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Youth, Crime & the Law

Course Code: CRIM 2253
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Criminology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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.

course prerequisites

CRIM 1150

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.