Legal and Ethical Issues in Juvenile Justice – CJUS 324

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

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 and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

There will be 4 Discussion Board Forums in this course. For each Discussion Board Forum, you will be required to submit a thread of your own informed opinion on an assigned topic. Each initial thread must be at least 500-700 words (with empirical and biblical support) on the assigned topic. For each discussion board forum you will also submit a 200-300 word (with empirical and biblical support) reply to at least 2 other student’s threads.

Individual Paper

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.).

Paper Topic Approval

The student will submit the topic of their Paper to the instructor for approval within the first module/week. The paper topic should be 2-3 sentences that clearly identifies the specific topic and the focus of the paper


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

Individual Paper

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 Papers (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.

Exams (2)

The student will complete 2 exams in Modules/Weeks 4 and 8. Exams are open-book/open-notes, but they are not to be collaborated on with anyone. Each exam has 50 objective questions and must be completed in 2 hours.