PFD360 - Youth in Conflict With the Law

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 13:47:39.882
Last review date 2018-07-20 13:47:50.229

Subject Title
Youth in Conflict With the Law

Subject Description
This course begins with an historical overview of the management of youthful offenders by the Criminal Justice System in Canada and how current laws concerning youth crime evolved.  Students will examine and apply in depth the many legal policies and procedures in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.  Contemporary, social concerns will be discussed including the relationships between youth deviance, their socio-economic status and mental health; gang culture; societal reaction to youth crime and how these views are informed and reproduced through conventional and social media.  Finally, various community intervention and prevention strategies will be explored.

Credit Status
This is a Police Foundations program prescribed credit.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1. Describe and critique the evolution of youth criminal justice practices in Canada.
  1.  Explain various definitions, principles and policies in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
  1. Identify roles of various stakeholders involved in the arrest, prosecution and punishment of youthful offenders.
  1.  Explain the requisite legal procedures involved in the arrest, prosecution and detention of youthful offenders.
  1. Summarize procedures associated with taking of fingerprints, photographs, release forms, bail hearings, assessment proceedings and types of sanctions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
  1. Compare statistics and various theories of youth criminality.
  1. Characterize societal reaction to youth crime, media influence and gang culture.
  1. Contrast and assess various youth gang prevention and intervention strategies.

Essential Employability Skills
Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

Topic Outline

  • The Evolution of Juvenile Justice in Canada
  • Definitions in the Y.C.J.A;  Declaration of Principle; Extrajudicial measures and sanctions
  • Structure of and roles within the youth criminal justice system; Jurisdiction of youth court; Youth justice committees
  • Effect of the Charter Rights & Freedoms on the rights of young persons, Right to counsel; Interviewing youth offenders; The role of parents & counsel; Notice to Parents; Parental Responsibility Act, 2000   
  • Fingerprints, photographs and release forms; bail hearings and assessment proceedings and types of detention
  • Youth Court: The Trial Process; Privacy & Publicity issues; Sentencing Options; Youth Court Records
  • Statistical portrait of youth criminality; Social structures and youth crime: school, family, peers
  • Theories on youth crime
  • Societal reaction to youth crime and media influence
  • The Moral Panic
  • Youth gang culture; guns, drugs, violence and prostitution
  • Youth gang prevention strategies and interventions

Prescribed Texts
Young Offenders and Youth Justice – A Century after the Fact   author: Sandra J. Bell

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

Term Assignments 50%
Midterm Test 20%
Final Exam 30%

Approved by: Sandra Noble