CRIM 2521
Introduction to the Canadian Criminal Justice System

3.0 Credits


This course, also known as SOCI 2521, consists of three modules and provides an introduction to the criminal justice system. The first module provides an introduction to the way criminal justice operates and also examines the way the police are organized and operate in Canada. The second considers the criminal courts, while the third deals with the operation of the correctional system.

Delivery Method



An introductory Social Science course is recommended but not required.


After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Analyze criminal justice from a systems perspective.
  • Review patterns of crime and victimization
  • Review the role of the public and the media in criminal justice
  • Define the passage of an offender through the sub-components of the Canadian criminal justice system.
  • Describe the structure and function of the following components of criminal justice: the police, victim services, the courts, probation and community corrections, jails and penitentiaries, parole (federal and provincial), Identify current criminal justice issues and challenges for reform.

Course Outline

CRIM 2521: Introduction to the Criminal Justice System includes the following units:

  • Lesson 1: The Criminal Justice System: An Overview
  • Lesson 2: Criminal Law and Criminal Justice
  • Lesson 3: The Crime Picture in Canada
  • Lesson 4: The Police: History And Structure
  • Lesson 5: The Police: Roles and Functions
  • Lesson 6: Police Powers
  • Lesson 7: The Canadian Court System
  • Lesson 8: The Actors in the Courtroom Process
  • Lesson 9: Sentencing
  • Lesson10: Canadian Correction
  • Lesson 11: Alternatives to Incarceration
  • Lesson 12: Conditional Release

Maximum Completion

30 weeks.

Required Text and Materials

Students will receive all course materials including the textbook in their course package.

Griffiths, Curt T.. Canadian Criminal Justice, A Primer. 5th ed. Thomson Nelson, 2015.
Type: Textbook, ISBN: 9780176529208/0176529209

Additional Requirements

Computer with Internet access.

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist you throughout your course. Primary communication is through Blackboard's "Mail" tool. You will receive the necessary contact information when you start your course.


To successfully complete the course, you must achieve at least 50% on the mandatory Final Exam and in the overall course.

Your final grade for the course is determined on the following basis:

Assignment 1 10%
Assignment 2 10%
Assignment 3 10%
Online Discussions 10%
Research Essay 20%
Final Exam * 40%
Total 100%

* mandatory