Feb 19, 2020  
2019 - 2020 Cowley College Academic Catalog 
2019 - 2020 Cowley College Academic Catalog



3 Credit Hours

Student Level:

This course is open to students on the college level in their freshman or sophomore year.

Catalog Description:

CRJ5435 - Juvenile Delinquency and Justice (3 hrs)

The course examines the historical precedents and reasons for treating juveniles differently from adults. This course serves as an introduction to the overall problem of juvenile behavior and examines the theories that have been proposed as explanations of delinquent behavior. This course will provide an overview of the juvenile justice system from the beginning to current trends as well as cover legal terms associated with the juvenile justice system.

Course Classification:




Controlling Purpose:

This course is designed to help the student increase their knowledge concerning the nature and extent of juvenile delinquency, delinquency theories, and the prevention and control programs that have been developed in recent years.

Learner Outcomes:

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to.

  • Communicate clearly and effectively both verbally and through written documentation with diverse populations.
  • Apply substantive and procedural law to practical situations.
  • Apply investigative and case management techniques to practical situations.
  • Demonstrate ethics, integrity, teamwork, and professionalism.
  • Compare and contrast the components of the criminal justice system.
  • Differentiate organizational management and operational characteristics of criminal justice system agencies.
  • Manage emergencies and disputes.

Unit Outcomes for Criterion Based Evaluation:

The following defines the minimum core content not including the final examination period. Instructors may add other content as time allows.

UNIT 1: Issues and Terminology

Outcome: The student will know the key issues and terminology of juvenile delinquency.

  • Explain the development of the juvenile justice system.
  • Compare and contrast the adult and juvenile justice systems.
  • Define and give examples of common juvenile status offenses.
  • Discuss the basic causes of juvenile delinquency in the United States.
  • Understand the legal terminology applicable to juvenile offenders.

UNIT 2: The Extent of Delinquency

Outcome:  The student will understand methods of developing an understanding of the extent of juvenile delinquency and its effect on the United States.

  • Discuss the trends and patterns of juvenile delinquency since the 1980s.
  • Differentiate between the sources of official data.
  • Understand the legal terminology applicable to juvenile offenders.
  • Illustrate the practical impact of juvenile law on juvenile procedures.
  • Distinguish the main procedural differences between adult and juvenile court.

UNIT 3:  Nature of Delinquency

Outcome:  The student will be able identify the characteristics of juvenile delinquents based upon research studies.

  • Explore juvenile behaviors, characteristics, and risk factors that lead to juvenile crime.
  • Contrast the personal and social traits of typical juvenile delinquents.
  • Identify the traits of chronic juvenile offenders in our society.
  • Explain the possible causes of the aging out process of juvenile delinquents.
  • Demonstrate appropriate intervention strategies for juvenile offenders.

UNIT 4: Causation Theories

Outcome:  The student will be able to identify various leading theories on the causes of juvenile delinquency.

  • Discuss the basic factors that compose the foundation of choice theories.
  • List the differing biological theories associated with juvenile delinquency traits.
  • Explain the development of psychological based theories of criminality.
  • Understand the research criticisms of Choice and Trait theories.

UNIT 5: Gender and Delinquency

Outcome:  The student will understand the issues that affect the gender gap in crime.

  • Understand the early theories of the causes of female criminality.
  • Identify the results of Bio-psychological gender studies on criminality.
  • Appreciate the findings of Social theories on gender socialization processes.
  • Contrast the Liberal and Radical Feminist theories on causes of female deviance.

UNIT 6: Family and Delinquency

Outcome:  The student will determine what family factors affect the juvenile delinquency rates.

  • Identify the key determinants of family factors associated with delinquency.
  • Describe the changes in American family structure since the 1940s.
  • Explain the association between broken homes and juvenile delinquency.
  • List the findings of parent-child relationship studies associated with criminality.
  • Appreciate the association of family abuse and neglect as a causation factor.

UNIT 7: Social Process Theories

Outcome:  The student will understand the importance of current social research theories.

  • Apply juvenile justice theories to practical situations.
  • Identify factors that affect police discretion
  • Discuss the social learning theory as it applies to juvenile offenders.
  • Summarize juvenile court and corrections options following adjudication.

Projects Required: 

Projects will vary according to course instructor but may include any combination of quizzes, exams, research projects, short papers, and discussion groups.


Contact Bookstore for current textbook.

Materials/Equipment Required: 


Attendance Policy:

Students should adhere to the attendance policy outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Grading Policy:

The grading policy will be outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.

Maximum class size:

Based on classroom occupancy

Course Timeframe:

The U.S. Department of Education, Higher Learning Commission and the Kansas Board of Regents define credit hour and have specific regulations that the college must follow when developing, teaching and assessing the educational aspects of the college. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit or an equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time. The number of semester hours of credit allowed for each distance education or blended hybrid courses shall be assigned by the college based on the amount of time needed to achieve the same course outcomes in a purely face-to-face format.

Refer to the following policies:

402.00 Academic Code of Conduct

263.00 Student Appeal of Course Grades

403.00 Student Code of Conduct

Disability Services Program: 

Cowley College, in recognition of state and federal laws, will accommodate a student with a documented disability. If a student has a disability which may impact work in this class which requires accommodations, contact the Disability Services Coordinator.