CJ 300 Ethics in Legal Studies

CJ 300 IS Sec 1, University of Mississippi
[See UM Catalog for Description]

3 credit hours

Instructor Information:

Dr. Linda Keena

Instructor name:
Dr. Linda Keena
University of Mississippi
Department of Legal Studies
203 Odom Hall

Dr. Keena obtained her BachelorĂ­s (1984) and MasterĂ­s (1991) degrees in Criminal Justice from Southeast Missouri State University and her Doctorate (2006) from the University of Missouri. She is a former State of Missouri Adult Probation and Parole officer and for the last twenty-seven years has taught various corrections courses, community and institutional based. She has established a record of scholarly publications which reflects a variety of criminal justice, restorative justice, religion, corrections, and community-based research topics. In addition, she is co author and project director for MEDFELS, a nationally recognized methamphetamine program for elementary schools.

Contact Information:

If you have questions concerning the content of the course, you may contact the instructor directly using the Email Your Instructor link in the Lessons or Content page. NOTE: Whenever sending email, please be sure to indicate your course title and number in the subject line. You can expect a response within 72 hours, although it may be longer on weekends. Many instructors reply within 24 hours.

For lesson or test administration issues, please contact the iStudy department:

The University of Mississippi
Division of Outreach and Continuing Education
P. O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677

Phone: (662) 915-7313, toll-free (877) 915-7313
Fax: (662) 915-8826
E-mail: istudy@olemiss.edu

Course Description

This is a fourteen lesson independent study course. The course will study corrections, a wide variety of functions carried out by government agencies having to do with the punishment, treatment, supervision, and management of individuals who have been accused of or convicted of criminal offenses.

Textbook Information:

Textbook information will be provided upon enrollment in your iStudy course.

Course Objectives:

Objectives include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • to examine and gain a better understanding of justice and law, developing and determining morality, and becoming an ethical professional.
  • to understand the police role in society, discretion, dilemmas, corruption and misconduct.
  • to know law, discretion, dilemmas and ethical misconduct in the legal profession.
  • to understand the ethics of punishment, discretion, and misconduct in corrections.

Course Outline:

This course is composed of fourteen instructional modules (or lessons) and three proctored examinations

You MUST take the syllabus quiz within 2 weeks of enrolling or you will be dropped from the course. NOTE: you must pass the Syllabus and Orientation Quiz for the course materials to appear on the Lessons page.


Due Date

Topic and Requirements

Pacing Guide to complete the course in a semester



Attendance Verification must be completed or student will be considered not in attendance on the first day of class.


Lesson 1

prior to iStudy mid-point deadline

Morality, Ethics, and Human Behavior
Chapter Objectives:
Explain why the study of ethics is important for criminal justice professionals; describe what behaviors might fall under moral/ethical judgments; and explain the difference between ethical issues and ethical dilemmas.
Lesson Requirements:

  • Review Syllabus
  • Read Chapter 1 textbook
  • Review Chapter 1 Power Point slides
  • Complete Quiz 1
  • Complete Chapter 1 Assignment:

Week 1

Lesson 2

prior to iStudy mid-point deadline

Determining Moral Behavior
Chapter Objectives:
Explain ethical formalism and utilitarianism; discuss the argument as to whether egoism is an ethical system; explain the controversy between relativism and absolutism; and identify the three consistent elements of most of the approaches to resolving ethical dilemmas.
Lesson Requirements:

  • Read Chapter 2
  • Review Chapter 2 Power Point slides
  • Complete Chapter 2 Assignment
  • Complete Quiz 2

Week 2

Lesson 3

prior to iStudy mid-point deadline

Justice and Law
Chapter Objectives:
Define three themes included in the definition of justice; define the three types of justice; distinguish between substantive and procedural justice; describe civil disobedience and when it may be appropriate; and explain the concept of restorative justice.
Lesson Requirements:

  • Read Chapter 3
  • Review Chapter 3 Power Point slides
  • Complete Chapter 3 Assignment:
  • Complete Quiz 3

Week 3

Lesson 4

prior to iStudy mid-point deadline

Becoming an Ethical Professional
Chapter Objectives:
Become familiar with Bandura's idea of self-regulation and how it can be "turned off"; describe what is necessary for moral growth, according to Kohlberg; be familiar with the necessary elements for criminal justice ethics courses, according to Sherman; and become familiar with what steps organizational leaders should take to encourage ethical decision making on the part of employees.
Lesson Requirements:

  • Read Chapter 4
  • Review Chapter 4 Power Point slides
  • Complete Quiz 4
  • Complete Chapter 4 Assignment

Week 4

Exam 1

Do not submit any more lessons before you complete your exam.

Exam 1 is a 50 question test (multiple choice and true/false questions) from Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Week 5

Lesson 5

prior to iStudy mid-point deadline

The Police Role in Society
Chapter Objectives:
Explain the types of control that police have at their disposal; provide the justification for police power and the basic ethical standards that derive from this justification; identify the differences between the formal ethics of law enforcement and the values of the police subculture; and describe recent research findings on the police subculture.
Lesson Requirements:

  • Read Chapter 5
  • Review Chapter 5 Power Point slides
  • Complete Quiz 5
  • Complete Chapter 5 Assignment

Week 6

Lesson 6

prior to iStudy mid-point deadline

Police Discretion and Dilemmas
Chapter Objectives:
Provide any evidence that exists that law enforcement offices perform their role in a discriminatory manner; present the ethical issues involved in proactive and reactive investigation; present information concerning the prevalence of and factors associated with the use of force by police officer; and enumerate predictors associate with the use of excessive force.
Lesson Requirements:

  • Read Chapter 6
  • Review Chapter 6 Power Point slides
  • Complete Chapter 6 Assignment
  • Complete Quiz 6

Week 7

Lesson 7

prior to iStudy mid-point deadline

Police Corruption and Misconduct
Chapter Objectives:
Describe the types of police corruption and the ethical arguments for and against gratuities; provide the three types of explanations of police misconduct, with examples of each; and describe the ways to reduce corruption and misconduct.
Lesson Requirements:

  • Read Chapter 7
  • Review Chapter 7 Power Point slides
  • Complete Chapter 7 Assignment
  • Complete Quiz 7

Week 8



iStudy mid-point deadline


Lesson 8

prior to the last day of class on the traditional semester calendar

Law and Legal Professionals
Chapter Objectives:
Understand the justifications for law; explain the paradigms that have developed to understand how law is formed and enforced; compare the idea of our criminal law system as an adversarial system; present the controversy concerning the role of advocate as legal or moral agent; and describe the history and source of legal ethics for attorneys and judges.
Lesson Requirements:

  • Read Chapter 8
  • Review Chapter 8 Power Point slides
  • Complete Chapter 8 Assignment
  • Complete Quiz 8

Week 9

Exam 2

Do not submit any more lessons before you complete your exam.

Exam 1 is a 50 question test (multiple choice and true/false questions) from Chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8.

Week 10

Lesson 9

prior to the last day of class on the traditional semester calendar

Discretion and Dilemmas in the Legal Profession
Chapter Objectives:
Describe the ethical issues faced by defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges; describe some of the areas of forensic science that have been challenged; and explain why electing judges leads to a perception of unfairness.
Lesson Requirements:

  • Read Chapter 9
  • Review Chapter 9 Power Point slides
  • Complete Chapter 9 Assignment
  • Complete Quiz 9

Week 11

Lesson 10

prior to the last day of class on the traditional semester calendar

Ethical Misconduct in the Courts and Responses
Chapter Objectives:
Detail the types and reasons of misconduct that have been associated with defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges; describe the Innocence Projects; discuss some proposal to improve the justice system and reduce ethical misconduct; and describe the concepts associated with judicial activism or constructionism and how this issue relates to ethical misconduct.
Lesson Requirements:

  • Read Chapter 10
  • Review Chapter 10 Power Point slides
  • Complete Chapter 10 Assignment
  • Complete Quiz 10

Week 12

Lesson 11

prior to the last day of class on the traditional semester calendar

The Ethics of Punishment and Corrections
Chapter Objectives:
Provide the definitions of punishment and treatment and their rationales; describe how the ethical frameworks justify punishment; describe the ethical rationales for and against capital punishments; describe the ethical codes for correctional officers, treatment professionals, and probation and parole officers; and explain how occupational subcultures affect adherence to professional ethics codes.
Lesson Requirements:

  • Read Chapter 11
  • Review Chapter 11 Power Point slides
  • Complete Chapter 11 Assignment
  • Complete Quiz 11

Week 13

Final Exam

prior to the last day of final exams on the traditional semester calendar

50 multiple choice and true/false questions with 1 self-reflective question. 1 point each. 60 minutes to complete the exam.
Test will cover Chapters 9, 10, 11, and 12

Week 16


The grading scale is as follows:
90 - 100% = A
80 - 89% = B
70 - 79% = C
60 - 69% = D
Below 60% = F


You must submit the lessons required to take the course exam(s). Lessons required but not submitted will receive a grade of zero. For the final exam, all coursework must be submitted and graded.