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CJ 470/Soc 452 Juvenile Justice

Prerequisites: Upper division standing, completion of GE Segment I requirements including ENG 214 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.

Description: Analysis of "delinquency," emergence and administration of juvenile law, and analysis of social organizations for youthful offenders. Classwork, 3 units; fieldwork, 1 unit. (Cross-listed with SOC 452. May not be repeated under alternate prefix.)

Units: 4

Read the Fall 2013 student evaluations of this course >>

Course Outline

Instructor: Daniel Macallair

The course is a critical overview of the juvenile justice system in the United States covering: historical development, social and economic influences, theoretical and practical analysis, effective interventions, and strategies for systems reform.

Course Description

Download Course Outline here.

Course Goals

The general learning objectives of this course include the development of critical thinking, respect of different viewpoints, and ability to gather and analyze information. Discipline-specific learning goals include promoting an understanding of major theories, research findings and legal principles and issues while developing students’ appreciation of the juvenile justice decision making process. Through this class the student should achieve a deeper understanding of the social-political context of law, social policy, and practice and understand the relationship between theory and practice.

Course Format

The primary instructional method is lecture and discussion. Students are expected to read and consider assigned readings prior to each class. Students are encouraged to express their views. View the class slides >>

Required Reading

The following books are required and can be purchased at the bookstore:

  1.  Delinquency and Juvenile Justice in American Society. Randall Shelden

The following are required readings that will be provided by the instructor.

  • Juvenile Offenders and Victims, US Dept of Justice
  • Testing Incapacitation Theory, Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
  • Intelligence Testing at Whittier School, 1890–1920; Miroslava Chávez-García
  • Alternatives to the Secure Detention and Confinement of Juvenile Offenders, US Dept of Justice
  • Framing Juvenile Justice Interventions Using the Concepts of Positive Youth Development, Coalition of Juvenile Justice
  • Focusing Juvenile Justice on Positive Youth Development, University of Chicago
  • A Blue Print for Juvenile Justice Reform, Juvenile Justice Transitions Group

Schedule of Readings

The last section of this syllabus contains the reading assignments and topics by date. Please read the assigned materials prior to the class. See schedule of readings here >>


Grades are based on three objective exams that must be taken on the day they are administered. Failure to take an exam on the scheduled day will result in a grade reduction OR FAILURE.

See optional extra credit writing project here >>

Office Hours

Instructor office hours are detailed in the course outline. Additional times can be arranged by appointment.


1. Official Crime Measures 2. Unofficial Measures of Delinquency _ 3. Classical Criminology 4. 19th… Continue

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