CRJ 409, Spring 2018

Youth, Crime and Society

R. Shelden

Office: GUA, room 5140

Phone: 895-0251; e-mail:

Web site:

Office Hours:  Monday and Wednesday, 10-11 AM; Tuesday 8-11:00 AM

Graduate Assistant:  Sheila Carver: :


Course Description: 

This course will explore the problem of youth crime and delinquency in modern society.  The course will also focus on solutions to the problem by addressing several alternatives to institutionalization.


Required Readings (click on title to order from Amazon) 



Randall G. Shelden, Delinquency and Juvenile Justice in America (2nd ed). Waveland Press, 2012. 




1.    Ex Parte Crouse:


Suggested web sites for further reading:  

Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice:

Justice Policy Institute:

Building Blocks for Youth:

American Youth Policy Forum:

Juvenile Justice Evaluation Center:

Center on Children Exposed to Violence:

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention:


Course Grading and Exams:   

Your grade in the course will be based upon your scores on four exams (each worth a possible 100 points). For each exam, the grade will be based upon the following formula: 90% or more = A, 80-89% = B, 70-79% = C, 60-69% = D, below 60% = F.  Final grades are based upon the following formula: 360-400 = A, 320-359 = B, 280-319 = C, 240-279 = D, below 240 = F. Grades of plus or minus will be given in borderline cases. Note: There will be no make-ups on these exams unless there is an extremely unusual situation, and then the student must contact our office prior to the scheduled exam. 


Classroom Courtesy: Students are expected to conduct themselves accordingly with the rules and regulations of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Mature and responsible behavior in the classroom is required at all times. Tardiness, excessive absences, academic dishonesty, and/or inappropriate conduct may result in failing the course along with additional penalties as defined by the University, the College of Urban Affairs and the Department of Criminal Justice. Please make every effort to arrive to class on time and stay until class is completed.  However, if you are running late, I hope you do not miss class because of this.  If you are late or have to leave early, please do so as quietly as possible.  Positively no cell phones, beepers, etc. are permitted (turn them off before you get to class).  And please do not talk while others (including the instructor) are talking.  It is rude behavior and will not be tolerated. Also, sleeping will not be tolerated. 


Gun Free Zone: This is self-explanatory.  If you have weapons, please leave them at home or in your car. If you are in law enforcement, please inform the instructor. 


Attendance Policy: Class participation is expected and very much encouraged. Although attendance will not be taken every day, on certain days during the semester roll will be taken. Extra credit points will be added if you miss less than five classes during the semester. 


Disability Statement:  If you have a documented disability that may require assistance, you will need to contact the Disability Resource Center for coordination in your academic accommodations.  The DRC is located in the Reynolds Student Services Complex in room 137.  The DRC phone number is 895-0866 (TDD - 895-0652). 


Course Assignments and Exams:  The following schedule should be viewed as an ideal plan, subject to change. If there are any changes, they will be announced in class. Students will be responsible for coming to class and being aware of any changes. 


“Press Conference” Q & A: Students will come to class and direct questions to me.  I’ve done this many times in the past and students have enjoyed it. This is scheduled for 4/16.


Schedule of Assignments and Exams


Dates                         Topic                          Reading         Assignments                      

1/17                       Overview                                             None 


1/22                       Myths and Facts       Delinquency and Juvenile Justice in America (hereafter “text”), Introduction 


1/24–1/29      Historical Overview                       Text, chapter 1; Ex Parte Crouse


1/31             Extent of Delinquency         Text, chapter 2  


2/5               Nature of Delinquency         Text, chapter 3 


2/7                Youth Gangs                      Text, chapter 4  


2/12                 Review for first exam (see study guide)


2/14            FIRST EXAM (covering above assignments)


2/19               President’s Day


2/21             Female Delinquency                      Text, chapter 5


2/26              Theories of Delinquency I              Text, chapter 6


2/28 – 3/7     Theories of Delinquency II             Text, chapter 7; Review for second exam (see study guide)

3/12               SECOND EXAM (covering assignments since 1st exam


3/14             The Social Context                       Text, chapter 8  


3/19             The Family                                  Text, chapter 9 


3/21              Schools                                      Text, chapter 10


3/26               SPRING BREAK


4/2               Review for third exam (see study guide)


4/4                 THIRD EXAM (covering assignments since 2nd exam)


4/9               Juvenile Justice Processing            Text, chapter 11


4/11             Juvenile Institutions                      Text, chapter 12


4/16             Class Discussion (“Press Conference” Q & A)


4/18             The Double Standard                    Text, chapter 13


4/23              No Class


4/25             Sensible Solutions                        Text, chapter 14


4/30             Review for final exam (see study guide)




5/9               FINAL EXAM (covering assignments since 3rd exam)