Fall 2007 - T Th 1:30 - 2:50
|Instructor:||Jane Siegel, Ph.D.|
|Office:||405-07 Cooper Street - Room 109 (entrance at rear of building)|
|Office hours:||Tuesday and Thursday, 3:00 - 4:00, and by appointment|
|Teaching Assistant:||Diane Marano|
Juvenile Delinquency: The Core, 3rd Edition, by Larry Siegel and Brandon Walsh
The text can be purchased at the bookstore. It is also available through regular on-line booksellers and through a site called i-Chapters.com, which has an arrangement with the publisher to sell an electronic version for less than the paper version. It apparently also offers a discount on the paper version. The publisher of the text maintains a website that includes quizzes for each chapter that students can administer themselves. These quizzes are recommended as useful study aids. To utilize this feature, click here to get to the section of the publisher's web site for the text. From the drop-down menu, choose the chapter for which you would like to utilize the quiz; after the page for the chapter comes up, click on the link for "tutorial quiz." The site features other useful study tools, like a crossword puzzle and Concentration game for each chapter, that you may find useful.
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, friends and schools in 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
The above objectives are to be achieved through a process involving readings, lectures, class discussions and independent research.
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 course will examine the historical precedents and philosophical reasons for treating juveniles differently from adults and review empirical evidence about child development that can illuminate the reasons for their special status within the system. Students will learn about the distribution of juvenile delinquency according to both official statistics and self-report data and learn about the impact of significant social and institutional influences on delinquency: family, school, peers and drugs. The major theories that have been proposed as explanations of delinquent behavior will be reviewed and evaluated based on the research conducted to test each theory.
The course will also provide a detailed overview of the juvenile justice system, from its beginnings to the current state of the institution, which will include a review of police work with juveniles, pretrial procedures, the juvenile court system and the juvenile correctional system. Major court rulings that have shaped contemporary juvenile justice will be presented as well. Students will also have the opportunity to observe parts of the juvenile justice system first-hand by attending a juvenile court session, visiting a correctional facility for adjudicated delinquents, or observing juvenile probation officers or prosecutors at work.
Students' mastery of the readings and lecture materials presented in class will be evaluated on the basis of their performance on two tests and a final exam, a group project, a reaction paper, and class participation.
Make-up exams will be given only if you have obtained my permission to be excused from the actual exam prior to the time of that exam.
with disabilities requesting accommodations in the class are encouraged
contact Nathan Levinson as soon as possible to better ensure that such
accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. His office is on
floor of the Business and
Students are expected to attend class regularly and to have completed all assigned readings prior to the date for which they are assigned (see below). Points in this category will be earned through class attendance, participation in class discussions (either in person or through the discussion board in Sakai), attendance at field trips, and oral responses to questions posed on periodic assignments that will require research on the Internet and that will be distributed through the class mailing list. Students who miss a class are responsible for getting notes from someone else in the class and for finding out about any assignments that were given out that day. Excessive absences will result in lowering of your grade. Attendance will be taken daily via a sign-in sheet. Students arriving late to class will be considered absent.
During the semester, each student will take part in a field visit to a component of the juvenile justice system in order to observe firsthand the way the system functions. Sites will include juvenile court, a residential juvenile facility, juvenile probation and the juvenile unit of the Camden County Prosecutor's office. You will complete a paper in which you will discuss your reaction to what you have observed and provide reflections that incorporate material from the course materials. Thus, at a minimum, the paper should describe what you observed, what you learned from the experience, your reaction to it and a discussion of how the visit was related to what you have learned in class. Was the experience what you expected, based on the class readings and lectures? Did it cause you to change your mind in any way about the juvenile justice system or about delinquents? How did what you observe compare to what you learned in class? For instance, did it validate a particular theory? Contradict a theory? Portray a process that differed from what the book or lectures said?
The paper must be typed, double-spaced, with 1" margins all around and should not exceed five pages. Longer is not necessarily better, but a paper that is only, say,a page long will probably not demonstrate deep reflection about what you observed. Papers will be judged on the basis of both content and the quality of the writing. If you need assistance with writing skills, I urge you to contact the Learning Center in Armitage Hall (room 231) for help well in advance of the paper's due date. Grammatical errors, including incorrect spelling, will reduce the grade on a paper.
Working in small groups, students will be assigned the responsibility of responding to critical thinking exercises in the text by preparing a brief oral presentation and leading the class in discussion about the topic. Therefore, all students should be prepared to respond to questions posed by each presenting group and to discuss the topic with the entire class. The presenting group's presentation and discussion must be guided by empirical research or scholarly arguments found in the literature. Therefore, each member of a group is responsible for identifying an article from a peer-reviewed journal or an academic book that provides evidence or an argument either in support of or against a particular issue.
These projects will require that the group decide together exactly what they need to know in order to make a reasoned presentation and lead an intelligent discussion, one in which the group members will be able to respond to other students' opinions with facts. As an example, suppose the exercise asked you to decide whether all delinquents should be required to wear ankle monitors to school. While you may have an instinctive reaction to that idea - either for or against it - the group's job will be to investigate the wisdom of this policy, report that to the class, and then pose questions that will evoke discussion. Therefore, the group would probably want to know whether ankle monitors have any effect on delinquency or crime , so they would need to look for articles that examine the efficacy of electronic monitoring. They may also want to find out what theoreticians have said and researchers have learned about the effects of labeling and stigma on juveniles. Their own discussions will help them identify other issues related to this proposed policy that they may want to investigate prior to the discussion.
The exact requirements for this assignment are as follows:
1) At least two weeks prior to its presentation, submit a list of references the group proposes to use, formatted in accordance with APA style. If you are in doubt about whether a journal is a peer-reviewed one, check my home page for a link to a list of such journals.
2) In-class group presentation and group leadership of class discussion
3) Hand in either a written version of the presentation, including appropriate citations in APA style, or a printed copy of a PowerPoint presentation. Groups are NOT required to create a PowerPoint presentation.
4) Turn in completed evaluations of fellow group members' contributions as well as a self-assessment of your own work on the project.
The grade that each group member earns for this project may differ from that earned by other group members. Each group member will be required to grade every other member in the group, explain what each person's contribution was, and do the same for him or herself. Thus, it is possible for three members of a group to receive an A while a fourth receives a D because he or she did not speak at all during the presentation and it was clear from the other students' assessments that he or she contributed almost nothing to the project.
will be evaluated on the basis
of test scores, the reaction paper, the group project, and
participation in class discussions. Final grades will be
on the following basis:
30% (15% each)
The college's academic integrity policy, which can be found in the college catalogue, will be enforced in this class. Plagiarism is considered an extremely serious offense that can result in a tarnished official record or even expulsion from the university. Students are encouraged to read our department's plagiarism policy, which includes some useful links to other sites that may help you avoid plagiarizing inadvertently. If you are in doubt about what might constitute plagiarism in an assignment, please check with me.
All students registered in the class are automatically enrolled in a course site on Sakai, the university's host site for course materials. The course site contains reading materials for the course and provides a forum for class discussions. To get to the course site, log on to Sakai. Once there, you should see a tab for this course. Readings can be found under the module called "Resources." Click on that to view a list of the readings. Then click on the title to read or print the article. If you do not have a tab for the course, let me know immediately so that I can add your name to the list of those enrolled at the course site.
In addition, an electronic mailing list, also known as a listserv, has been established for this class. I will use it when needed to communicate messages to the entire class, which each student will receive as an e-mail message. All students registered for the course have been placed on the mailing list, provided you have notified the university of your e-mail address. If you have not done so, you should take care of this immediately. If you are not on the listserv, you must let me know so that your name can be added. Failure to do so does not relieve you of any obligation that was established by e-mail notification to the entire class.
Assigned readings should be done prior to the date where they appear. The schedule outlined below represents my intended timetable, but adjustments may be made during the semester. Chapter numbers refer to the Siegel and Walsh textbook. Other readings are available in Sakai, unless otherwise noted.
are responsible for knowing
the material in the readings, regardless of whether it is discussed in
class or not. In other words, your tests will include materials from
lectures and your readings, unless otherwise noted.
||READINGS/ ASSIGNMENTS/ EXAMS|
and course overview.
The historical concept of children in society. The legal status of children and the concept of parens patriae. Status offending.
Handout - "10-Year-Old Boy is Charged"
Available in Sakai:
"Adolescent Brain Development: A Period of Vulnerabilities and Opportunities"
|9/11||Measuring juvenile crime. Juvenile crime rates and trends. Correlates of delinquency. Understanding the age-crime controversy. Development of delinquent careers. Juvenile victimization.||Ch. 2|
of the juvenile justice system.
Overview of the contemporary juvenile justice system.
Available in Sakai:
"The Child-Saving Movement and the Orgins of the Juvenile Justice System"
theory: choosing crime.
Trait theory: biological and psychological factors
Available in Sakai:
"Well-Meaning Programs Can Have Harmful Effects! Lessons from Experiments of Programs Such as Scared Straight."
Social structure theories. Social learning theories. Control theories. Labeling. Social conflict.
Available in Sakai:
"The Code of the Streets"
Developmental views of delinquency.
"Child Delinquency: Early Intervention and Prevention"
|10/16||Developmental views of delinquency (cont'd.).|
the differences in male
and female delinquency.
The influence of the family on delinquency.
|Exam 1 - 10/23 - Ch. 1-5 and
text plus associated readings and lecture materials
Ch. 6 and Ch. 7, pp. 150-161
Available in Sakai:
"Tenuous Borders: Girls Transferred to Adult Court"
|10/30||The nature and extent of child abuse and neglect and its relationship to delinquent behavior.||Ch.
7, pp. 161-175 and Ch. 8, pp. 178-198
Available in Sakai:
"Cries of Our Criminal Children"
"Cycle of Violence" (Note: This article utilizes some statistical techniques with which you may not be familiar. Don't try to figure them out! Just focus on the author's discussion of the results.)
influences on delinquent behavior.
Juvenile gangs in the past and present. Theoretical explanations of
Relationship between school and delinquency. Educational achievement and delinquency. Schools and delinquency prevention.
8, pp. 198-205,
Available in Sakai:
" Gangs, Drugs, and Delinquency in a Survey of Urban Youth"
alcohol to heroin: drugs and
Extent of drug use by juveniles. Delinquent behavior and drugs. Approaches to drug control.
Exam 2 - 11/15 - Ch. 6-10 in text plus associated readings and lecture materials
No class 11/22!
work with juveniles.
Discretionary decision making by police and the role of bias. Legal constraints on police behavior.
Juvenile court: heart of the juvenile justice system.
Juvenile court processes: pre-trial procedures, detention, diversion, plea bargaining, trial, sentencing. Transfers to adult court. Legal protections for juveniles in court. Death penalty for juveniles.
Available in Sakai:
"We Never Call the Cops and Here is Why"
corrections in the community
Probation. Juvenile institutions.Treatment for juveniles.
Available in Sakai:
The Future of Juvenile Court:
"Taking Gault Seriously: Toward a New Juvenile Court"
"Criminalizing the American Juvenile Court"
"Leaving Bad Enough Alone"
Classes end 12/12
|Available in Sakai:
"Growing Up Behind Bars"
"What Works in Juvenile Justice"
|12/17||FINAL EXAM - Monday
2:00 - 5:00