Law 792:  Juvenile Law

Children are not "little adults" and have not been treated as such within the legal system. Recent developments in law and policy have highlighted the need for increased understanding of the ways in which youth have been, are, and should be treated differently than adults by the state. This course will build a foundation by examining the historical, theoretical, and biological aspects of youth as it relates to the legal system.  Next, the focus will move towards an examination of the state-enforced limitations on the liberty of minors. Finally, the knowledge obtained in the previous sections will be applied to specific domains where the law and social science often intersect. Some of the topics that will be discussed include: children's capacities with respect to judgment and decision-making; values and ideas related to juvenile crime; procedural differences associated with the juvenile delinquency process; and racial and ethnic disparities within the juvenile justice system.

Upon completing this course, students should: have a basic understanding of adolescent psychology; have the ability to critically examine public policy affecting youth; understand contemporary judicial responses to juvenile behavior; and obtain insights into their own perceptions and biases about the relationship between children and the law.

Sequence and Prerequisites: None

Evaluation: Administered final exam



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