College of Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities

College of Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities

College of Social Sciences, Arts, and Humanities

Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice

CCJ 5934-001


Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice

B. L. PERRY 200

W 5:45 PM-8:15 PM

Ray Von Robertson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Interim chairperson of Sociology & Criminal Justice

Office Location: 403 Perry Paige; Office Phone: (850) 561-3316; Email:; Office Hours: T & TH 11:00AM -1:00PM by Appt.


Robertson, Ray Von, & Chaney, Cassandra. (2019). Police use of excessive force against African Americans: Intellectual antecedents and community perceptions. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

Course Description: This course uses critical race theory as an intellectual underpinning for a comprehensive examination of contemporary issues in criminal justice. In this course we will examine the contemporary impact of myriad criminal justice issues..

Course Objectives:

This course will emphasize the development of the following:

(1) Knowledge of the spectrum of academic Criminal Justice.

(2) A critical understanding of criminal justice in contemporary society.

(3) The relevance of race, gender, and class in the criminal justice system.


Week 1 (1/6—1/10)-Course Introduction

Courts, Law, & Jurisprudence

Week 2 (1/13-1/17) – The Philosophical & Ideological underpinnings of Corrections; Jurisprudence The Sociable Science

Week 3 (1/20-1/24) – More Reasons why Jurisprudence is not legal philosophy; On and On, Over and Over

Week 4 (1/27-1/31)-Putting the Law in its Place; Equal protection and white supremacy


Week 5 (2/3-2/7)-Striking the Right Balance; Sexuality and Sexual Health in Prison

Week 6 (2/10-2/14)-The Use of Restorative practices to reduce prison gang violence;

An Overview of the challenge of prison gangs

Policing and Law Enforcement

Week 7 (2/17-2/21) – Police Brutality and Black Health; Protesting the Police

Week 8 (2/24-2/28)-Armed and Dangersous; Black on Blue POST MIDTERM ON BLACKBOARD

Week 9 (3/2-3/6)-Robertson & Chaney Ch.1; Robertson & Chaney Ch. 2

Week 10 (3/9-3/13) – Robertson & Chaney Ch. 3; Robertson & Chaney Ch. 4


Week 12 (3/23-3/27)-Robertson & Chaney Ch. 5; Robertson & Chaney Conclusion

Juvenile delinquency

Week 13 (3/30-4/3)-Perceived Need and receipt of Behavioral Health Services; Implementing Trauma-informed practice

Week 14 (4/6-4/10)-Youth and Delinquency; Perceptions of Black Male Disproportionality (Me) POST FINAL ON BLACKBOARD

Week 15 (4/13-4/17)-Catch up!!

Week 16 (4/20-4/24)-Catch up!!

Week 17 (4/27-5/1)-UPLOAD FINAL EXAM TO BLACKBOARD BY 10 PM ON 4/29.

Grading Scale: 2tests @ 100 pts each; 1 Chapter Critique @ 100 points; 4 Article Presentations @ 15 points each.


A = 90% – 100% (324-360 pts)

B = 80% – 89% (288– 359.99 pts)

C = 70% – 79% (252– 287.99 pts)

D = 60%-69% (216– 251.99 pts)




Students will be assigned to facilitate discussions of the weekly assigned readings. This entails briefly summarizing the main points of the readings, outlining the key elements of the reading and any reflections you might want to add such as a news item or example that illustrates an important element of the theory being discussed.

Your presentation should also demonstrate that you are engaging with the readings in a critical manner by considering the strengths and weaknesses of their arguments, policy implications and how they apply to our consideration of real world problems.

When you are assigned to lead a discussion or present a chapter, your written outline/summary should be uploaded into BLACKBOARD under the appropriate assignment category no later than 12:00 PM on Tuesday, the day you will present.

Each student will be required to serve as discussion facilitator four times during the semester.

Weekly Presenter/Discussant Grading Rubric

*Each chapter summary must be 5 pages in length. Additionally, your discussion questions must be at the top of the 6th page and include the page number(s) where the information can be found.*

Discussion facilitators that meet all criteria for the grading categories below will receive the highest points possible at that level. Facilitators that meet some, but not all criteria will receive a score within the point range of the appropriate category.

Each presenter assignment is worth a maximum of 15 points, for a total for 60 possible points on presentation assignments.

Excellent (15 – 14 points)

Discussant demonstrates superior understanding of the assigned readings, substantiated by examples drawn from the text or real-world happenings.

Discussant is insightful, thorough and interesting.

Presentation is polished.

Good (13.9 – 13 points)

Discussant shows a good understanding