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Master Syllabus

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Administrative Unit: Psychology and Sociology
Course Prefix and Number: SOCI 331
Course Title: Juvenile Delinquency
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description: Nature and extent, competing models and theories, prevention, control, treatment and research in juvenile delinquency. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s): Junior standing.
Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Readings in Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice
By Calhoun, Thomas C. (Prentice Hall)
The Juvenile Justice System: Delinquency, Processing, and the Law
By Champion, Dean John. (Prentice Hall)
Juvenile Delinquency
By Kratcoski, Peter and Lucille Kratcoski (Prentice Hall)
Youth Crime in America: A Modern Synthesis
By Lotz, Roy (McGraw Hill)
Delinquency in Society
By Rigoli, Robert and John Hewitt (McGraw Hill)
Juvenile Delinquency: Concepts and Control
By Trojanowicz, Robert C., Merry Morash, and Pamela Schram (Prentice Hall)
Juvenile Delinquency: Theory, Practice, and Law (with Infotrac)
By Seigel, Larry J., Brandon C. Welsh, and Joseph J. Senna (Wadsworth/Thompson)
Annual Editions: Juvenile Delinquency
(McGraw Hill)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
Gangs in America
By Huff, C. Ronald (Sage)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
Families, Delinquency and Crime: Linking Society's Most Basic Institution to Antisocial Behavior
By Simons, Ronald L. Leslie Gordon Simons, Lora Ebert Wallace (Roxbury)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
American Youth Violence
By Zimring, Franklin E. (Oxford University Press)
Category/Comments - Supplemental text
Course Objectives

• To understand youth crime and the development of a separate juvenile justice system. • To understand the nature and extent of juvenile crime in the United States today and throughout the 20th century. • To master the various theories on the causes of juvenile delinquency. • To think critically and analytically about the role of family, child abuse, peer groups, schools, and drug abuse in juvenile delinquency. • To analyze the roles of police, courts, the justice system and treatment programs for juvenile offenders.

Measurable Learning

• Explain what juvenile crime is, patterns of juvenile crime, and the development of a separate justice system to address juvenile crime. • Evaluate the competing theoretical perspectives that attempt to explain juvenile crime. • Describe the role of the police, courts, and the juvenile justice system in addressing delinquency. • Explain the role of family, child abuse, peer groups schools, and drug abuse in juvenile delinquency. • Evaluate treatment programs for juvenile offenders.

Topical Outline:
  • Nature of delinquency
  • Measuring juvenile delinquency
  • Choice, biosocial and psychological theories
  • Social structure theories
  • Social process theories
  • Social reaction theories
  • Female delinquency
  • The family and delinquency
  • Peers and delinquency
  • Schools and delinquency
  • Drugs and delinquency
  • Overview of the juvenile justice system & treatment programs
    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Kathleen Fitzgerald Date: October 31, 2007
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

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