Criminal Justice

The Criminal Justice department at Inver Hills provides distinct pathways to careers in corrections and law enforcement.

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Criminal Justice


Contact Information

Leslie Palmer
Criminal Justice Instructor

lpalmer@inverhills.edu
651-450-3619

Admissions Team

admissions@inverhills.edu
651-450-3000
College Center

Criminal Justice Information Sessions

Interested in learning more about the exciting educational and career opportunities in the Criminal Justice field? If so, sign up to attend this information session about the Criminal Justice Department here at Inver Hills. You will learn more about our Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Associate of Science degrees and our Law Enforcement and Corrections certificate programs.


Watch the video to learn more about the Criminal Justice degree program

Degrees

Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway Degree A.S. – 60 credits

This course of study is designed to prepare individuals for careers in corrections, security and law enforcement. The Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway A.S. offers students a powerful option: the opportunity to complete an Associate of Science degree with course credits that directly transfer to designated Criminal Justice bachelor’s degree programs at Minnesota State universities. The curriculum has been specifically designed so that students completing the pathway degree and transferring to one of the seven Minnesota State Universities* enter the university with junior-year status. All courses in the Transfer Pathway associate degree will directly transfer and apply to the designated bachelor’s degree programs in a related field.

The Criminal Justice Pathway consists of the Required Pathway Curriculum, as well as completion of the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC), to bring your credit total to 60 credits.

*Universities within the Minnesota State system include Bemidji State University; Metropolitan State University; Minnesota State University, Mankato; Minnesota State University, Moorhead; Southwest Minnesota State University; St. Cloud State University; and Winona State University.

Coursework   Program Planning Guide

Criminal Justice Curriculum – 15 credits

Course Number Title Credits
CJS 1150 Intro to Criminal Justice 3 cr
CJS 1152 Police and Community 3 cr
CJS 1154 Juvenile Justice 3 cr
CJS 1156 American Corrections 3 cr
CJS 2158 Criminology 3 cr
Total Credits: 15

Program Electives – 3-4 credits

Course Number Title Credits
Choose from the following:
CJS 2160 Criminal Justice and the Constitution 3 cr
CJS 2244 Special Topics in Law Enforcement 1 - 3 cr
CJS 2289 Experience in Criminal Justice 4 cr
EMS 1100 Emergency Medical Responder 3 cr
HLTH 1130 Drug Use and Abuse 3 cr
PHED 1127 Law Enforcement Physical Skills Training 1 cr
POLS 1121 State and Local Government 3 cr
PSYC 2250 Abnormal Psychology 3 cr
Total Credits: 3 - 4

Recommended Electives For Students Pursuing Law Enforcement

  • EMS 1100 Emergency Medical Responder
  • PHED 1127 Law Enforcement Physical Skills Training

Liberal Arts Curriculum – 41-42 credits

The Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) requires a minimum of 40 credits, some of which will be satisfied by the required pathway curriculum. You must complete the MnTC courses that are specifically designated below, such as ENG 1108 Writing & Research Skills for MnTC Goal Area 1. You may choose the other courses from each goal area from the list located at: www.inverhills.edu/MnTC

To streamline your degree, you are encouraged to choose MnTC Goal 1-6 courses that also meet MnTC Goal areas 7-10.

Goal 1 Communication - 3 courses

Course Number Title Courses
ENG 1108 Writing & Research Skills  
ENG 1111 OR
ENG 1114 OR
ENG 1130
Research Writing in the Disciplines OR
The Research Paper OR
Writing & Research for the Professions
2-3
COMM 1100 Interpersonal Communication
Total Courses: 3

Goal 2 Critical Thinking - 0-1 course

  • Satisfied by Transfer Pathway

Goal 3 Natural Science - 2 courses

1 course must include lab

  • Goal 3a Life Sciences BIOL 1123 Intro to Forensic Science (recommended)
  • Goal 3b Physical Sciences course

Goal 4 Mathematical/Logical Reasoning - 1 course

  • Goal 4 course MATH 1103 Statistics (recommended)

Goal 5 History/Social Sciences/Behavioral Sciences - 3 courses

  • PSYC 1101 Introduction to Psychology OR
    PSYC 1201 Introduction to Psychology with Lab
  • SOC 1130 Family and Society
  • SOC 1127 Social Inequalities: Race, Class & Gender

Goal 6 Humanities/Fine Arts/Literature - 3 courses

  • Goal 6a (Fine Arts) course
  • Goal 6b PHIL 1112 Ethics
  • Any additional Goal 6 course

Goal 7 Human Diversity - 1 course

  • SOC 1127 Satisfied by Transfer Pathway

Goal 8 Global Perspective - 1 course

  • May be satisfied by utilizing a course from Goal 6

Goal 9 Ethical and Civic Responsibility - 1 course

  • SOC 1100 Introduction to Sociology

Goal 10 People and the Environment - 1 course

  • May be satisfied by utilizing a course from Goal 3

*Choose 1-2 courses from approved electives list

Recommended Course Of Study For Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway A.S. Degree

Here is the recommended course of full-time study for the Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway A.S. degree. Note that not all courses will be available every semester. In many instances, you will be able to choose a specific course from a MnTC Goal Area. For a complete list of MnTC Goal Area course choices, please visit: www.inverhills.edu/MnTC

Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway Semester 1 - 14 Credits

Course Number Title Credits
ENG 1108 Writing and Research Skills 4 cr
SOC 1100 Introduction to Sociology 4 cr
Humanities/Fine Arts/Lit (Any Goal 6a course) 3 cr
COMM 1100 Interpersonal Communication 3 cr
Total Credits: 14

Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway Semester 2 - 14-15 Credits

Course Number Title Credits
ENG 1111 OR
ENG 1114 OR
ENG 1130
Research Writing in the Disciplines OR
The Research Paper OR
Writing & Research for the Professions
2 - 3 cr
CJS 1150 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3 cr
CJS 1154 Juvenile Justice 3 cr
SOC 1130 Family and Society 3 cr
BIOL 1123 (MnTC Goal 3a) Introduction to Forensic Science (recommended) 3 - 4 cr
Total Credits: 14 - 15

Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway Semester 3 - 16 Credits

Course Number Title Credits
CJS 1152 Police and Community 3 cr
Humanities/Fine Arts/Lit (Any MnTC Goal 6a or 6b course) 3 cr
SOC 1127 Social Inequality: Race, Class, Gender 3 cr
CJS 1156 American Corrections 3 cr
PSYC 1101 OR
PSYC 1201
Introduction to Psychology OR
Intoduction to Psychology with Lab
4 cr
Total Credits: 16

Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway Semester 4 - 16 Credits

Course Number Title Credits
CJS 2158 Criminology 3 cr
Natural Science (MnTC Goal 3b) 3 - 4 cr
Math 1103 Intro to Statistics (recommended) (MnTC Goal 4) 3 cr
PHIL 1112 Ethics 3 cr
Program Elective(s)*   3 cr
Total Credits: 16

*Choose 1-2 courses from approved electives list

Recommended Part-Time Course Of Study For Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway A.S. Degree

Here is the recommended course of part-time study for the Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway A.S. degree. Note that not all courses will be available every semester. In many instances, you will be able to choose a specific course from a MnTC Goal Area. For a complete list of MnTC Goal Area course choices, please visit: www.inverhills.edu/MnTC

Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway Semester 1 - 8 Credits

Course Number Title Credits
ENG 1108 Writing and Research Skills 4 cr
SOC 1100 Introduction to Sociology 4 cr
Total Credits: 8

Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway Semester 2 - 8-9 Credits

Course Number Title Credits
Humanities/Fine Arts/Lit (Any Goal 6a course) 3 cr
COMM 1100 Interpersonal Communication 3 cr
ENG 1111 OR
ENG 1114 OR
ENG 1130
Research Writing in the Disciplines OR
The Research Paper OR
Writing & Research for the Professions
2 - 3 cr
Total Credits: 8 - 9

Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway Semester 3 - 9 Credits

Course Number Title Credits
CJS 1150 Introduction to Criminal Justice 3 cr
CJS 1154 Juvenile Justice 3 cr
SOC 1130 Family and Society 3 cr
Total Credits: 9

Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway Semester 4 - 9 Credits

Course Number Title Credits
BIOL 1123 Introduction to Forensic Science (recommended) (MnTC Goal 3a) 3 - 4 cr
CJS 1152 Police and Community 3 cr
Humanities/Fine Arts/Lit (Any MnTC Goal 6a or 6b course) 3 cr
Total Credits: 9

Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway Semester 5 - 10 Credits

Course Number Title Credits
SOC 1127 Social Inequality: Race, Class, Gender 3 cr
CJS 1156 American Corrections 3 cr
PSYC 1101 OR
PSYC 1201
Introduction to Psychology OR
Intoduction to Psychology with Lab
4 cr
Total Credits: 10

Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway Semester 6 - 9 Credits

Course Number Title Credits
CJS 2158 Criminology 3 cr
PHIL 1112 Ethics 3 cr
Math 1103 Intro to Statistics (recommended) (MnTC Goal 4) 3 cr
Total Credits: 9

Criminal Justice Transfer Pathway Semester 7 - 7 Credits

Course Number Title Credits
Natural Science (MnTC Goal 3b) 3 - 4 cr
Program Elective(s)*   3 cr
Total Credits: 7

*Choose 1-2 courses from approved electives list


Corrections Certificate

This certificate prepares students for entry-level positions in a state or local corrections system. This one-year certificate program will provide theoretical and practical knowledge and a well-rounded basis for interacting with corrections clients in a variety of correctional settings.

Note: If you have been arrested, charged or convicted of any criminal offense, you should investigate the impact that the arrest, charge or conviction may have on your chances of employment in the field you intend to study or on your chances to obtain federal, state and other higher education financial aid.

Corrections Curriculum - 16 Credits

Coursework   Program Planning Guide Gainful Employment Disclosure
Course Number Title Credits
CJS 1156 American Corrections 3 cr
CJS 1162 Special Populations in CJ 3 cr
CJS 2112 Community Corrections 3 cr
CJS 2114 Legal Issues and Corrections 3 cr
CJS 2116 Report Writing in Corrections 1 cr
HLTH 1130 Drug Use/Abuse 3 cr
Total Credits: 16
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Course Descriptions

CJS 1150  Introduction to Criminal Justice   3.0 cr

Describes the American system of criminal justice, covering theories of justice, criminal law, policing, courts and associated pre- and post-trial legal processes, punishment and corrections, and juvenile justice. Prerequisites: Instructor approval or placement by Accuplacer assessment into ENG 1108 or completion of ENG/EAP 0099 with a C grade or better.

CJS 1152  Police and Community   3.0 cr

Studies the historical and contemporary roles of policing in society, strategies for positive police-community relations and job-related issues for police officers. Prerequisites: CJS 1150 or instructor approval.

CJS 1154  Juvenile Justice   3.0 cr

Examines the historical foundations, current philosophies, procedures and characteristics of the juvenile justice system. It will explore theories of delinquency, strategies for working with juveniles, and Minnesota statutes and community corrections that applies specifically to juveniles. Prerequisites: CJS 1150 or instructor approval.

CJS 1156  American Corrections   3.0 cr

Considers the history, theories and practices of corrections, which will be reviewed and applied to the Minnesota corrections system. Course formerly known as CJS1156 Introduction to Corrections.

CJS 1158  Criminology   3.0 cr

Explores the biological, sociological, and psychological perspectives on the etiology of criminal behavior and applies them to selected case histories.

CJS 1160  Constitutional Law for Criminal Justice Professionals   3.0 cr

Acquaint students with relevant content of the United States Constitution and Constitutional Amendments within political, social, and historical contexts; and examine the cognitive process in key judicial decisions. Prerequisites: CJS 1150 or instructor approval.

CJS 1162  Special Populations in CJ   3.0 cr

Explains the current trends in criminal justice, which recognizes the diversity of offenders that populates the criminal justice system. Taken from criminological, anthropological, and sociological perspectives, this course will analyze the issues which prompted a specialized approach to various offender groups. Topics will include elderly offenders, mentally ill and emotionally disturbed offenders, sexual deviants, gang classified offenders, drug/alcohol abusers, various minority groups, and juvenile offenders. Historical development, societal issues, crime and punishment, discrimination, employment, and other serious problems are considered throughout.

CJS 1190  Field Experience: Criminal Justice   4.0 cr

Accomplishes an off-campus learning experience in an agency providing a learning environment for students interested in the sociological perspective. Emphasis will be placed on experiences that relate to the student's career interests. In most instances these placements will be with law enforcement agencies and/or corrections. Prereq: CJS 1150, permission of internship coordinator, and attendance at an orientation session during the semester prior to registering for CJS 1190.

CJS 2112  Community Corrections   3.0 cr

Introduces alternatives to traditional incarceration for convicted criminals and people on probation and parole. Topics include the history of community corrections, the legal framework for community corrections, the growth potential of the field, and the role of the corrections professional. Emphasis is upon sentencing, probation, parole, pre-trial release programs, intermediate sanctions, and halfway houses. Prerequisites: CJS 1156 with a grade of C or higher.

CJS 2114  Legal Issues and Corrections   3.0 cr

Studies the legal rights and obligations of probationers, inmates, and parolees. Constitutional issues such as privacy, search and seizure, correspondence, medical treatment and religious practice will be studied. Topics will also include the legal rights of incarcerated individuals confined in public and private facilities, along with the rights, obligations, and responsibilities of corrections agencies and personnel. Juvenile corrections included. Prerequisites: CJS 1156 with a grade of C or higher.

CJS 2116  Report Writing in Corrections   1.0 cr

Provides the technical understanding and practical application in basic report writing, note taking and standardized report forms commonly used by corrections personnel. Topics include proper note-taking, report writing mechanics, style, and editing, and data privacy rules and regulations. Emphasis is placed on developing a clear, concise style in expressing factual, relevant information. Job search skills are covered; including résumé/cover letter writing, and background/interview preparation. Prerequisites: CJS 1156 with a grade of C or higher and ENG 1108 with a grade of C or higher.

CJS 2158  Criminology   3.0 cr

Explores the biological, sociological, and psychological perspectives on the etiology of criminal behavior and applies them to selected case histories. Course formerly known as CJS 1158 Criminology.

CJS 2160  Criminal Justice and the Constitution   3.0 cr

Acquaint students with relevant content of the United States Constitution and Constitutional Amendments within political, social, and historical contexts; and examine the cognitive process in key judicial decisions. Course formerly known as CJS 1160 Constitutional Law for Criminal Justice Professionals. Prerequisites: CJS 1150 or instructor approval.

CJS 2189  Corrections Internship   4.0 cr

Provides an off-campus experiential learning experience in a professional organization in the field of corrections. Emphasis will be placed on experiences that relate to the student's career interests. Prerequisites: CJS 1156, CJS 2112, and permission of internship coordinator and attendance at an orientation session during the semester prior to registering for CJS 2289.

CJS 2225  Criminal Investigations   3.0 cr

Examines the reporting and investigations process for traffic crash events and demonstrates the accurate documentation, evidence handling procedures and preservation needed in crime scene investigations.

CJS 2230  Legal Issues in Law Enforcement   3.0 cr

Familiarizes students with the principles of criminal procedures, the rules established by the US Supreme Court relating to stop, frisk, arrest, search interrogation and identification, and the legal process applicable to law enforcement. Students will study the legal concepts involved in the application of the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments to policing as well as Minnesota State Constitution and procedural requirements.

CJS 2231  Minnesota Criminal and Traffic Code   3.0 cr

Examines the MN criminal statutes and MN traffic code applicable to law enforcement. Learners align their emerging understanding of criminal codes and laws to analyze the elements necessary to make an arrest and obtain a conviction. MN law related to use of force and use of deadly force is included in the analysis and discussion.

CJS 2235  Police Report Writing and Employment Preparation   2.0 cr

Instructs students in the correct preparation and construction of police reports using Minnesota POST Board approved format. Emphasis is placed on basic writing skills, which includes standard English, spelling, syntax, and police terminology. Job search skills are covered, which includes resume/cover letter writing, and background/interview preparation.

CJS 2240  Police and Human Behavior   3.0 cr

Integrates the academic and applied aspects of the basic patrol function for a police patrol officer. Includes an in-depth examination of a patrol officer's duties, functions, and responsibilities, as well as knowledge, skills, and abilities. These include, but are not limited to, vehicle stops, traffic enforcement, pedestrian checks, officer safety issues, and other duties as they relate to the basic patrol function.

CJS 2261  In Progress   2.0 cr

Instructs students in the areas of crimes in-progress.

CJS 2275  Traffic & Driving School   1.0 cr

Familiarizes students in the areas of Low Risk Traffic Stops, High Risk/Felony Stops, DWI enforcement, Crash Scene Management, Additionally, introduction to basic defensive and emergency driving techniques.

CJS 2280  Defensive Tactics   2.0 cr

Examines defensive tactics and active shooter response.

CJS 2285  Crime Scene and Evidence   1.0 cr

Examines search and seizure, booking and fingerprinting, crime scene investigations, latent prints, courtroom testimony, evidence collection and preservation.

CJS 2289  Field Experience; Criminal Justice   4.0 cr

Accomplishes an off-campus learning experience in an agency providing a learning environment for students interested in the sociological perspective. Emphasis will be placed on experiences that relate to the student's career interests. In most instances these placements will be with law enforcement agencies and/or corrections. Prereq: CJS 1150, permission of internship coordinator, and attendance at an orientation session during the semester prior to registering for CJS 1190.

CJS 2290  Firearms   2.0 cr

Integrates instruction and practical application in the use of deadly force, simunitions, firearms, and judgmental shootings.

CJS 2444  Special Topics in Law Enforcement   cr

Examines the topics of crisis response, conflict management, and cultural diversity. This course allows students training in crisis management and mental illness crises; conflict management and mediation; and recognizing and valuing community diversity and cultural differences, which includes implicit bias training.

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Transfer Pathways

With this transfer pathway, you will be able to transfer to the following majors:

  • Bemidji State University: TBD
  • Metropolitan State University: TBD
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato: TBD
  • Minnesota State University, Moorhead: TBD
  • Southwest Minnesota State University: TBD
  • St. Cloud State University: TBD
  • Winona State University: TBD
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Meet the Faculty

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Clubs & Organizations

Student Clubs

BSOL (Beta Sigma Omega Lambda): Criminal Justice Club

Purpose: Provide criminal justice forums, job fairs, community service and awareness of criminal justice careers and academic programs, including raising awareness of the Inver Hills Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement degree and certificate programs. Visit BSOL on Facebook.

To learn more, contact:

Leslie Palmer
Criminal Justice Instructor
BSOL Faculty Advisor
651-450-3619

Professional Organizations

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Employment Information

Corrections

A career in corrections offers you the chance to serve your community, keep citizens safe and change lives for the better.

Top reasons to choose the corrections field:

  • Make a difference
  • Grow professionally and personally
  • Experience a dynamic work environment
  • Gain financial stability

The corrections field has three core disciplines:

  • Community corrections
  • Jails and detention
  • Prisons and institutions

Each discipline performs a specific function in the criminal justice system, each has a workforce with specialized knowledge, skills and abilities, and each can involve working with juvenile and adult offenders. Starting your career path as a corrections officer at Inver Hills will teache you how to enforce rules within a correctional facility as you work alongside certified corrections and law enforcement professionals and examine the critical roles of corrections, rehabilitation, and probation in the criminal justice system.

 

Job titles in corrections

  • Corrections officer
  • Correctional treatment specialist
  • Juvenile probation counselor
  • Prison warden
  • Probation officer
  • Substance abuse counselor

Below are just a few examples of possible career paths that can start with earning an A.S. in Criminal Justice at Inver Hills.

Law enforcement

Law enforcement officers focus on preventing criminal activity, investigating crimes committed, and apprehending suspects. Officers work with the court system to make sure perpetrators are prosecuted.

Law enforcement professionals pursue careers in three general areas:

  • Uniformed officers
    First line of defense against criminals
  • Investigators
    Investigate and solve crimes
  • Support personnel
    Work behind the scenes analyzing evidence, including crime scenes and ballistics

Law enforcement officer core competencies

  • Sound judgment
  • Problem solving
  • Empathy and compassion
  • Multitasking
  • Courage
  • Responsibility
  • Resourcefulness
  • Initiative
  • Assertiveness
  • Integrity
  • Teamwork
  • Collaboration

Job titles in law enforcement

  • ATF investigator
  • Border patrol agent
  • CIA operations officer
  • Computer forensic technician
  • Crime lab analyst
  • Crime scene investigator
  • Customs agent
  • DEA agent
  • Deputy sheriff
  • Diplomatic security agent
  • FBI agent
  • Federal air marshal
  • Fraud investigator
  • DHS agent
  • Immigration agent
  • INS agent
  • IRS special agent
  • K9 officer
  • NSA officer
  • Private security specialist
  • Police detective
  • Police officer
  • Private investigator
  • Secret Service agent
  • Sheriff
  • State trooper
  • Surveillance officer
  • U.S. Coast Guard maritime enforcement specialist
  • U.S. marshal

Below are just a few examples of possible career paths that can start with earning an A.S. in Law Enforcement at Inver Hills.

Additional resources

Skip Navigation LinksHome > Degrees and Programs > Criminal Justice Degree
Why Inver Hills?

Completing your A.S. in Criminal Justice or A.S. in Law Enforcement degree obligations at Inver Hills is smart on several key levels:

  1. Examine the critical roles of corrections, rehabilitation, and probation in the criminal justice system
  2. Analyze the causes and effects of criminal behavior and delinquency
  3. Explore how state and federal laws work to keep our communities safe
  4. Serve and protect fellow citizens while enforcing the laws of our community
  5. Perform operations such as SWAT, crime scene investigation, interrogating suspects, counter-terrorism, and threat assessment
  6. Strengthen your mind and body through rigorous mental and physical training
  7. Receive an excellent education with one-on-one interactions with criminal justice faculty
  8. Get firsthand experience working on real-world criminal justice issues, situations and problems
  9. Save money and continue your academic and professional careers with less student debt *

* On a national scale, student loan debt has mushroomed to $1.2 trillion, which is greater than credit card debt and auto loan debt combined. In Minnesota, the average debt for four-year grads tops $30,000; 70 percent carry a student debt load.

Tuition and fees for one year at Inver Hills costs a little less than $5,300. Compare that to $15,000 to $20,000 at a for-profit college, or $40,000 to $50,000 at a private college or university. You can complete your first two years at Inver getting a topflight education firsthand from Ph.D. instructors and then transfer to a four-year as a junior all while saving thousands of dollars. It's a no-brainer.

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