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Online classes

Effective: Late Fall 8-Week, 2018/2019

MSCJ 567: Seminar In Juvenile Justice

Course Description

Analysis of all aspects of the juvenile justice system and process. Topics include history, movements toward diversion and deinstitutionalization, police interaction, court co-process, due process and community intervention. Included is an examination of the law as it relates to juvenile justice and future trends in the field.

Prerequisite: MSCJ 500, MSCJ 501, MSCJ 510, MSCJ 524

Proctored Exams: None



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Whitehead, J. T., & Lab, S. P. (2015). Juvenile Justice: An Introduction (8th ed.). Waltham, MA: Anderson Publishing Co.
    • [ISBN-978-0-323-29871-1]

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

Welcome to MSCJ 567 - Seminar in Juvenile Justice online. The purpose of this course is to provide the student with an understanding of the problems and trends relating to all aspects of the juvenile justice system. This is an exciting subject because debate continues over many of the issues in juvenile justice.



Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe the origins, evolution and rationale for the American juvenile justice system.
  2. Explain and apply the tools developed for measurement and prevention of juvenile crime and victimization.
  3. Describe and evaluate the roles and procedures employed by criminal justice entities in dealing with juvenile offenders.
  4. Explain evaluate and apply important theories regarding juvenile justice issues.
  5. Articulate the relationship between philosophy, theory, policy, law and practice in the juvenile justice system.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
F 0-699 0-69%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 180 18%
Topic Papers 360 36%
Comments to Classmates 60 6%
Final Research Paper 400 40%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Introduction Discussion Topic -- Wednesday
Discussion 1 45 Wednesday/Sunday
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Topic Paper 1 120 Wednesday
Comments to Classmates 1 20 Sunday
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 45 Wednesday/Sunday
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Topic Paper 2 120 Wednesday
Comments to Classmates 2 20 Sunday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 45 Wednesday/Sunday
Final Research Paper Topic Approval -- Sunday
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Topic Paper 3 120 Wednesday
Comments to Classmates 3 20 Sunday
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 45 Wednesday/Sunday
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Final Research Paper 400 Saturday
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Discussions (Weeks 1, 3, 5 & 7)

Students must post answers to two critical thinking questions by Wednesday. You are expected to thoroughly research the assignment. Acceptable sources include the World Wide Web, textbooks, scholarly journals, and interviews of individuals currently employed or retired from the criminal justice system. Generic websites such as Google.com and Wikipedia.com are not acceptable. Dictionaries are useful for learning the meaning of words but are not valid research references. Cite your references with your posting. Responsive comments to two classmates are due by Sunday. Avoid replies of compliments only, but rather seek to contribute something new to the discussion. Back up your opinions by citing our textbook and/or other outside sources. Please review the Grading Criteria for Discussion assignments located in the Content area of the course.


Topic Papers (Weeks 2, 4 & 6)

Students must post Topic Papers by Wednesday as attachments in the Discussions area. Topic Papers are additionally to be placed in the appropriate Dropbox folder each assigned week. The paper length should be two to three pages. You are expected to thoroughly research assignments and present information others have not presented in the topic. References and sources are to be listed in APA format. Acceptable sources include the World Wide Web, textbooks, scholarly journals, and interviews of individuals currently employed or retired from the criminal justice system. You must also make feedback comments to two classmates by Sunday in the Topic Paper Discussion thread. Feedback must consist of a couple paragraphs that analyze and evaluate the Topic Papers based on textbook readings and other outside sources. Please review the Grading Criteria for Topic Papers located in the Content area of the course.


Final Research Paper (Week 8)

Students must place the Final Research Paper in the Dropbox as a Microsoft Word document. This paper is expected to be thoroughly researched and reported.  References and sources are to be listed in APA format. The body of your report should be 10 to 12 pages. Acceptable resources are listed above in the Assignment Overview for Discussions and Topic Papers. If you are unclear about APA format, go to the Columbia College Homepage and click on Library Resources. Under Get Help, click on Citing Sources. Now at the top of the page, click on APA Style. You are to investigate a new or current direction, new trend, new or current legal issue, or new or current program in juvenile justice. Briefly describe the topic you are researching. Discuss in detail the concepts and theories behind the innovative trend or program. Include your perspective on the topic. Please telephone me any time before the end of Week 5, so we can discuss and refine your research paper. Please review the Grading Criteria for the Final Research Paper located in the Content area of the course.



Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Sub-themes of Juvenile Justice (Definitions, Extent, History, Etc.)
Readings

Chapters 1 and 2

Introduction Discussion Topic

Write a paragraph about yourself. Include what you would like to do when you complete the Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice.

Discussion 1

Answer any two critical thinking questions by Wednesday, and give feedback comments to two students by Sunday. 

  1. Review Table 2.3 on page 44 of our text. After researching your home state’s Juvenile Court General Purpose Clause, what do you find to be the key philosophy in the courts of your state? Discuss whether parens patriae or adult court/criminal law orientation is the appropriate philosophy that should be guiding juvenile courts.

  2. Currently, some states are reevaluating the age of treating younger offenders as adults. Research a few of these states and their reasons. Where do you stand on the question of the appropriate age? Please be specific.

  3. Discuss the reasons for the rise of juvenile crime in your community. Is this specific to your community or do you see a trend nationwide? Discuss several ways you would recommend to combat this growing problem. Please be specific.

  4. From the December 14, 2014 New York Times, read the article by Nicholas Kristof, “A shooter, His Victim and Race.”  Should Ian Manuel have been charged and sentenced as an asult?  Is this an example of racial bias in the juvenile justice system?

  5. From the October 14, 2012 New York Times, read the article by Ethan Bronner – “Juvenile Killers and Life Terms.” Should juveniles be sentenced to life terms with no possibility of parole? (This article can be found in Optional Resources in the Content area of the course.)

Week 2: Theories of Delinquency
Readings

Chapters 3 and 4

Topic Paper 1

Submit as an attachment in the Topic Paper Discussion thread, and place in the Dropbox, a formal research paper on one of the following:

  1. What are the implications for juvenile justice of biological and biosocial theories?
  2. Pick two specific psychological theories—how could each be used in dealing with juveniles?
  3. What positive changes have taken place in the juvenile justice system due to sociological theories of deviance?
  4. Based on your personal experience or case histories, which theories apply best to explain how individuals become delinquent?
  5. What role does mental illness play in criminal behavior? How could it account for the shootings at Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook Elementary?
Comments to Classmates 1

Give feedback to two students regarding their Topic Papers. Your comments should be posted in the Topic Paper Discussion thread.

Week 3: Gang Delinquency and Drug Use
Readings

Chapters 5 and 6

Discussion 2

Answer any two critical thinking questions by Wednesday, and give feedback comments to two students by Sunday.

1. What motivates individuals to join gangs?
2. What are the principles of the most effective programs to reduce gang delinquency? OR Comment on the Newsweek article by David Kennedy on gangs, “God, It’s Got to Stop.” (This article can be found in Optional Resources in the Content area of the course.)
3. What can be done to reduce juvenile drug use? Is decriminalization a possible solution?
4. Should a teenager who has consensual sex (can it be considered consensual?) with another teenager be charged, tried and sentenced for a sex crime? Should they then be placed on the sex offender list?
5. A school board of education in Ohio in 2013 approved handgun training for four custodians to be able to carry weapons at a K-12 William County School. Is this a good idea? What about arming teachers and administrators?

Week 4: Police Interaction
Readings

Chapter 7

Topic Paper 2

Submit as an attachment in the Topic Paper Discussion thread, and place in the Dropbox, a formal research paper on one of the following:

1. Research the debate as to whether juvenile curfew laws reduce crime or victimization.
2. What policing models work best with juveniles?
3. Evaluate the "Broken Windows" approach to dealing with juvenile crime.
4. What can be done to improve the attitude of juveniles towards police?
5. In September, 2013, The New York Times featured the article, “Children and Guns: The Hidden Toll.” After reading the article, discuss your position on our nation’s continued debate on increasing legislation for gun control to eliminate violent crime. (This article can be found in Optional Resources.)
6. What factors caused youth to act so violently in Baltimore? (Read the Scott Shane article in the April 28, 2014 New York Times, “Baltimore Riots are Another Scar in a City Battered by Neglect.”)

Comments to Classmates 2

Give feedback to two students regarding their Topic Papers. Your comments should be posted in the Topic Paper Discussion thread.

Week 5: Juvenile Court Process
Readings

Chapters 8 and 9

Discussion 3

Answer any two critical thinking questions by Wednesday, and give feedback comments to two students by Sunday.

1. Comment on the increased punitiveness in juvenile justice. When is it appropriate to have cases involving murder or rape be heard in juvenile courts, and when should they be heard in adult court? Please be specific.
2. Two Pennsylvania judges (Clavarella and Conahan) were jailed for their kickback scandal in which they jailed kids for cash. How could this have happened? Where are all the safeguards we have for children?
3. Discuss juveniles’ rights in schools. Are we doing enough or have we usurped the authority of principals and teachers? Please be specific.
4. Discuss the case in Arizona where a young girl in school was body searched for “Advil.” The Supreme Court found this unreasonable. As a school principal, what would be your policy on student searches? Please be specific.
5. Comment on the Supreme Court decision of June 25, 2012, that mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles amounted to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment. Do you agree or disagree with this decision? Are you conflicted?

Final Research Paper Topic Approval

Please telephone me any time before the end of the week to discuss with me and refine your research paper topic.

Week 6: Institutional Intervention
Readings

Chapter 10

Topic Paper 3

Submit as an attachment in the Topic Paper Discussion thread, and place in the Dropbox, a formal research paper on one of the following:

1. Research the effectiveness of behavior modification in juvenile correctional institutions.
2. Research the rationale and effectiveness of boot camps.
3. Describe the reality of institutional life for juveniles.
4. Discuss some of the new trends in institutional interventions.
5. Discuss how juvenile delinquency is handled in at least one foreign country.

Comments to Classmates 3

Give feedback to two students regarding their Topic Papers. Your comments should be posted in the Topic Paper Discussion thread.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Community Intervention and Restorative Justice
Readings

Chapters 11 and 12

Discussion 4

Answer any two critical thinking questions by Wednesday, and give feedback comments to two students by Sunday.

1. Report on a community corrections approach that is working where you live. Why is it working?
2. What are the key elements for restorative justice for juveniles? Do you believe this approach can work?
3. Can community corrections work for violent offenders?
4. What are some typical responses that juveniles make to being victims of crime? Do these responses seem reasonable and valid? (Chapter 13)
5. Which reform proposals for the juvenile court do you think would be positive? What criminological theories are behind these proposals? (Chapter 14)
6. Read the article “To Stop Crime, Hand Over Cash,” in The New York Times (July 5, 2015). Does this seem like a good approach to reducing gun violence?

Week 8: Understanding Juvenile Justice Trends
Readings

Chapters 13 and 14

Final Research Paper

You are to investigate a new or current direction, new trend, new or current legal issue, or new or current program in juvenile justice. Briefly describe the topic you are researching. Discuss in detail the concepts and theories behind the innovative trend or program. Include your perspective on the topic. References and sources are to be listed in APA format. The body of your report should be 10 to 12 pages. Please telephone me any time before the end of Week 5, so we can discuss and refine your research paper.

Submit your Final Research Paper to the Dropbox. (This assignment is due midnight, Saturday.) It is optional if you want to post your report in the Final Research Paper Discussion thread so your classmates can read it.



Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Late assignments will not be accepted. Contact the instructor if special circumstances exist such as illness, death in the family, etc.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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