Syllabus (Criminal Justice)

Mrs. Joelle Pizzano (formerly Ms. Krake)

Introduction to Criminal Justice Information and Procedures J


Course Overview

Introduction to Criminal Justice is organized to familiarize the student with the protocol put in place by the US government to respond to crime in society. The units to be studied are Introduction to Law, the Court System, Lawyers, Crime, Torts (civil cases), and Juvenile Justice. This is a half year course (2 marking periods). The next section is Mock Trial where you will learn and demonstrate the procedures for prosecuting crimes. You will be given another syllabus about that course after completion of this course.


In this class, as in everything in life, you will get out of it what you put into it. I am looking for quality work and effort. Being an elective course, it is easy to “slack” or “not take it seriously.” You are in this class for a reason.  I would like for you to demonstrate your interest. Ask questions, be present, get to know your classmates, express your opinion, debate, and disagree all while learning and having fun.

Grading Policy

  • Major Assessments (50%): include tests, projects, presentations, etc.
  • Minor Assessments (30%): include quizzes, small writing assignments, etc.
  • Alternate Assessments (20%): include “Do Nows, and class work

Late/Absent Policies

  • If absent on a day work is due or on a quiz/test day, the work must be handed in on the day of return, and the quiz/test must be made up on the day of return.
  • If a student is absent, work he/she missed during the absence must be handed in within two days of the absence for full credit. If work is not completed within two days of the absence, refer to the next bullet point.
  • Assignments that are forgotten or completed late will be assessed late penalties of -10 points for one day late, and -20 points for two days late. WORK WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AFTER TWO DAYS, and will result in a ZERO.

Materials Needed

  • Notebook and folder OR 3-ring binder with loose leaf paper
  • Black or blue pens and #2 pencils (required for multiple-choice tests/exams)
  • Planner (or some way to stay organized and track when assignments are due; students will also be instructed to download the Remind 101 app on their phones to receive assignment updates and due dates. I will also post important information on my webpage.)

Rules and Procedures:

  1. Treat others with the same respect you would want for yourself.
  2. Effort is a must. Show me that you care, and work hard towards success. This goes a long way.
  3. Come to class on time (in your seat when the bell rings, not running in as the bell is ringing)
  4. Bring required materials and assignments to class (not left in your locker) every day.
  5. Bathroom breaks: the more you are in class, the better your chance of success is, so use passes wisely.
  6. Allow for a proper classroom learning environment. Excessive talking, noise, and other disruptive behavior takes away from your peers’ and your right to an education. Plus, no one likes detention L
  7. Personal cell phones, IPods, and other electronic devices should be turned off and put away, unless permission is given to use them for educational purposes. (If I see it, it goes in Phone Jail L)
  8. Continue working and be in your seat until the end of class. (I dismiss you, not the bell)
  9. Fire Drill: line up quickly and quietly. Exit the school through the designated doors to the designated destination. Remain there until we are signaled to do otherwise.
  10. Lockdown: all doors will be locked quickly. The lights will be turned off. Move quickly and quietly to a corner of the room away from the door and windows. Remain quiet during the entire drill.

I reserve the right to add more rules/procedures to this list as the year goes on as I see fit. Just because something is not on this list right now, does not mean it is insignificant.

One last thing…I am in different classrooms throughout the day, so if you need to come see me, you can find me in Room 155 before and after school. Also, you could email me at Please allow 24 hours for a response. I encourage you (and your parents) to contact me throughout the year when you have questions and/or concerns.