Legal and Ethical Issues in Juvenile Justice – CJUS 324

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 11/10/2021

Course Description

An overview of legal issues and court decisions related to juvenile justice. An analysis of the various ethical issues surrounding juvenile justice contexts and practices.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


As with all components of the criminal justice system, the juvenile justice system is riddled with legal and ethical issues that must be navigated by a myriad of criminal justice professionals. The purpose of this course is to think analytically and critically about some of the legal and ethical issues, by identifying them, applying scholarship to think through them, and learning to make sound decisions based on law, facts, and biblically-derived ethical principles.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify key legal issues relevant to juvenile justice and the juvenile correctional system.
  2. Examine some of the approaches to youth violence and law reform.
  3. Evaluate the legal and ethical complexities in making adjudicatory decisions for juvenile offenders.
  4. Critically examine legal and ethical issues pertaining to the disposition of juvenile criminal offenses.
  5. Integrate biblical truths regarding an assessment of legal and ethical perspectives in juvenile justice issues.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings, journal articles, and lecture presentations/notes


Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

The student will complete 4 Discussions in this course. The student will post one thread of at least 500 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of the assigned Module: Week. The student must then post 2 replies of at least 200 words by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of the assigned Module: Week. For each thread, students must support their assertions with at least 2 scholarly citations in APA format. Each reply must incorporate at least 1 scholarly citation(s) in APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Acceptable sources include the textbook, peer reviewed journals, the Bible, etc.

Individual Paper Assignments

The student will chose a topic from the Taylor & Fritsch resource. The student will identify, explain, and summarize applicable legal, ethical, and biblical issues (using course and non-course sources to support their choices) from the information in the resource and then develop a proposed relevant course of action (policy, legal guidelines, method of treatment, etc.). Below is an overview of what is expected; however please look at the assignment instructions and grading rubrics for more detail.

Quiz: Individual Paper: Topic Selection

The student will submit the topic of their Paper to the instructor for approval within the first Module: Week, via a Quiz. The paper topic should be 2-3 sentences that clearly identifies the specific topic and the focus of the paper.

Individual Paper: Outline Assignment

The student will provide an in-depth outline of his or her individual paper. The outline must be in current APA format.

Individual Paper: Final Assignment

The Paper must be formatted according to current APA format and be 7–9 pages in length in addition to the title page and a reference page with the 5-10 references.

Reflection Paper Assignments (2)

The purpose of these papers is to present your well-articulated perspective and thoughts from reviewing significant cases in Juvenile Justice. The Reflection Paper should be a 5–7-pages, be well-organized, and be reflective of the student’s thinking and struggles in these very complex areas of juvenile justice. Please refer to the assignment instructions and grading rubrics for more detail. 

Quizzes (3)

There will be 3 quizzes. The quizzes will be open-notes and open-book. Quiz: Individual Paper Topic, which explains your individual paper topic; Quiz: Midterm will cover Module 1: Week 1 – Module 4: Week 4 and Quiz: Final will cover Module 5: Week 5 – Module 8: Week 8. Quiz: Individual Paper Topic is an open- ended essay question and must be completed in one hour. Quiz: Midterm has 50 objective questions and must be completed in 2 hours. Quiz: Final has 50 objective questions and 10 short-answer questions (maximum of 500 words for each short-answer question); you will have 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete the quiz. Quizzes are limited to two attempts.