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Open Education Resources (OER)

The Administration of Justice Program

Administration of Justice - Program Description

Justice is at the heart of the U.S. democratic system, yet today’s criminal justice system is facing increasingly complex issues, from human trafficking and terrorism to computer crimes and gang-related crimes. Professionals with careers within the criminal justice system are confronting these challenges daily; working to prevent and reduce crime, serve as positive role models, improve public safety, and serve their communities. Today, there are more than 18,000 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies who employ more than 700,000 officers so whether you decide to work as a police officer or deputy sheriff, special agent, criminologist, forensic scientist, or within corrections, a career in criminal justice places you in the unique position to make a meaningful difference in your community and across the U.S. criminal justice systems.

For individuals currently working in the field, there may be potential for salary and/or career advancement. Many agencies require entry-level and current personnel to possess a certain level of education to be hired or to be eligible for a promotion. The Certificate/Associate degree (A.S.) provide that level of education.

Administration of Justice Department Page


Reach out to your library liaison with any questions!

California Community Colleges Virtual Campus

California Virtual Campus

Online courses offered at multiple California Community Colleges!

Find dozens of courses in administration of justice / criminal justice.

OER Textbooks

Introduction to the American Criminal Justice System

There is a dearth of OER textbooks in Criminology and Criminal Justice, which made creating this textbook all the more exciting. At times we faced challenges about what or how much to cover, but our primary goal was to make sure this book was as in-depth as the two textbooks we were currently using for our CCJ 230 introduction course. The only way we were willing to undertake this project as if it was as good, or better than the current books students read. We have had very positive feedback about the required textbooks in the course but consistently heard how expensive the books were to buy. We also needed to ensure we met the learning outcomes outlined by SOU for a general education course, as well as the state of Oregon, to make sure this textbook helps students meet those outcomes.



Research Methods for Criminal Justice Students

This book is based on two open-access textbooks: Bhattacherjee’s (2012) Social science research: Principles, methods, and practices and Blackstone’s (2012) Principles of sociological inquiry: Qualitative and quantitative methods. I first used Bhattacherjee’s book in a graduate-level criminal justice research methods course. I chose the book because it was an open educational resource that covered the major topics of my course. While I found the book adequate for my purposes, the business school perspective did not always fit with my criminal justice focus. I decided to rewrite the textbook for undergraduate and graduate students in my criminal justice research methods courses. As I researched other open- educational resources for teaching social science research methods, I found Blackstone’s book, which covered more of the social science and qualitative methods perspectives that I wanted to incorporate into my book.

Criminal Justice: An Overview of the System

This book provides an overview of the criminal justice system of the United States. It is intended to provide the introductory student a concise yet balanced introduction to the workings of the legal system as well as policing, courts, corrections, and juvenile justice. Six chapters, each divided into five sections, provide the reader a consistent, comfortable format as well as providing the instructor with a consistent framework for ease of instructional design.

Open Courses

MIT Open Courseware

MIT OpenCourseWare is an online publication of materials from over 2,500 MIT courses, freely sharing knowledge with learners and educators around the world. These are just a couple examples of the course content you will find there:

Created by ProSymbols from Noun ProjectDrugs, Politics & Culture


This class examines the relationship between a number of mind-altering substances and cultural processes. We look at the relationship between drugs and such phenomena as poverty, religion, technology, inter-generational conflict, colonialism, and global capitalism. We read about the physiological and psychological effects of these substances – ranging from alcohol to LSD, cocaine and ecstasy – and ask why different societies prohibit and sanction different drugs. We examine the use of mind-altering substances in a number of “traditional” societies, and follow the development of a global trade in such substances as sugar, coffee, tea, nicotine, cocaine, and marijuana concurrent with the evolution of global capitalism. We look at the use of LSD as a mind-control substance by the CIA and as a mind-altering substance in the 1960’s counter-culture, and we look at the rise of Prozac® and Viagra® as popular, if controversial, pharmaceutical products in recent years. Finally, we evaluate America’s current drug laws.   Image by ProSymbols from Noun Project

Law and Society

This course examines the central features of law as a social institution and as a feature of popular culture. We will explore the nature of law as a set of social systems, central actors in the systems, legal reasoning, and the relationship of the legal form and reasoning to social change. The course emphasizes the relationship between the internal logic of legal devices and economic, political and social processes. Emphasis is placed upon developing a perspective which views law as a practical resource, a mechanism for handling the widest range of unspecified social issues, problems, and conflicts, and at the same time, as a set of shared representations and aspirations.


Other Open Courses


The Meaning of Crime

This free course, The meaning of crime, examines how we, as a 'society', define crime. You will look at the fear that is generated within communities and what evidence is available to support claims that are made about crime rates.


Race, Ethnicity and Crime

Race, ethnicity and crime, briefly examines the relationships between race and ethnicity, and crime, criminalisation and criminal justice. It considers the relationship between crime and cultural difference; the notion of 'criminalisation' and how its processes affect individuals and their opportunities; and the lived consequences of racialisation. 


Created by Creative Stall from the Noun Project


Visible Proofs: Forensic Views of the Body

Take a virtual tour of The National Library of Medicine's exhibit on the history of forensic science. Includes cases, photographs, and educational resources.



Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies

This resource provides statistical data pertaining to state and local law enforcement, including: personnel, operating expenditures, 9-1-1 participation, computers and information systems, video cameras, police-public contact, and law enforcement training academies.