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Spring 2019

Criminal Justice Courses:

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CRJ125 - Introduction to Forensics

Credits: 3

Catalog Description: Familiarizes students with the basic principles of crime scene investigation and the scientific concepts and techniques used in a forensic laboratory thorough participation in crime scene analysis, evidence collection and evidence preservation. Provides practice in forensic crime laboratory procedures involving various branches of forensics, including fingerprinting, toxicology, serology and impression evidence. Fall only. Two class hours, two lab hours.

Lecture: 2 hrs.

Lab: 2 hrs.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs):
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

1. Define forensics and identify the various branches of forensics, including the major scientific developments and contributors in the forensic science arena throughout history.
2. Describe a typical forensic crime laboratory, including a description of the services provided.
3. Explain the proper procedures used to search, secure, and record a crime scene, including proper search procedures, collection techniques, documentation, basic use of digital cameras, and measuring and creating a rough and finished crime scene sketch.
4. Identify the various scientific techniques used in forensic science including using microscopes, using the scientific method to analyze and interpret scientific results and creating accurate and properly formatted scientific lab reports.*
5. Distinguish between the various forms of evidence encountered in a forensic crime laboratory, including explaining the importance of blood evidence in crime scene analysis.
6. Explain the importance of computer technology in crime scene evaluations.
7. Compare and contrast the significant court decisions relating to the admissibility of scientific evidence in the courtroom, including explaining the role and responsibilities of the expert witness.
8. Demonstrate communication skills appropriate to the forensic field by communicating information orally in an effective manner and presenting written information employing proper grammar, spelling and structure.

* This course objective has been identified as a student learning outcome that must be formally assessed as part of the Comprehensive Assessment Plan of the college. All faculty teaching this course must collect the required data and submit the required analysis and documentation at the conclusion of the semester to the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.


Content Outline:
Week 1: Introductions
Basic Forensic Definitions and Concepts, Branches of Forensics, History,
Basic Microscope Use

Week 2: Types of Evidence

Week 3: The Crime Scene: Searching and Securing Evidence, Recording the crime scene, photographing and crime scene sketches

Week 4: Collection and Preservation of Evidence, Crime Scene Reconstruction

Week 5: Fingerprinting

Week 6: Impression Evidence: Footprints, Teeth Marks, Tool Markings, and Firearms

Week 7: Blood Stain Pattern Analysis

Week 8: Serology and DNA Fingerprinting

Week 9: Drugs and Forensic Toxicology

Week 10: Comparison Evidence: Hair and Fibers

Week 11: Trace Evidence: Paint, Glass and Soil

Week 12: Entomology and Autopsy

Week 13: Fire and Explosion Investigations

Week 14: Document Analysis

Week 15: Computer Forensics

Week 16: Forensic Evidence & the Courts

Effective Term: Spring 2016