This course is designed to provide an in-depth study of the juvenile justice system in the United States. The student will study the general principles of juvenile delinquency, overview of the juvenile criminal justice system, theories of delinquency, and other issues dealing with juveniles in the justice system.
Juveniles are accorded special status under the American legal system. Children and adolescents also account for a disproportionate amount of crime committed. Preventing such behavior and responding to its occurrence are matters of concern to society at large and to the criminal justice system in particular. This course will examine the historical precedents and philosophical reasons for treating juveniles differently from adults and review empirical evidence about child development that can illuminate the reasons for their special status within the system. Students will learn about the distribution of juvenile delinquency according to both official statistics and self-report data and learn about the impact of significant social and institutional influences on delinquency: family, school, peers, and drugs. The major theories that have been proposed as explanations of delinquent behavior will be reviewed and evaluated based on the research conducted to test each theory.
Measurable Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Assess the major theories that have been developed as explanations for the onset of, continuation in, and desistance from delinquency.
- Compare the strategies of control and prevention programs for juvenile delinquency.
- Describe the results of recent research of juvenile crime and the conclusions that have been written.
- Apply biblical principles to the study of juvenile delinquency.
Course Requirements Checklist
After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.
Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to submit a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be at least 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 150 words. Please refer to the assignment instruction and grading rubric for more detail.
Homework Assignments (28)
The student will complete 28 total Homework Assignments throughout the course. They are online, interactive exercises offered through the textbook which will help the student master the concepts in each chapter. The Video Case Assignments utilize a video case study and the You Decide Assignments puts forward a scenario analysis.
Research Paper Assignments (4)
The student will write a research paper on a topic related to juvenile justice. The paper will be submitted in intervals as follows: Topic Selection, Outline, Rough Draft, and Final Draft. Below is an overview of what is expected; however please look at the assignment instructions and grading rubrics for more detail.
Quiz: Research Paper - Topic Selection
The student will select a topic related to juvenile justice from the provided list or choose a topic covered in the course textbook. The student must explain why he or she has chosen this topic in 1–2 sentences.
Research Paper: Outline Assignment
The student will provide an in-depth outline of their research paper. The outline must contain headings that correlate to the chosen topic.
Research Paper: Rough Draft Assignment
The student will submit a rough draft of their research paper that expands on the outline and addresses all sections thoroughly. The rough draft must be at least 5 pages (excluding the title page, abstract, tables of contents, reference list, and appendices), follow current APA format, and include at least 5 primary references and 5 biblical references.
Research Paper: Final Assignment
The student will submit the final draft of their research paper. The final draft must be at least 5 pages (excluding the title page, abstract, tables of contents, reference list, and appendices), follow current APA format, and include at least 5 primary references and 5 biblical references.
There will be 3 quizzes. The quizzes will be open-notes and open-book. Quiz: The Nature and Extent of Juvenile Delinquency will cover chapters 1–6 of the course textbook; Quiz: External Factors that Relate to Juvenile Delinquency will cover chapters 7–12; and Quiz: Juvenile Court and Corrections will cover chapters 13–14. Each quiz will contain 40 multiple-choice and true/false questions. The student will have 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete each quiz.