Dept. of CJ UTRGV Fall 2019 CRIJ 3325.01 Violent Crime & offenders

Instructor:                                          Dr. Joseph A-Gyamfi

Office:                                                ELABN 339

Phone #                                              956-665-7061

Meeting Days & Time:                     Mondays & Wednesdays 9.30 AM – 10.45 AM

Classroom:                                         ELABN 121


Office Hours:             Mondays 11AM – 12PM; & 2.00 – 3.00 PM

Wednesdays 11AM 12PM & 2.00 PM – 3.00 PM

Or by Appointment


Syllabus: This course about violent human behavior, violent crime and violent offenders distinguish between natural violence and “human-made” violence and examine the trends and patterns of violence in human interactions and interrelationships. Types of tolerable violence (sports violence etc.) and intolerable/criminal violence, including homicide, assault, robbery, rape, domestic abuse; gendered violence, social class and races/ethnic violence; and the interchangeable roles of victims and victimizer; contexts of violence and violence facilitators – weapons and drugs are examined. Finally, the historical, theoretical and the disciplinary foundations of violent criminal behavior, and specific cases of violent crimes, national and international, the dimensions of media reportage of violent crime, and societal responses to violent crime will be covered.


After completing this courses, the student will be able to:


CJ Department Student Learning Outcomes:

1.      Demonstrate knowledge of the structure, operations, and practices of the major components of the CJ system, which include police, courts, corrections, and laws.

2.      Explain the fundamentals of research methods and statistical techniques used in criminal justice research.

3.      Apply critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, and communication skills through classroom assignments.

4.      Demonstrate knowledge of criminological theory and crime control techniques.


Required Textbooks

1. Alvarez, A., & Bachman, R. (2017). Violence: The enduring problem. 3rd Ed. Sage ISBN: 978-1-5063-4906-0

Suggested Retail Price: New: $89 New                     Old/Used 66.75


2. Riedel, M. & Welsh, W. (2016). Criminal Violence. Patterns, causes and prevention. 4th Edition. NY: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN: 978-0-19-938613-0

Suggested Retail Price: New: $66                                          Old\Used 49.50


Each textbook is an open educational resource


Recommended Readings:


Important dates

Aug. 26 (Mon.)                                   Fall classes begin

Aug. 29 (Thurs.)                                Last day to add a class or register for Fall classes

Aug. 30 (Fri.)                                     Last day to withdraw & receive 80% refund

Sep. 2 (Mon.)                                     Labor Day Holiday. No classes.

Sep. 9 (Mon.)                                     Last day to withdraw & receive a 70% refund

Sep. 11 (Wed.)           Census Day (last day to drop without it appearing on transcript)

Sep. 16 (Mon.)                                   Last day to withdraw & receive a 50% refund

Sep. 23 (Mon.)                                   Last day to withdraw & receive a 25% refund

Nov. 13 (Wed.)           Last day to drop a class (grade of DR) or withdraw (grade of W)

Nov. 28-29 (Thurs.-Fri.)                   Thanksgiving Holiday. No classes

Dec. 5 (Thurs.)                                   Study Day. No classes.

Dec. 6-12 (Fri.-Thurs.)                      Final Exams

Dec. 12 (Thurs.)                                 Fall classes end; Official last day of the term


Examination dates

Exam #1                                             Monday September 23

Exam #2                                             Monday October 14

Exam #3                                             Wednesday October 30

Exam #4                                             Monday November 18

Final examination                             Wednesday Dec. 11 @ 8.00 AM – 9.15 AM


Course evaluation

Exam # 1                                            15%

Exam # 2                                            15%

Exam # 3                                            15%

Exam # 4                                            15%

Final Exam                                        40%


Exam Chapters

Exam # 1

Alvarez & Bachman                                                 Chapters 1-2

Riedel, M. & Welsh                                                   Chapters 1-3


Exam # 2

Alvarez & Bachman                                                 Chapters 1, 3 & 4

As American as apple pie                                           Chapter 1

Aiding & abetting violence                                         Chapter 3

Assault & murder: A continuum of violence              Chapter 4


Riedel, M. & Welsh                                                  Chapters 12, 13, & 4

The role of firearms in violence                                  Chapter 12

The role of drugs & alcohol in violence                     Chapter 13

Homicides & assaults                                                 Chapter 4


Exam # 3

Alvarez & Bachman                                                 Chapters 5 & 6

Violence in the home                                                  Chapter 5

Rape & assault                                                            Chapter 6


Riedel, M. & Welsh                                                  Chapters 8 & 6

Intimate violence                                                         Chapter 8

Rapes & sexual assaults                                              Chapter 6


Exam # 4

Alvarez & Bachman                                                 Chapters 7

Stranger danger                                                           Chapter 7


Riedel, M. & Welsh                                                  Chapters 5, 7, 9, & 10

Robbery                                                                      Chapter 5

Hate crimes                                                                 Chapter 7

Workplace violence                                                    Chapter 9

School violence                                                           Chapter 10


Final Exam

Alvarez & Bachman                                                 Chapters 8, 10, & 11

Mob violence                                                              Chapter 8

Genocide                                                                     Chapter 10

Towards violence prevention                                      Chapter 11


Riedel, M. & Welsh                                                   Chapters 11, &15

Gangs & gang violence                                               Chapter 11

Prevention & punishment: A delicate balance           Chapter 15


Examination Policy: All the exams are in-class, and are based on the textbooks, lecture notes and the discussions. Each exam will consist of multiple-choice and short answer questions of no less than 60 questions, except the final exams, which will be no less than 70 questions. If you miss a scheduled exam due to illness or serious personal problems, inform me before the scheduled exam date. Absence due to illness requires a medical certificate or doctor’s report. Where this policy has been complied with, alternative arrangements may be made on case basis. Absence and or lateness without a compelling justification will be self-penalizing. You may be permitted to write a missed exam under extenuating circumstances.

Final Grade policies: You must complete every course requirement including attending classes in order to receive a final grade. Defaulters in any one requirement will fail the course regardless of grades received so far.

Attendance policy: This is not online course. Your physical presence or class attendance is mandatory. In other words, you are expected to attend all scheduled classes. Three absences will be considered as withdrawal from this course. That is, three absences will result in a fail no matter the current grade. It is the responsibility of the student to withdraw from the course. UTRGV’s attendance policy excuses students from attending class if they are participating in officially sponsored university activities, such as athletics; observance of religious holy days; or military service. Students should contact me in advance of the excused absence and arrange for make-up missed work or exams.

Course drop: According to UTRGV policy, students may drop any class without penalty earning a grade of DR until the official drop date. Following that date, students must be assigned a letter grade and can no longer drop the class. Students considering dropping the class should be aware of the “3-peat rule” and the “6-drop” rule so they can recognize how dropped classes may affect their academic success. The 6-drop rule refers to Texas law that dictates that undergraduate students may not drop more than six courses during their undergraduate career. Courses dropped at other Texas public higher education institutions will count toward the six-course drop limit. The 3-peat rule refers to additional fees charged to students who take the same class for the third time.

Cellphone policy: It is said that courtesy costs nothing but pays much. Those who are in the habit of leaving their cellphones on should know that it is not only a nuisance to me, but also distracting to the other students. It is unacceptable. Please turn or mute your cellphones, pagers, etc. when in class. Two points will be deducted from your final grade if your cellphone, pager etc. rings in class.

“Talking” or disrupting class: Class participation is encouraged, but talking, scribbling notes around, making signs, gestures and sometimes laughing aloud to the hearing of the class when lecture is in progress is not. Two points will be deducted when caught and the culprit asked to leave the classroom.

“Sleeping” policy: Do not “sleep” or “burry” your head/face on your table/desk, etc. while class is in session/progress. You will be asked to leave the classroom and two points deducted from your final grade if found to be sleeping, dosing or inattentive.

Decorum policy: Do not leave and return unceremoniously while lecture is in progress, it is distracting, as well. You will be asked to leave if this becomes persistent.

Students with disabilities: Students with a documented disability (physical, psychological, learning, or other disability which affects academic performance) who would like to receive academic accommodations should contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to initiate services. Accommodations can be arranged through SAS at any time, but are not retroactive. Students who suffer a broken bone, severe injury or undergo surgery during the semester are eligible for temporary services.

Student Accessibility Services: Brownsville Campus: Student Accessibility Services is located in Cortez Hall Room 129 and can be contacted by phone at (956) 882-7374 (Voice) or via email at Edinburg Campus: Student Accessibility Services is located in 108 University Center and can be contacted by phone at (956) 665-7005 (Voice), (956) 665-3840 (Fax), or via email at

Pregnancy, Pregnancy-related, and Parenting Accommodations: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination, which includes discrimination based on pregnancy, marital status, or parental status. Students seeking accommodations related to pregnancy, pregnancy-related condition, or parenting (reasonably immediate postpartum period) are encouraged to contact Student Accessibility Services for additional information and to request accommodations.

Mandatory course evaluation period: Students are required to complete an ONLINE evaluation of this course, accessed through your UTRGV account (; you will be contacted through email with further instructions. Students who complete their evaluations will have priority access to their grades.  Online evaluations will be available on or about: Module 1                     October 2 – 8

Module 2         November 27 – December 3

Full Fall Semester       November 14 – December 4

Scholastic integrity: As members of a community dedicated to Honesty, Integrity and Respect, students are reminded that those who engage in scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and expulsion from the University. Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to: cheating, plagiarism (including self-plagiarism), and collusion; submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person; taking an examination for another person; any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student; or the attempt to commit such acts. Since scholastic dishonesty harms the individual, all students and the integrity of the University, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced (Board of Regents Rules and Regulations and UTRGV Academic Integrity Guidelines). All scholastic dishonesty incidents will be reported to the Dean of Students.

Sexual harassment, discrimination, & violence: In accordance with UT System regulations, your instructor is a “Responsible Employee” for reporting purposes under Title IX regulations and so must report to the Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity ( any instance, occurring during a student’s time in college, of sexual misconduct, which includes sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, and sexual harassment, about which she/he becomes aware during this course through writing, discussion, or personal disclosure. More information can be found at, including confidential resources available on campus. The faculty and staff of UTRGV actively strive to provide a learning, working, and living environment that promotes personal integrity, civility, and mutual respect that is free from sexual misconduct, discrimination, and all forms of violence. If students, faculty, or staff would like confidential assistance, or have questions, they can contact OVAVP (Office for Victim Advocacy & Violence Prevention) at 665-8287, 882-8282, or

Course drop: According to UTRGV policy, students may drop any class without penalty earning a grade of DR until the official drop date. Following that date, students must be assigned a letter grade and can no longer drop the class. Students considering dropping the class should be aware of the “3-peat rule” and the “6-drop” rule so they can recognize how dropped classes may affect their academic success. The 6-drop rule refers to Texas law that dictates that undergraduate students may not drop more than six courses during their undergraduate career. Courses dropped at other Texas public higher education institutions will count toward the six-course drop limit. The 3-peat rule refers to additional fees charged to students who take the same class for the third time.

Student Services: Students who demonstrate financial need have a variety of options when it comes to paying for college costs, such as scholarships, grants, loans and work-study. Students should visit the Students Services Center (U Central) for additional information. U Central is located in BMAIN 1.100 (Brownsville) or ESSBL 1.145 (Edinburg) or can be reached by email ( or telephone: (888) 882-4026. In addition to financial aid, U Central can assist students with registration and admissions.


Students seeking academic help in their studies can use university resources in addition to an instructor’s office hours. University Resources include the Advising Center, Career Center, Counseling Center, Learning Center, and Writing Center. The centers provide services such as tutoring, writing help, critical thinking, study skills, degree planning, and student employment. Locations are:


Center Name

Brownsville Campus

Edinburg Campus

Advising Center

BMAIN 1.400

(956) 665-7120


(956) 665-7120

Career Center


(956) 882-5627

ESSBL 2.101

(956) 665-2243

Counseling Center


(956) 665-2574

BSTUN 2.10

(956) 882-3897

Learning Center

BMSLC 2.118

(956) 882-8208


(956) 665-2585

Writing Center

BUBLB 3.206

(956) 882-7065

ESTAC 3.119

(956) 665-2538




Welcome to CRIJ 3325.01. I hope you enjoy the course