Criminal Justice-COAS | Juvenile Delinquency
P426 | 27447 | Herrera

Course Description

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
seminar is designed to examine psychological, sociological, and
developmental theories that tackle the question: “What causes
juveniles to break the law?”  We will critically analyze the impact
of significant individual, social, and institutional influences on
youth behavior.  This seminar will also focus on the structure and
impact of the traditional juvenile justice system as well as
alternative approaches to intervention and treatment.

Course Objectives:

The goals of this course are for students to:

1)    Learn about the nature and extent of juvenile delinquency in
the United States;

2)    Become familiar with and critically evaluate the major
theories that have been developed as explanations for the onset of,
continuation in and desistance from delinquency;

3)    Understand the role of external factors such as family, peer
groups, education, and poverty on child development and delinquency;

4)    Learn about society's response to delinquency through informal
and formal mechanisms of control; and

5)    Apply knowledge about the causes and correlates of delinquency
to a critical assessment of juvenile justice policy and existing
intervention, prevention, and treatment strategies.

The above objectives are to be achieved through a process involving
readings, lectures, class discussions and independent research.

Required Readings

Howell, J.C. (2003). Preventing and Reducing Juvenile Delinquency
Additional readings will either be placed on e-reserve, handed out
in class, or have accessible web links in the syllabus

Supplemental Readings

· Butterfield, Fox. 1996.  All God’s Children: The Bosket Family and
the American Tradition of Violence.  New York: Avon Books
· MacDonald, Michael Patrick. 1999.  All Souls. A Family Story From
Southie.  New York: Ballantine Books.
· Rodriguez, Luis. 1993.  Always Running. New York: Touchstone
· Humes, Edward. 1996.  No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the
Life of Juvenile Court. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Class meeting:  Monday and Wednesday, 4:00-5:15

Instructor:  Professor Veronica Herrera, criminal justice department