Law and Public Safety

Law & Public Safety

The Law and Public Safety Pathway at Smithfield High School serves as an introduction to the American legal system and criminal justice process as well as a physical and mental preparation to enter the field of first responders.  Courses offered will excite your natural curiosity to solve problems and disputes. Students will learn how to answer some of the most pressing questions within the criminal justice system, such as: What makes a guilty mind? How can we reform the correction system?  How do we ensure that all defendants receive a fair trial? You will learn how to apply the rules of the law to many situations which are prevalent in society. You will analyze ethics, criminal and civil law, the trial process, tort law, the law of contracts, product liability, warranties, and student rights. Mock trials enhance the course concepts and allow the students to argue cases in front of a jury while analyzing real and hypothetical criminal scenarios, evaluating all elements.  First Responder Fitness will prepare you for the physical demands of law enforcement and help you to better evaluate your readiness for a career in public safety. Click here for more information and a typical course of study. 

Core Classes

4529 Introduction to Criminal Justice EEP

This course serves as an introduction to the American legal system and the criminal justice process.  Students will learn how to answer some of the most pressing questions within the criminal justice system, such as: What makes a guilty mind?  How can we reform the correction system? Do we still need the Second Amendment? How do we ensure that all defendants receive a fair trial? Students will first need to understand the Constitutional protections afforded through the Bill of Rights, trial procedures, as well as the types and classifications of crimes. We will analyze real and hypothetical criminal scenarios, evaluating all elements. Students who maintain at least an 88 average and choose to meet the additional requirements established by Roger Williams University can earn 3 credits to Roger Williams University, transferable anywhere.

6511 Law and Society EEP

A highly recommended course for career and college-bound students. Law and Society will excite your natural curiosity to solve problems and disputes. It is an interesting, useful, and challenging course. You will learn how to apply the rules of the law to many situations which are prevalent in society. Topics for the class include ethics, criminal and civil law, the trial process, tort law, the law of contracts, product liability, warranties, and student rights. Mock trials enhance the course concepts and allow the students to argue cases in front of a jury. The class is taught in the Little Theater (Room 108) which is one of the only fully functioning classroom/courtrooms in the United States. This course qualifies for 3 college credits through Roger Williams University with completed portfolio and research paper (optional for credit).

1141 First Responder Fitness

This half-credit course is designed to model the advanced physical rigor and training required in preparation for state or municipal police academies, as well as municipal fire department agility tests.  Students will develop personalized goals, combined with a strenuous exercise program, in order to understand the physical requirements for acceptance to, and graduation from, relative emergency service academies. This course is designed to meet the standards of the highest level of rigor in physical education, in order to maximize opportunities for success at such post-graduate academies.  Students in these courses also acquire NIMS (National Incident Management System) Certification in FEMA’s ICS (Incident Command System) 100 and 700 courses, both requirements for any first responder.

3502 Forensic Science

Forensic Science is open to juniors and seniors interested in the application of science in law enforcement.  Topics to be studied include, but are not limited to, crime scene investigation, fingerprinting, forensic toxicology, drug and organic analysis, DNA fingerprinting, and serology. A great class to take if you are interested in crime scene analysis.

4509 Psychology EEP

Introduction to Psychology is a Junior-Senior elective whereby students may receive college credit from Rhode Island College. This course examines the field of Psychology by describing issues of interest and concern to contemporary psychologists and the research methods they use to explore those issues. Exploration of the origin and evolution of psychology will emphasize its growth as a behavioral science. Students will explore such topics as sensation and perception, learning and memory, intelligence and mental abilities, lifespan development, personality and abnormal behavior. Students may have the opportunity to earn 4 credits through Rhode Island College at a reduced tuition fee.

Law and Public Safety Electives

  • 6515 Law II
  • 4505 Society and Sociology
  • 4512 Political Ideologies EEP
  • 4522 AP US Government and Politics
  • 4516 Communication in Society