The CSUSM Criminology Major Worksheet is an important part of the core curriculum for all students who have elected to major in criminal justice. This course is a requirement for those entering the program. The worksheets, which are approximately one page in length, include basic information about crime, including descriptions of different crimes and what happens when they occur. They also include the definition of crime, the definition of victims and criminals, and the social significance of crime.
All of this information is provided in a logical and organized way that allows students to identify and respond to these concepts and ideas as they pertain to their own criminal justice career. Students will be asked to write two essays on each of the topics. These essays must be written in good grammar and style. The essays will serve as the basis for students' final project, which will be used to demonstrate the speaker's knowledge of the subject. The projects will also allow students to explore what they have learned throughout the semester.
The purpose of the worksheet is to not only provide students with facts about crime, but to help them understand how those factors play into decisions made by law enforcement officials. Many studies have shown that those who are involved in crime at a young age tend to become repeat offenders. Therefore, it is very useful for law enforcement officials to have statistics detailing who comes into contact with a crime victim during their shift, how many times the victim is re-offered, and so forth.
In order to address the information gaps, law enforcement officials have developed the CSUSM Criminology Major Worksheet to fill in the knowledge gaps. This worksheet provides students with a summary of what they learned throughout the semester. It then dives deeper into each topic, providing in depth information about what students already know, as well as new information regarding what they will learn this semester. For example, students will gain insight into why certain crimes seem to occur more frequently in certain neighborhoods than in others.
There are two primary sources of data used in this worksheet. These are the National Crime Victims' Index (NCVI) and the Federal Bureau of Prison's (BOP) inmate locator system. The NCVI, which is a compilation of state-level crime data, is used to determine national and state averages; and the BOP, which contains national and state inmate locator information to locate and contact individuals in prison. Because these sources do not each include comparable information, the contents of the CSUSM Criminology Major Worksheet are composite, as all sources combine to provide national and state aggregate rates for crimes in each jurisdiction.
However, even with this wealth of aggregate data, there are limitations to what law enforcement can learn from just one source. In other words, law enforcement professionals still must develop their own capacity to collect and analyze relevant information on local criminal cases. As such, the contents of the CSUSM Criminology Major Worksheet are not intended to serve as an all-encompassing national resource for law enforcement agencies nationwide. Rather, it is a tool that enables those agencies to maximize their resources by focusing on those aspects of criminal justice that fall to their particular jurisdiction.