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CRM 2203 Delinquency and Prevention

Course Description

This course explores the nature and extent of the delinquency, the risk factors involved in delinquent behavior and victimization, and the juvenile justice system. It also reviews prevention and diversion programs, and current best practices.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to

  • Differentiate between the adult and juvenile justice systems
  • Explain the meaning of chronic offender and how to prevent it
  • Explain the adaptations to strain
  • Describe the various social, psychological, biological, and trait theories concerning delinquency and delinquency prevention
  • Explain the phenomena of net widening and how to avoid it
  • Discuss the legal and social issues with corporal punishment and its relationship with abuse and neglect
  • Discuss issues related to juveniles being transferred to adult court
  • Explain the process and goals of the juvenile court in disposition
  • Discuss how juvenile probation (community control) works and how success is measured
  • Discuss the juvenile justice system and its relationship to basic principles of punishing behaviors
  • Discuss the dilemma of the juvenile probation officer and why many define it as an “impossible” task
  • Discuss the requirements for detention facilities
  • Discuss both radical non-intervention and shock incarceration as alternate methods to the current juvenile justice system
  • Discuss minority overrepresentation in the juvenile justice system

Week 1

Lecture: Course Introduction and Expectations
Lecture: Overview and Review


  • Explain the development and evolution of juvenile justice in America
  • Identify distinctions between a delinquent and a status offender
  • Explain the difference between the criminal and juvenile justice systems
  • Name the stages in the formal juvenile justice process
  • Summarize the various theories of juvenile delinquency which help to explain “why” juveniles offend
  • Demonstrate that theories of juvenile delinquency come from various fields including but not limited to biology, psychology, and sociology
  • Demonstrate that no one single theory is sufficient to provide a concrete reason as to why juveniles become involved in delinquency
  • Analyze the methods used to measure national levels of juvenile offending and victimization in the United States and identify the strengths and criticisms attributed to them

Week 2

Lecture: Juveniles and the Police


  • Explain the authority the police have over many juvenile behaviors including those which are non-criminal and to identify the factors that influence custody of juveniles
  • Discuss the issues that involve the search and seizure of juveniles in schools, juvenile interrogation and confidentiality
  • Summarize the issues and research concerning “chronic offenders”

Week 3

Lecture: Intake and Diversion


  • Discuss the purpose of intake, the intake process, legal rights of juveniles regarding intake, and who are considered intake officers
  • Demonstrate that many cases are “adjusted” or “diverted” from the juvenile court informally and the types of juveniles typically selected for diversion
  • Demonstrate that diversion is typically voluntary and youth may refuse to participate in diversion and request an adjudication hearing so facts can be determined by a juvenile court judge
  • Explain the rights and juvenile court processes of status offenders
  • Discuss the purposes and procedures of the juvenile justice process for dependent and neglected youth

Week 4

Lecture: Detention, Transfer, Courts, and Adjudication


  • Identify that detention and waiver are two proceedings before adjudication or trial, and explain how each one proceed
  • Demonstrate that most juveniles are not detained from referral until the final disposition of their case
  • Demonstrate that a juvenile may not normally be held in an adult jail prior to their adjudication hearing
  • Identify the many ways a juvenile may be transferred to adult court for trial
  • Demonstrate that juveniles now enjoy basic constitutional rights during trial, identify what their rights are, and discuss pertinent case law
  • Identify the various goals of disposition
  • Demonstrate that rehabilitation has traditionally been the main goal of disposition, but that may not be true in reality and practice
  • Discuss the legal and constitutional issues raised in dispositions

Week 5

Lecture: Disposition: Probation and Parole


  • Analyze the variations between juvenile probation and parole in terms of organization, structure, problems, and differences
  • Demonstrate that judges or parole boards have much discretion when imposing conditions of probation or parole
  • Demonstrate that there are many legal issues in probation and parole, and that not all have been resolved by the courts

Week 6

Lecture: Juvenile Correctional Institutions


  • Summarize the history and development of juvenile institutions
  • Identify the different types of institutional placements and categories for juveniles in the juvenile justice system
  • Identify the two major issues facing juvenile correctional authorities which are overcrowding and suicide prevention
  • Demonstrate that juveniles have a right to treatment and that they should be free from cruel and unusual punishment in juvenile institutions

Week 7

Lecture: Schools and Related Issues


  • Identify where schools derive their authority over students and what schools may do to maintain order and keep students safe
  • Discuss the search and seizure of students in schools and that school officials may generally search without probable cause
  • Demonstrate that corporal punishment is not unconstitutional in schools and a number of states still authorize its use on school students
  • Measure the extent of school crime and discuss how school crime has meant significant changes in many schools
  • Demonstrate that school crime has led to collaboration between schools and the juvenile and criminal justice system

Week 8

Lecture: Juvenile Justice: Past, Present, and Future


  • Identify alternative proposals to the current juvenile justice and court systems
  • Discuss significant movements in juvenile justice to include restorative justice, dealing with minority disproportionate representation, gang statutes, and raising female delinquency
  • Demonstrate that juvenile justice policy and public perceptions guide many policies regarding juvenile delinquency

The course description, objectives and learning outcomes are subject to change without notice based on enhancements made to the course. February 2012