Sep 23, 2021  
2016-17 RACC Student Catalog 
2016-17 RACC Student Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Criminal Justice, AAS

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Social Sciences/Human Services Division

This program is designed to prepare students to work in the field of Law Enforcement. Law enforcement practitioners demonstrate an understanding of the law enforcement and criminal justice system, apply principles of law enforcement operation, learn about the collection and presentation of evidence and technologies utilized in the field, practice the techniques and management of patrol operations and demonstrate the understanding and application of criminal law. Graduates are prepared for employment as patrolman, police officer, state trooper, deputy sheriff, corrections officer, youth detention officer, customs inspector, immigration detention officer, loss prevention investigator, private investigator and claims investigator.

Program Competencies

Upon successful completion of this program, the student should be able to:

  • Discuss a comprehensive overview of the criminal justice system with focuses on crime in America, police process, courts and punishment, the prison system and contemporary topics in law enforcement.
  • Apply the basic structure of criminal law, culpability, use of force, search and seizure, the elements of crime, preparation of probable cause and formal charges and knowledge of the Pennsylvania Crime Code.
  • Describe the judicial process and its relationship to the rules of criminal procedure and the rules of evidence as it pertains to the United States and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania constitutions.
  • Identify and apply legal procedures for the service of search and arrest warrants, interrogation of defendants and prosecution of cases.
  • Explain crime and criminological theories, analyzing criminal justice process, including the role of police, the criminal courts, the probation officer, correctional services and the reentry of the offender into society.
  • Discuss an overview of the criminal justice system, the responsibilities of each component of the system and the interaction among the various agencies.
  • Explain the importance of public services need for progressive community interaction skills of positive interpersonal relations based on the development of rapport through understanding, respect, empathy, planning and research with representatives of schools, social agencies, news media, politicians, political activists and the community at-large.
  • Employ law enforcement management skills and discuss delegation, decision-making, problem-solving, commendations, discipline, responding to community needs, evaluating law enforcement reports, allocation of staff, scheduling and acquisition of assets.
  • Describe how the criminal justice system responds to the juvenile offender in terms of historical perspectives and current practices for interview, arrest, detention and diversion.
  • Describe the role and functions of law enforcement in an occupational, social, racial and ethnic, political and organizational context.
  • Explain both the institutional operation and the community corrections elements of the correctional system.
  • Describe the post-conviction process with a focus on theoretical and practical aspects.  
  • Explain the role of the major decision makers within the court system; particularly prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges.  
  • Describe the structure of both the federal and state court systems.
  • Explain and discuss a variety of ethical issues which present themselves to criminal justice professionals during the daily activity of the criminal justice system.  


Required Program of Study


Graduates of Pennsylvania Municipal Police Academies (Act 120) are eligible for articulation of up to 15 credit hours into the required courses for the A.A.S. degree in Law Enforcement. For further information, contact the Program Coordinator.

Total Credits=63

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