CJ 324 Theories of Criminal Behavior

CJ 324 IS Sec 1, University of Mississippi
[See UM Catalog for Description]

3 credit hours

Instructor Information:

Dr. Linda Keena

Instructor name:
Dr. Linda Keena

Dr. Linda Keena obtained her Bachelor's (1984) and Master's (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 several decades has taught various corrections courses, community and institutional based. She has established a record of scholarly publications that reflects a variety of criminal justice, restorative justice, religion, corrections, and community-based research topics.

Finally, Dr. Keena has significant experience with the treatment of offenders (both institutionally and in the community). Currently, she facilitates the Ice House Entrepreneurship course and Restorative Justice courses to inmates in maximum security prisons.

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 11-lesson independent study course is an examination of the origins of modern criminology, followed by a survey of major theories of criminology, and concludes with a debate on contemporary criminological theories and future prospects of criminological theory. Some of the theories we will cover will focus on explaining criminality, while others will focus on crime incidents. Some of these theories will explain crimes with a focus on individual or place-level factors (micro-level), whereas others will focus on meso- and macro-level factors or a combination of factors at different levels at one point in time or in the life course of offending. The course consists of five modules.  Each module contains two or three lessons that include a reading assignment, MindTap exercises, and a quiz.  At the end of each module, there is a module exam and a required writing assignment.  In addition, the course includes two annotated bibliography assignments that are submitted as the course midterm and final exam.

Textbook Information:

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

Course Objectives:

Objectives include (but are not limited to):

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the origins or modern criminology and contemporary criminological theories;
  2. Differentiate between Rational Chice and Trait theories;
  3. Compare and Contrast social structure and process theories;
  4. Analyze social conflict, critical criminology, restorative justice and developmental theories;
  5. Critically examine crime typologies, specfically personal and interpersonal violance and property crimes; and
  6. Construct documents that reflects scholarly writing skills, consistent with APA (7th ed.) style.

Course Outline:

This course consists of 11 instructional lessons. Please note that the suggested Pacing Guide to complete the course in a traditional semester.

Summer session and Second Semester students will need to make adjustments due to the significantly shorter time period involved.

Module Lesson / Reading Assignment Due for Grades Suggested Pacing Guide to complete the course in a traditional semester. *Summer session and Second Semester students will need to make adjustments due to the shorter time period*
Start Here *You MUST complete the syllabus quiz as soon as you have access to your Blackboard course. This is mandatory to verify your attendance.*NOTE: you must pass the Syllabus and Orientation Quiz for the course materials to appear on the Lessons page. Syllabus Quiz Week 1
Lesson 0 Lesson 0
Discussion board Week 1
Module 1
Concepts of Crime, Law, and Criminology
Lesson 1
Chapter 1 - An Overview of Criminology
Quiz, MindTap Exercises Week 1
Lesson 2
Chapter 2 - The Nature and Extent of Crime
Quiz, MindTap Exercises Week 2
Lesson 3
Chapter 3 - Victims and Victimization
Quiz, MindTap Exercises
Module 1 Writing Assignment
Module 1 Exam
Week 3 - 4
Module 2
Theories of Crime Causation Part 1
Lesson 4
Chapter 4 - Rational Choice and Deterrence Theories
Quiz, MindTap Exercises Week 5
Lesson 5
Chapter 5 - Trait Theories
Quiz, MindTap Exercises
Module 2 Writing Assignment
Module 2 Exam
Week 6 - 7
Midterm Exam Annotated Bibliography Assignment I
(Ensure that all prior work due is completed before submitting this assignment.)
To be completed
before proceeding
Week 7
MIDPOINT OF COURSE If you are a semester student, you must reach the midpoint of your course by the date specified in your information. All lesson assignments or exams needed to reach the midpoint of the course The exact date semester students are required to reach the midpoint is specified in your information.
Module 3
Theories of Crime Causation Part 2
Lesson 6
Chapter 6 - Social Structure Theories
Quiz, MindTap Exercises Week 8
Lesson 7
Chapter 7 - Social Process Theories: Socialization and Society
Quiz, MindTap Exercises
Module 3 Writing Assignment
Module 3 Exam
Week 9 -10
Module 4
Theories of Crime Causation Part 2
Lesson 8
Chapter 8 - Social Conflict, Critical Criminology, and Restorative Justice
Quiz, MindTap Exercises Week 11
Lesson 9
Chapter 9 - Developmental Theories: Life Course, Latent Trait, and Trajectory
Quiz, MindTap Exercises
Module 4 Writing Assignment
Module 4 Exam
Week 12 - 13
Module 5
Crime Typologies
Lesson 10
Chapter 10 - Interpersonal Violence
Quiz, MindTap Exercises Week 14
Lesson 11
Chapter 12 - Property Crime
Quiz, MindTap Exercises
Module 5 Writing Assignment
Module 5 Exam
Week 15 - 16
Final Exam Annotated Bibliography Assignment II
(Ensure that all prior work due is completed and graded before submitting this assignment.)
To be completed
to finalize credit
Week 16


The grading scale is as follows:
90 - 100% = A
80 - 89% = B
70 - 79% = C
60 - 69% = D
Below 59% = 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.