employ simplified versions of two methods - case analysis and "focused dialogue" - commonly used in law schools to train and improve thinking skills of students. They are being exposed to challenges of defending their reasoning and required to make sense of every decision they reach. They are taught to avoid the common mistake of jumping hastily to a conclusion based on limited number of facts and form the opinion that can stand critical review.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

Textbook assignments

Classroom attendance and participation;

Tests: four tests, including midterm and final exam.

METHOD OF EVALUATION

Grade Distribution

Quizzes

25%

Midterm Exam

25%

Final Exam

40%

Attendance and Participation

10%

 

Recommended Grade-Boosting Strategy

Students are strongly encouraged to prepare and make an oral presentation based on critical analysis of a case or issue relevant to the field of study. Successful presentation has the potential to significantly boost the grade (up to 10% of the maximum score).

Oral Presentation

Evaluation of the oral presentation is based on the following criteria: selection of subject (relevant to assignment, interesting, appropriate level); content and organization (necessary components: introduction, development, supporting material, conclusion); language (clarity, vividness, grammar correct, oral style); delivery (body control, voice); attitude toward an audience (urge to communicate); the degree to which the class was involved; and overall effectiveness.

Percentage to Letter-Grade Conversions

A

95-99%

A-

91-94%

B+

86-90%

B

81-85%

B-

76-80%

C+

71-75%

C

66-70%

C-

61-65%

D+

56-60%

D

51-55%

F

0-50%

 

Tests

Students are expected to take all tests at the regularly scheduled time. If a student cannot do so, he/she should inform the professor before the test. If the reason for being absent is valid, the student will be given the opportunity to take a make-up test. Because of the difficulty of developing a second test, make-up test will consist entirely of essay questions. Students who miss test without informing the professor beforehand will not be permitted to make up the test unless they can provide proof of having had to leave the campus unexpectedly for a hospital stay or serious family emergency.

Attendance

Students in this class will be expected to adhere to the University regulations on absence from class. Students are advised to keep in mind that four absences may result in an automatic failure in the course, and that two tardy arrivals will be counted as one absence.

Academic Ethics:

Students are reminded that they must adhere to the standards of academic ethics of the University. These include standards of honesty for such activities as submitting assignments and essays, taking tests and examinations and doing project assignments. To view the full text of the University Approved Integrity Statement, click here.

REQUIRED TEXT

Bennett W. & Hess K., CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION, St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1998

COURSE OUTLINE

 INTRODUCTION TO BASIC CONCEPTS

 INVESTIGATIVE PROCESSES

 INVESTIGATIVE EQUIPMENT

 INVESTIGATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY

NOTES AND REPORTS

 CRIME SCENE SKETCHES

 SEARCHES

  PHYSICAL EVIDENCE

  OBTAINING INFORMATION

 IDENTIFYING AND ARRESTING SUSPECTS

 SURVEILLANCE, UNDERCOVER ASSIGNMENTS, AND RAIDS

 INVESTIGATING CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS

 INVESTIGATING CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY

WEB SITES RELATED TO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION AND EVIDENCE

Back to top of page

Return to The home page of the Criminal Justice Program

Go to Requirements for Criminal Justice Majors

Go to Suggested Course Sequence for Criminal Justice Majors

Go to Requirements for a Criminal Justice Minor

Email: milovanovich@lu.lincoln.edu