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Course Catalog


Term: 4th term
Credits: 3 credits
Contact: Felicia Roane
Academic Year: 2014 - 2015
Course Instructor:

Explores theoretical frameworks for childhood transition to adulthood encompassing developmental psychology and neuroscience theories in the context of crime, delinquency and misconduct. Examines the US justice system in both the historical and present context as they relate to the response and treatment of children and adolescents involved in crimes. Explores and debates public policy questions related to the linkages between illicit drug use, crime, gangs, as well as incarceration, institutionalization and capital punishment for youth.

Learning Objective(s):
Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
Explain the historical evolution of thinking and theoretical framework describing the nature of childhood and the transition to adulthood
Identify how crime, delinquency and misconduct involving adolescents and younger children are defined, measured and interpreted in official record data and other sources
Discuss theories of developmental psychology and neuroscience associated with children and adolescents
Classify the justice system’s responses to children and adolescents caught committing crime and engaging in misconduct
Evaluate the treatment of children and adolescents in the U.S. justice system over the last 50 years
Identify the objectives behind institutionalization of youth and the role of reentry
Examine the relationship between youth crime, illicit drug involvement and the impact of adolescent gang involvement
Discuss and debate the application of the death penalty in the U.S. to adolescents over time
Develop and present a policy brief related to an issue in adolescent crime

Methods of Assessment: Class participation (10%) based on weekly submission of discussion questions; submission of a 10 page policy brief with a presentation (45%); and submission of a Letter-to-the-Editor reaction to an Op-Ed column related to a topic covered in the class.
Location: East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • Monday 3:30 - 6:20
Final grade applies to all terms
Enrollment Minimum: 10
Enrollment Maximum: 25
Enrollment Restriction: undergraduates are not permitted in this class
Instructor Consent: No consent required


Auditors Allowed: Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction: Letter Grade or Pass/Fail