Kids, Crime & Race: Juvenile Justice in America

SOC WF 495

How widespread is juvenile crime? What is the purpose of the juvenile justice system? Is the system discriminatory? This course will explore these and other important societal questions.

Course Curriculum and Features

Starting with the first juvenile court in the early 1900s to today’s discussion of the school-to-prison pipeline, we’ll dive into the history of this system. Along the way, you’ll examine a variety of key, controversial topics, including gangs, “super predators,” the transfer of juvenile offenders to adult court, solitary confinement and the juvenile death penalty. We’ll also focus on the role of race and poverty in juvenile justice. Finally, we’ll learn about alternative responses to juvenile crime, including mental health treatment programs and restorative justice policies.

Designed For

Those interested in sociology, psychology, law and society, political science, and history. Students interested in professions that work with youth (e.g., social work and education) or political justice and law enforcement will also find the course valuable.


William Vesneski
Lecturer, School of Social Work

Aug 22–Sep 15, 2017

UW Seattle
9:30 a.m.–12 p.m.