The Court System

Course Code: CJL1500

Credit Hours: 3

Effective beginning: Fall 2020


Course Description:
This course examines the history, traditions, and philosophy of the American Court System. Emphasis is on the roles of the prosecutor, judge, defense attorney, jurors, offenders and the public. This course focuses on the general themes of law on the books, law in action, and law in controversy.

Course Details


Lynn Wimberly


Virginia "Ginger" Hicks


Terri Whitehead




Required textbooks/ course materials:

Seigel, Larry J., Courts and Criminal Justice in America. 3rd Ed. Pearson Publishing, 2018. Print. ISBN: 9780134526751


Assignment/course outline:

Chapters are as follows:

  1. Legal Foundations
  2. Who Controls the Courts?
  3. Federal Courts
  4. State Courts
  5. Juvenile Courts
  6. Specialized Courts
  7. Judges
  8. Prosecutors
  9. Defense Attorneys
  10. Defendants and Victims: Their Roles and Rights
  11. Pretrial Procedures
  12. Plea Bargaining and Guilty Pleas
  13. The Jury and the Trail
  14. Sentencing, Appeals, and Habeas Corpus
  15. Differential Treatment and Wrongful Convictions
  16. Technology, Alternatives, and the Future


Discipline-level learning outcomes:

SS-01.0 Describe and discuss the Criminal Justice System

SS-08.0 Describe and discuss the field of Criminal Law


Course-level student learning outcomesDiscipline-level learning outcomesAssessment methods

Define the primary components of criminal justice and their primary responsibility.

Define and contrast civil and criminal proceedings.

Identify the legal elements of crimes.

Discuss the implications of constitutional case and statutory law and their relationships to the criminal justice system.

State the purpose of evidence.

Name and describe types of evidence.








Tests, Quizzes, Unit Tests, Writing Assignments, Homework


  • Read all assigned materials
  • Attend and participate in class discussions
  • Complete study guides and notes from class discussions and lectures
  • All courses taught under the auspices of the Social and Behavioral Sciences will include an oral component, oral presentations, and or classroom discussions. Note: Online and Distance Learning courses will not contain the oral component.

Assignment Schedule:

  • Lecture
  • Discussions
  • Case Law/Research
  • Videos
  • PowerPoint Presentations
  • Examinations



College-wide policies and resources

For more specific information on Chipola's college-wide academic policies and resources available to students, visit the link below.