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Juvenile Justice Syllabus


									                                 Juvenile Justice Syllabus
                                         Law 660
                                      Winter 2009

Meeting place and time:                                Professor Frank Vandervort
Room 116 Hutchins Hall                                 Office: 300K Reading Room
Fridays @ 10:10 – 12:10                      
                                                       Phone: 647-3168

                                    Course Description

This course will consider the application of the criminal law to juveniles. We will not
consider in any depth “status offenses,” that is, the application of the law to those
activities such as home or school truancy which are criminal only because of the
offender’s age. While we will address waiver of juveniles into the adult court system, the
primary focus of this course will be on proceedings in the juvenile or family court. We
will not inquire into what becomes of youth once they are waived into the adult court

Readings: The vast majority of the readings will come from our required text, Barry C.
Feld, Cases and Materials on Juvenile Justice Administration (Second Edition). The text
book has a 2008 Supplement. From time-to-time there will be additional readings. These
will be available on C-Tools or may be handed out in class. Because we have a small
class, it is critical that you do the reading in order to be able to participate in classroom

I have listed on the syllabus and posed on C-Tools a number of “Further Readings” for
those students interested in learning more about a given topic. A primary purpose of these
Further Readings is to provide a beginning point for those who choose to write the
optional paper.

Grading: Your grade will be determined as follows:
            1. Class Participation       20%
            2. Required Paper            10%
            3. Optional Paper            25%
            4. Exam                      70% or 45% (with optional paper)

Attendance and class participation: Both attendance and participation in class
discussions are required. Class participation will make up 20% of your grade.

Required paper: You will be required to write an observation and reaction paper. This
paper is due by April 22, 2009, at 5:00 PM, but may be turned in any time before that
date and time. It will not be accepted after that date and time. For this paper, you are to
spend at least one-half day observing juvenile court delinquency proceedings. What do
you see and hear? What are your perceptions about the quality of legal representation the
youth received (if they were represented)? What did you observe about the judge/referee?
Were there obvious legal issues that you thought should have been raised but were not?

You may do this in any of the local juvenile courts (and it would be best if you could
arrange to see proceedings in a couple different courts). While not always possible, my
preference is that you plan to see a significant hearing such as a trial, a complicated
disposition, or a probation violation hearing which requires witnesses to be examined and
counsel to make arguments. I am happy to work with you to coordinate your visits to the
courts. .

Optional Paper: You may choose to write a 10-15 page paper on a juvenile justice topic
of your choosing. This paper can address any issue related to juvenile justice and may
take the form of a research paper or policy paper. If you exercise this option, your final
exam will account for 45% rather than 70% of your grade. If you chose to write an
optional paper, you must submit a topic proposal to me no later than the end of class on
Friday, March 6, 2009, and all papers are due April 17, 2009, by 5:00 PM. If you think
you may be interested in exercising this option, I am happy to meet with you to discuss
possible topics or otherwise assist.

Exam: There will be a required final exam on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 1:30 PM.
You will be permitted to write your exam on your computer and may use your text book
and any materials that you prepare. You may not use any commercially prepared
materials. The exam will count for 45% of your grade if you have exercised the option to
write the optional paper and 70% if you have not chosen to write a long paper.

Office hours: I will generally be available right after class on Friday and am available at
other times by appointment. Please do not hesitate to email or phone my office at the
number above, or just stop by, if you have questions or wish to meet with me.

Laptops: I disfavor the use of laptops because I find them distracting, because I believe
they inhibit discussion, and because they can present a distraction to students. I will allow
them to be used subject to several conditions. Using laptops during class for things that
are not related to class (e.g., searching the Internet, playing games or doing email) is
distracting to me and to your classmates. If I have any suspicion that you are using your
laptop for other than class related activities, I will call you out on this. I reserve the right
to direct any student to close his/her laptop for the duration of the class period. I also
reserve the right to ban an individual student from being allowed to use a laptop during
class. Likewise, I reserve the right to ban all laptop use in class if they become a
distraction to me or to the class. Please do not misuse this privilege.

Note: I reserve the right to make changes in this syllabus. Any changes will be made
in plenty of time for you to make necessary adjustments.
                            Reading Assignments

Jan. 16   Topic: Introduction to Course and Overview of Juvenile Justice

          Required Reading: Feld pp 1-47

          Further Reading: David S. Tanenhaus, The Evolution of Juvenile Courts
          in the Early Twentieth Century: Beyond the Myth of Immaculate
          Construction in, A Century of Juvenile Justice 42-73 (Margaret K.
          Rosenheim, et al, eds.).

Jan. 23   Topic: Juvenile Court Jurisdiction

          Required Reading: Feld pp. 48 - 50; 68 - 81; 83(Note 3) – 94; Roper v
          Simmons (C-tools); 94 – 103;

          Further Reading: Elizabeth S. Scott & Laurence Steinberg, Adolescent
          Development and the Regulation of Youth Crime, 18 The Future of
          Children 15 (2008); Thomas Grisso, Adolescent Offenders with Mental
          Disorders, 18 The Future of Children 143 (2008).

Jan. 30   Topics: Juvenile Court Jurisdiction (Competency); Pre-Trial Criminal

          Required Reading: Feld pp. 103 (Competency) – 109; Supplement pp. 3-
          7; Feld pp.109-113; Supp. pp. 7-9; Timothy J v The Superior Court of
          Sacramento County (C-tools); Feld pp. 113-122; 182 – 192; Supp. pp. 10-
          16; 196-201

          Further Reading: Alex Kotlowitz, The Unprotected, The New Yorker,
          February 8, 1999

Feb. 6    Topic: School Searches; Consent Searches

          Required Reading: Feld pp. 201-218; 229-241; Supp. pp. 25-34; Feld pp.

Feb. 13   Topic: Pre-Trial Interrogation of Juveniles

          Required Reading: Feld pp. 274 – 297; 300 (note 6) – 301; Supp. pp. 41
          – 43; 302 (Parental Presence) – 313; Supp. 44 – 46; 313 – 320 (to Note 8);
          323 (Note 9) – 332.
          Further Reading: Supplement pp. 34 – 41; Steven A. Drizin & Beth A.
          Colgan, Tales From the Juvenile Confession Front: A Guide to How
           Standard Police Interrogation Tactics Can Produce Coerced and False
           Confessions from Juvenile Suspects, in Interrogations, Confessions and
           Entrapment 127 – 162 (G. Daniel Lassiter ed.).

Feb. 20    Topic: Preliminary Screening Procedures

           Required Reading: 344 – 400.

Feb. 27    Winter Break

March 6    Topic: Pre-Trial Detention

           Required Reading: Feld pp. 401 – 403; 409 – 412; 414 – 433; 438 (note
           5)– 443; 451 – 466; 467 – 472.

           Further Reading: Edward P. Mulvey & Anne-Marie R. Iselin, Improving
           Professional Judgments of Risk and Amenability in Juvenile Justice, 18
           The Future of Children 35 (2008).

March 13   Topic: Waiver

           Required Reading: Feld pp. 499 – 512; 572 – 584; 593 – 596; Michigan
           Designation Materials (C-tools). OTHER READING

           Further Reading: Jeffrey Fagan, Juvenile Crime and Criminal Justice:
           Resolving Border Disputes, 18 The Future of Children 81-118 (2008).

March 20   Topic: Procedural Rights at Trial

           Required Reading: Feld pp. 673 – 692; 697 – 716; 724 - 734

           Further Reading: Emily Buss, The Missed Opportunity in Gault, 70 U.
           Chicago Law Rev. 39 (2003); Barry C. Feld, Abolish the Juvenile Court:
           Youthfulness, Criminal Responsibility, and Sentencing Policy, 88 Journal
           of Criminal Law and Criminology 68 (1997).

March 27   Topic: Role of Juvenile’s Counsel

           Required Reading: Feld pp. 767 – 811; Everyone Deserves a Defense
           (You can read this on C-tools and/or listen to it on NPR’s This I Believe
           at: ); Barbara
           Fedders, Randy Hertz & Stephen Weymouth, The Defense Attorney’s
           Perspective on Youth Violence, in Securing our Children’s Future: New
           Approached to Juvenile Justice and Youth Violence 84 – 117 (2002)(C-

April 3    No Class

April 10   Topic: Disposition

           Required Reading: Feld pp. 828 – 875; Short Paper Due at the beginning
           of class

April 17   Topic: Disposition

           Required Reading: Feld 875 – 895; 902 (note 8) – 903; 905 -929

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