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IP 41 Law and Justice 1 Course Development

Unit 2: Overview of the Criminal Justice System

Unit Details 

  • Course Weight: 15%
  • Hours of Instruction: 21 +/-
  • Course Assessment Questions: 15
  • Standard: The Learner will be able to understand the basics of the criminal justice system (RBT: B2)



  1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the criminal justice process, and explain how different agencies work together.
  2. Identify jurisdictional and venue issues that may arise when different emergency service agencies work together and provide suggestions for resolving them.
  3. Describe the roles and responsibilities of private security agencies and explain how they differ from public law enforcement agencies.
  4. Discuss the importance of all public safety related agencies working together to serve and protect the public.
  5. Describe the roles and responsibilities of local, county, state, and federal agencies.

My Lesson 

  • Feel free to use my plans as a guide. My course is based on 52 minute class periods. My students in the first year course are 9th or 10th graders. These materials may need updating. Be sure to check web links.
  • I use the textbook Introduction to Criminal Justice by Bohm/Haley. References to assignments or readings would be from this text. You may be able to get a complementary copy from Glencoe/McGraw Hill.
  • I split this into two sections. One that focuses on the CJS as a whole and the other that focuses more on policing.
  • We are required to have research and writing in each semester. In this unit students begin their “exploratory” which is similar to a 5 page research paper.
  • I teach the students how to take reading notes to improve reading comprehension
  • I use “guided notes” in class to help students with note taking (and speed up moving through the content)
  • We have to address health and safety in each course, so this is the unit I teach blood borne pathogens and introduce PPEs.
  • I use “Why OJ Won” to review the CJS and talk about a big trial. You could use any well known trial. OJ, of course, is a big trial and give you the choice to discuss everything from juries to alleged racism.

Daily Outline 

  • 1 – Local Police Officer with Explorers presentation
  • 2 – Reading Notes: how to do them, start Chapter 1 in class
  • 3 – Notes: how to take notes and begin notes
  • 4 – Notes
  • 5 – Notes
  • 6 – Notes
  • 7 – Skills USA First Meeting
  • 8 – Finish Notes
  • 9 – Review
  • 10 – Game Show
  • 11 – Test
  • 12 – Lab: Blood Born Pathogens, Media: AIDS, barrier suits, gloves
  • 13 – Lab: HazMat, Safety, finish BBP
  • 14 – Media: Why OJ Won, assign Reading Notes for Chapter 5
  • 15 – Media: Why OJ Won
  • 16 – Media: Why OJ Won, discussion, Fall Student Exploratory assigned
  • 17 – Notes on History of Law Enforcement
  • 18 – Notes
  • 19 – Notes
  • 20 – Notes
  • 21 – Notes
  • 22 – Notes
  • 23 – Notes
  • 24 – Review
  • 25 – Game Show
  • 26 – Test

My Dropbox 

All the files I used in the this unit can be viewed and downloaded. To print, be sure to download first. Click Here 

Additional Resources


Texas Education Agency has online teacher materials for Texas courses. Click Here

  • Unit 1: History
  • Unit 3: United States Legal System


University of Nebraska – some PowerPoints to guide you. Click Here

Foundations in Law and Foundations in Criminal Justice – many, many lessons to review. Many high quality lesson links within. Click Here