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CJS 375 Ethics and Professionalism in Criminal Justice

Examines a range of moral dilemmas criminal justice practitioners are likely to face in their careers. Using both moral theory and detailed case examples, students learn to apply moral principles and concepts to a given situation, recognize the relevance of moral principles and concepts, and apply their individual moral philosophy and ethical principles to resolve these situations in a satisfactory manner. This course meets corresponding learning objectives of the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training.


Special information

Prerequisites: CJS 101 Introduction to Criminal Justice, AND either CJS 200 Literature in Criminal Justice OR CJS 201 Foundations in Criminal Justice required.
4 Undergraduate credits

Effective August 16, 2017 to present

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Identify situations within criminal justice likely to generate ethical dilemmas.
  • Distinguish relevant and irrelevant issues in assessing ethical dilemmas.
  • Assess moral and ethical situations from a variety of viewpoints steeped in ethical theory and develop defensible positions supporting a given action.
  • Apply moral concepts of rights, welfare, duty, oppression, value of diversity, tolerance, values and belief systems, respect, and other related concepts.
  • Analyze and critically assess from a moral perspective the code of ethics, social contract, and Constitutionally protected rights and responsibilities to act or refrain from acting.
  • Construct a personal ethical credo that will guide you in ethical dilemmas.
  • Examine the ethics of police tactics, including racially profiled stops, bias-motivated enforcement, stings, deception, coercion, and use of force, among other tactics.
  • Explain the value of leadership, teamwork, mentoring, discretion and their roles in professional policing.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills, effective listening techniques, strong interpersonal skills coupled with effective writing and speaking skills.
  • Demonstrate and assess the obligation to intervene when a criminal justice professional sees another acting unethically.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts

  • Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  • Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
  • Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
  • Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
  • Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.

Goal 9: Ethical and Civic Responsibility

  • Examine, articulate, and apply their own ethical views.
  • Understand and apply core concepts (e.g. politics, rights and obligations, justice, liberty) to specific issues.
  • Analyze and reflect on the ethical dimensions of legal, social, and scientific issues.
  • Recognize the diversity of political motivations and interests of others.
  • Identify ways to exercise the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

Spring 2024

Section Title Instructor books eservices
50 Ethics and Professionalism in Criminal Justice Boche, Joseph K Books for CJS-375-50 Spring 2024 Course details for CJS-375-50 Spring 2024

Fall 2024

Section Title Instructor books eservices
50 Ethics and Professionalism in Criminal Justice MacLean, Chuck Books for CJS-375-50 Fall 2024 Course details for CJS-375-50 Fall 2024