318.654.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 1st Term | 3 Credit(s)
M 9:00:00 AM
  • Contact Information
    David Altschuler
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Explain the historical evolution of thinking and theoretical framework describing the nature of childhood and the transition to adulthood
    • Identify how crime, delinquency and misconduct involving adolescents and younger children are defined, measured and interpreted in official record data and other sources
    • Discuss theories of developmental psychology and neuroscience associated with children and adolescents
    • Classify the justice system’s responses to children and adolescents caught committing crime and engaging in misconduct
    • Evaluate the treatment of children and adolescents in the U.S. justice system over the last 50 years
    • Identify the objectives behind institutionalization of youth and the role of reentry.
    • Examine the relationship between youth crime, illicit drug involvement and the impact of adolescent gang involvement.
    • Discuss and debate the application of the death penalty in the U.S. to adolescents over time.
    • Develop and present a policy brief related to an issue in adolscent crime.
  • Course Description
    Explores theoretical frameworks for childhood transition to adulthood encompassing developmental psychology and neuroscience theories in the context of crime, delinquency and misconduct. Examines the US justice system in both the historical and present context as they relate to the response and treatment of children and adolescents involved in crimes. Explores and debates public policy questions related to the linkages between illicit drug use, crime, gangs, as well as incarceration, institutionalization and capital punishment for youth.
  • Intended Audience
    masters and doctoral students interested in the public policy discussions related to adolescents and crime.
  • Methods of Assessment
    Class participation (10%) based on weekly submission of discussion questions; submission of a 10 page policy brief with a presentation (45%); and submission of a Letter-to-the-Editor reaction to an Op-Ed column related to a topic covered in the class.
  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at