Youth, Crime & the Law

Humanities & Social Sciences
Course Code
CRIM 2253
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course focuses on identification, reaction, and response to youth crime and deviance. Historical and contemporary contexts are examined. Attention is given to the social construction of the young offender and the emerging criticisms of this label. Theoretical explanations of deviant and criminal behaviour, along with an analysis of the Youth Criminal Justice Act and its application, including components of the justice system, programs and agencies related to youth misconduct are discussed. A series of current trends and topics will also be explored.
Course Content
  1.  Socio-cultural Context of Youth Crime
  2.  The Models of Juvenile Justice
  3.  Theoretical Exploration of Youth Criminality
  4.  The Measurement of Youth Crime
  5.  The History of Legal Responses to Youth Crime in Canada
  6.  The Youth Criminal Justice Act
  7.  Youth Corrections and Alternative Approaches
  8.  The Prevention of Youth Crime
  9.  Current Topics in Youth Justice
  • substance abuse
  • poverty
  • Indigenous youth
  • gang-involved youth
Methods Of Instruction

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:


  • lectures
  • audio visual aids
  • guest speakers
  • field trips
  • class discussion
Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  The instructor will provide written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester.  Evaluation will be based on some of the following:  quizzes, exams, term papers, research projects, oral presentations, and class participation/attendance.


An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

Exam I   20%
Exam II   20%
Term Paper   20%
Presentation             10%
Final exam   30%
Total  100%



Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:


  1. Describe the socio-cultural context in which youth crime and its response occurs.
  2. Discuss the historical evolution of Canada’s legal response to youth crime.
  3. Describe characteristics of young offenders as indicated in social science research.
  4. Evaluate the models of juvenile justice.
  5. Apply theories of crime to youth misconduct.
  6. Construct a legal analysis of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
  7. Critically analyze the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
  8. Describe effective crime prevention programs involving youth.
  9. Compare Canada’s response to young offenders to that of other countries.
  10. Analyze one or more related topics of the instructor’s choice.
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

A textbook such as one of the following:


Bell, Sandra J. (2017). Young Offenders and Youth Justice (5th ed.). Nelson Education Ltd.

Winterdyk, John and Smandych, Russell. (2016). Youth at Risk and Youth Justice (2nd ed.). Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.

Oudshoorn, Judah. (2015). Trauma-informed Youth Justice in Canada. Toronto, ON: Canadian Scholars' Press.


Textbooks will be updated periodically. Supplemental readings will be distributed by the instructor as needed.




No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for CRIM 2253
Camosun College (CAMO) CAMO CRIM 254 (3)
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU SOC 2XX (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU CRIM 2249 (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG CRIM 2416 (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU CRIM 210 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU SOCI 2XXX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU GENS 2XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO SOCI 270 (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV SOCI 2nd (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC SOSC 2XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV CRIM 210 (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) No credit
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU CRIM 210 (3)

Course Offerings

Fall 2022