CJSA 1308
Criminalistics I
Western Texas College

  1. Basic Course Information
    1. Introduction to the field of criminalistics. Topics include the application of scientific and technical methods in the investigation of crime including location, identification, and handling of evidence for scientific analysis
    2. Any required prerequisites:  Need a C or higher in CJIR 1301 or be enrolled in CJRI 1301 simultaneously.
    3. Required grade for enrolling in the next course in this sequence: Need a C or higher in CJSA 1308 in order to take CJSA 2323
  2. Student Learning Outcomes:
    1. Describe the care required in identifying, collecting, and preserving evidence for scientific examination.
    2. Explain the significance of field and laboratory findings.
  3. Online Testing Requirements
    1. The midterm and final exam must be proctored by an approved testing organization. (Ask your instructor for more details.)
    2. Students are not allowed to use their book or notes of any kind while taking their proctored tests and exams.
  4. Course Requirements
    1. Lecture: homework assignments; weekly quizzes; midterm and final exam
    2. Quizzes and exams are timed.
  5. Information on Books and Other Course Materials
    1. Required Book: Criminalistics: An Introduction to Forensic Science. 12th Edition. Saferstein. 2018. Pearson Prentice Hall. (ISBN: 9780134477596)
  6. Other Policies, Procedures and important dates. Please refer to the WTC Catalog for the following:
    1. Campus Calendar
    2. Final exam schedule
    3. How to drop a class
    4. Withdrawal information
    5. Student Conduct/Academic Integrity
    6. Students with disabilities
  7. Course Sequence & Content

Chapter 1

Introduction: Definition and Scope of Forensic Science

 

History and Development of Forensic Science

 

Crime Laboratories

 

Organization of a Crime Laboratory

 

Case Files: Forensic Science Helps Unravel the Mystery of the Anthrax Letters

 

Case Files:  Dr. Coppolino’s Deadly House Calls

Chapter 2

The Crime Scene: Processing the Crime Scene

 

Collecting and Packaging Physical Evidence

 

Maintaining the Chain of Custody

 

Ensuring Crime-Scene Safety

 

Legal considerations at the Crime Scene

 

Case Study: Enrique Camarena Case: A Forensic Nightmare

Chapter 3

Physical Evidence: Common Types of Physical Evidence

 

The Significance of Physical Evidence

 

Forensic Databases

 

Case Files: Gerald Wallace

 

Case Files: The Center City Rapist

 

Case Files: NIBIN Links Handgun to Suspects

 

Case Files: Aztec Gold Metallic Hit and Run

Chapter 6

Fingerprints: History of Fingerprinting

 

Fundamental Principles of Fingerprinting

 

Classifications of Fingerprints

 

Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems

 

Methods of detecting Fingerprints

 

Case Files: The Night Stalker

 

Case Files: They Mayfield Affair

 

Preservation of Developed Prints

 

Digital Imaging for Fingerprint Enhancement

Chapter 19

Computer Forensics- optional

Chapter 20

Mobile Device Forensics-optional

 

Last Modified/Reviewed: May 9, 2019