CRJS 370 (Youth Justice) is a three-credit, undergraduate-level course that takes a criminological approach to understanding Canada’s separate youth justice system. If you were unaware, 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 has no prerequisites and is not available for challenge.
Youth Justice is made up of seven units, three assignments worth a total of 60% (one research paper proposal weighing 10%, one case study worth 20%, and one research paper weighing 30%), and a multiple-choice final exam worth 40%. The seven units within this course cover topics such as sentencing young offenders, understanding youth crime and prevention, the theoretical explanations of delinquency, and understanding discretion. Students will examine what youth crime resembles 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. The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network. To receive credit for CRJS 370, students must achieve a course composite grade of at least fifty percent and a grade of at least fifty percent on the final exam.
Nadine Leduc has been studying at Athabasca University on a near full-time basis for two years now and she is entering her last semester in the Criminal Justice program. She hopes to continue her studies in a Master’s program at another University. She started CRJS 370 in July 2018 and completed it in November.
Nadine provides an explanation of the course, stating “The theories of youth crime are learned at the onset, and then the “real” picture is examined, particularly as it pertains to female and indigenous youth offenders. It is quite interesting to see the adaptation of the youth justice system to the changing landscape of the population, the changing influence of politics, and the changes based on misconceptions.”
She also has some additional insight into the course structure, explaining that “One essay was a six- to seven-page case study. The other assignment was split into two; the first component was a two- to three-page research proposal, and the second was the eight- to ten-page research paper. The scope of the assignment allowed for a wide range of topics, so choosing one that interests you is not a problem. Also, the tutor was absolutely fair when grading.”
She continues by providing insight to the final exam, “The final exam was composed of one hundred multiple choice questions. I felt like there was material I had not covered, but perhaps I did not study as thoroughly as I should have.”
When I asked Nadine if she enjoyed the course, she stated that she “definitely enjoyed this course. It was very eye opening and quashed a lot of preconceived notions I had about the juvenile justice system. I would also highly recommend this course. Every taxpayer should be aware of the elements of youth justice.”
As for tips for students who are enrolled or about to enroll in this course, she states “As in all courses, the Study Guide offers excellent summaries as well as additional information, so it is important to read the sections related to each unit.”
Whether CRJS 370 (Youth Justice) is a degree or program requirement of yours or the topics mentioned above are of interest to you, this course will have you learning interesting material surrounding the topic of youth justice!