Criminal Justice-COAS | Juvenile Delinquency
P493 | 1637 | Herrera
This course provides an interdisciplinary approach towards
understanding the history, nature, and extent of juvenile
delinquency. This course is designed to examine individual,
sociological, and developmental theories that tackle the
question: “What causes juveniles to break the law?” Using research
based on these perspectives, we will begin to explore the extent to
which delinquency is caused by individual traits (e.g. impulsivity,
irritability), family factors (e.g. parenting, abuse history,
genetic transmission), delinquent peer groups and gangs, school, and
community factors. Detailed attention will also be given to the
role of gender, race, and social class throughout the semester. We
will discuss the co-occurrence of multiple risk factors and their
combined impact on delinquent trajectories. Lastly this course will
focus on the policy implications of preventing and responding to
juvenile delinquency and juvenile offenders, concentrating on the
role of police, the juvenile court process, and corrections
(community and institutional).
This course has 4 main objectives:
(1) To introduce major theories of juvenile delinquency as
conceptual tools for analyzing the causes of illegal behavior.
(2) Help you develop the skills to critically evaluate the
strength of empirical support for the various perspectives discussed.
(3) Get you to think beyond the classroom and apply course
materials to the community at large.
(4) Encourage you to think seriously about strategies to reduce
1. Larry Seigel, Juvenile Delinquency: The Core. Wadsworth,
2. Fox Butterfield, All God’s Children
Class meeting: MW, 2:30-3:45, SY 200
Instructor: Professor Veronica Herrera, criminal justice department