Course Details

Children in Conflict with the Law

Children have constitutional, civil and human rights, and have been recognized (for the last 36 years) as legal persons. Yet increasingly, youngsters find themselves in courts in America where legal determinations are made which directly affect their liberty, custody, family membership, education, and health. Children are involved in legal proceedings involving adoption, school expulsion, asylum, gang activities, speech, disability benefits, labor, mental health, trafficking and domestic violence, as well as delinquency and crime. The criminalization of youth behavior and the transformation of the landscape inhabited by children (schools, family, neighborhoods, work) results in expanded nets of law enforcement, punishment, incarceration, probation, rules and scrutiny. Troubled kids, troubling kids, different kids, bad girls, gangstas, inner-city kids, kids of color, immigrant kids -- for many, delinquency trumps. In this course, we will examine the changing constructions of childhood reflected in the law, using the casebook by Barry Feld, Administration of Juvenile Justice, with bound supplemental materials from literature, the arts, and social sciences. The class will analyze critical constitutional rights case law, case studies, and potential legal remedies through the contending themes of children's rights, children's participation, child protection, social control and punishment. Evaluation: Course requirements include: participating actively in class discussions; reading literature, commentary and selected cases; and writing a final 15-20 page paper analyzing a substantive issue of children's rights. Two and three draft credit options.

Catalog Number: CRIM 649
Practice Areas: Criminal Law Practice AreaFamily Law Practice Area
Additional Course Information: 1 Draft degree req may be met with class,  3 draft degree req may be met with class

Course History

Spring 2017
Title: Children in Conflict with the Law
Faculty: Washington, Kendrick (courses | profile)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 15     Actual: 15