SOC 3650
Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice
3 Credit Hours


Course Information
Course Description: Thus course explores the nature of delinquency and the extent to which it is a social problem in the USA. The major theories of causation are presented and critically examined. The juvenile justice system is studied historically and in its current form. The present and future of delinquency control and prevention are examined.
Course Objectives: 1. Develop an understanding of when and why juvenile offenders are treated differently from adult offenders. 
2. Be able to define delinquency from a variety of perspectives. 
3. Learn about the extent of and trends in juvenile delinquency in the United States. 
4. Develop an understanding of the meaning of social causation of delinquency.
5. Develop an understanding of the major theories of juvenile delinquency.
6. Develop an understanding the role of external factors such as neighborhood, family, friends and schools 
in child development and delinquency.
7. Learn about the origins, history and philosophical objectives of the juvenile justice system.
8. Be able to critically evaluate the juvenile justice system.
9. Develop some knowledge as to what and what does not work in preventing and controlling delinquency.
Prerequisites and Corequisites:   Sociology 1010: Introduction to Sociology
Course Topics: Definitions of Juvenile Delinquency
Measurement of Delinquency
Amounts of and Trends in Delinquency
Causes of Delinquency
The Juvenile Justice System
Prevention and Treatment of Delinquency 
Specific Course Requirements: The student must have a basic knowledge of computers, the Internet, and email. The student's computer must have Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat reader
Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements
Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course:

Supplementary Materials: None
Hardware Requirements: A functional computer and internet access
Software Requirements:

Microsoft Word
Adobe Acrobat Reader


Assessment and Grading
Testing Procedures:

The course is divided into five-three week modules. Students will have to take a timed online multiple-choice quiz for each module, and complete an assignment for each module, which will not be timed. The students can take the quiz and submit the assignment answers anytime during the three weeks, but must have completed both the end of the third week of the module. 

Quizzes will cover the text book, articles, instructor remarks, and power point slide shows.
All of these are included in each module. 

Grading Procedure:

The grade will be based on quiz scores, assignment and essay grades, and discussion participation.

There will be five discussion topics to which students will have to make weekly posts, each of these lasting three weeks. Grading of the discussion participation will be based on the quality and quantity of posts, and the frequency of reading the posts of others. Regular participation in discussions is required in order to get a high grade.

No one part of the course will constitute a large portion of the final grade, but work must consistently be done in a conscientious and accomplished manner in order for the student to receive an A or a B.

The chat room is to be used for students to receive help and clarification from the instructor, and to discuss assignments and projects with other students. It is not a part of the course that is required or graded.

Grading Scale:

Grading: Quizzes 45%, Assignments 40%, Discussion Participation 15%

90-100 A
80-89   B
70-79   C
60-69   D
00-59   F

Assignments and Participation
Assignments and Projects: 1. There will be reading assignments for each module from the textbook. There will also be  articles and instructor remarks, which must be read. These readings will be covered in the quizzes and questions described below.
2. Students will have to take an online timed multiple-choice quiz for each three week module.
3. Students will have to complete a written assignment for each three-week module.
Students will have to actively participate in five discussions.
Class Participation: Students will have to actively participate in five discussions, each lasting three weeks. Students are also expected to regularly check their email for information provided by the instructor. I do not include chat room participation in grading, because I want well thought out remarks when students address course content. The chat room is for clarification and casual interaction. Students are expected to disagree in their discussion posts, but they should at all times be polite and respectful. Students should feel free to disagree with the instructor in discussion posts. Taking part in a discussion requires reading the posts of other students and making your own posts in a regular and consistent manner. Making five posts in one day every two weeks is not taking part in a discussion.

There is an anonymous discussion group to which you can make posts at any time in the course without revealing who you are. This is for any negative or positive comments you want to make about the course, assignments quizzes, etc.
Punctuality: I do not have long term assignments or exams that cover a long period of time. This is because I want continual, regular, and active participation in the course, just as one would have if one were going to class on a regular basis. Thus, students must submit essay answers and project reports tri-weekly and take tri-weekly online quizzes. These are all due by the end of each three week module. Students will be allowed extra time for assignments if they have a legitimate reason for needing extra time. Legitimate excuses are things such as illness or a death in the family. Vacations, weddings, other courses, and so forth are not legitimate excuses.
Course Ground Rules
   Students must keep up with the readings and assignments, and complete their work at the required times. It is particularly important to be conscientious in the projects. I have tried to design the course to be both informative and enjoyable. Thus students should have fun with the projects and feel free to be creative. While quiz question have correct answers, the assignments allow substantial freedom for students to express themselves. In these you will be evaluated on effort and thoughtfulness, not whether I agree with you or not.

Contact me an soon as possible with any problems or questions that arise. This can be done by phone or by email.

Guidelines for Communications
  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members

Discussion Groups:
  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other's ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.

Chat:      No chat room participation is required in the course.

       Introduce yourself to the other learners in the chat session.
         Be polite. Choose your words carefully. Do not use derogatory statements.
         Be concise in responding to others in the chat session.
       Be prepared to open the chat session at the scheduled time.
         Be constructive in your comments and suggestion

Web Resources: Columbia Guide to Online Style by Janice R. Walker and Todd Taylor

Citation Styles Online


  The Tennessee Board of Regents Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in the Regents Degree Program. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading must be included in all courses. 

Students With Disabilities

  Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

  A statement that any necessary changes to the course syllabus will be sent to the student by e-mail and posted on the bulletin board.

Technical Support

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