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CJ 242 Race, Law, and Justice • 5 Cr.


Examines the strengths and weaknesses of the police carrying out their mission in a culturally diverse society. Students develop an understanding of the influences of culture, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic class on the legal process and within society.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Use key terms (e.g., multiculturalism, racism, institutional racism, prejudice, racial groups) correctly.
  • Explain the roles that racism and prejudice played in police-community conflicts, the creation of laws, the enforcement of laws, the legal interpretation of laws, the sentencing of offenders and community response to the police.
  • Apply comprehension of multicultural law enforcement by identifying the policing philosophies, strategies and techniques used by police departments and explaining whether the departments have addressed the needs of a diverse community.
  • Analyze the history of tension between the police and racial and ethnic groups by applying a psychological and sociological perspective.
  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the legal rationale supporting landmark criminal court decisions and determine whether they fit with common standards of equality and justice.
  • Evaluate police-community conflicts to determine whether the police lacked an understanding of the dynamics of a socially diverse community or whether there was a predisposed suspicion of the police due to a long and bitter history.
  • Evaluate the new policing strategies employed by the contemporary police departments and argue whether these new approaches address the arguments and concerns raised by those minority groups that are affected.



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Contact info

Bellevue College
3000 Landerholm Circle SE Bellevue, WA 98007-6484 U.S.A.
Work: (425) 564-1000