CRJS 370: Youth Justice Report a Broken Link

CRJS 370: Youth Justice is a three-credit, undergraduate-level course that takes a criminological approach to understanding separate youth justice systems in Canada and abroad. Young offenders receive special status under the law in Canada. How we respond to youth crime is important to society and, more broadly, to criminal justice. This course explores major theoretical perspectives of the causes of youth delinquency and how the criminal justice system responds to it. Specifically, students examine what youth crime “looks like” in Canada and how it is measured for research purposes. The course also focuses on the historical development and policy shifts that have changed how the system handles young offenders. This includes an examination of police discretion with youth, sentencing, and the use of interventions and programming to prevent youth crime. Students learn about and critically evaluate the current debates and issues in youth justice: Are youth more violent today than in the past? Does increasing penalties reduce youth crime? Do crime prevention programs work? Can we effectively rehabilitate young offenders?

Unit 1 – What Is a Youth Justice System and Why Do We Have a Separate System for Young People?


Smith, D. (2005). The effectiveness of the juvenile justice system. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 5(2), 181–195.

Unit 3 – Understanding Youth Crime and Prevention


Taheri, S., & Welsh, B. (2016). After-school programs for delinquency prevention: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 14(3), 272–290.
McCord, J. (2002). Counterproductive juvenile justice. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 35, 230–237.
Howell, J., & Hawkins, J. (1998). Prevention of youth violence. In M. Tonry & M. H. Moore (Eds.), Youth violence. Crime and justice: A review of research, Volume 24 (pp. 263–315). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Petrosino, A., Turpin-Petrosino, C., & Buehler, J. (2003). Scared straight and other juvenile awareness programs for preventing juvenile delinquency: A systematic review of the randomized experimental evidence. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 589, 41–62.

Unit 4 – Understanding Discretion and the Use of Diversion in Youth Justice


Bala, N., Carrington, P. L., & Roberts, J. V. (2009). Evaluating the Youth Criminal Justice Act after five years: A qualified success. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 51(2), 131–167.
Widdowson, A. O., Sonja, E., Siennick, S. E., & Carter, H. (2016). The implications of arrest for college enrollment: An analysis of long-term effects and mediating mechanisms. Criminology, 54(4), 621–652.
Morris, A. (2004). Youth justice in New Zealand. In M. Tonry & A. N. Doob (Eds.), Youth crime and youth justice: Comparative and cross-national perspectives. Crime and justice: A review of research, Volume 31 (pp. 243–292). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Daly, K. (2002). Restorative justice: The real story. Punishment and Society, 4(1), 55–79.

Unit 5 – Sentencing Young Offenders


Bishop, D. (2000). Juvenile offenders in the adult criminal justice system. In M. Tonry (Ed.), Crime and justice: A review of research, Volume 27. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Unit 6 – Social Justice Issues: Exploring the Social Context of Youth Crime and Justice


Clair, M., & Winter, A. (2016). How judges think about racial disparities: Situational decision-making in the criminal justice system. Criminology, 54, 332–359.
Sprott, J. B., & Allan, M. (2017). YCJA bail conditions: “Treating” girls and boys differently. Canadian Criminal Law Review, 22, 77–94.