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Juvenile Justice Studies Concentration

  • Credits:

Concentration Description

Juvenile Justice Studies provide students interested in working with adolescents and the juvenile justice system with a solid introduction to the history of youth services; current theories of adolescent development; and the impact of community disadvantage, child abuse and neglect on behavior.

A Key Element in Your Bachelor’s Degree.   The Juvenile Justice Studies concentration is accepted in any Cambridge College bachelor’s degree, as open electives. It is often of interest to students doing a bachelor’s degree in human services, multidisciplinary studies or psychology. It also provides valuable understandings to students in other fields whose work touches children and adolescents.

Program Outcomes

  • An understanding of the complex factors that contribute to adolescent behavior, its impact, and societal responses.
  • Developing skills in suicide assessment, crisis intervention, and family mediation.
  • Gaining skills to address youth issues in the context of government agencies and community organizations.
  • Detailed understanding of current practices and research on successful treatment models

Careers and Further Study

Our students go on to graduate study in juvenile justice, criminal justice, forensic psychology, youth development and advocacy, family studies, addiction studies, and counseling. Career possibilities include clinical, educational, human service and management settings, and research juvenile residential and community-based programs, state and private non-profit agencies, probation departments, violence prevention, child protection and youth advocacy.


JUS377 must be taken concurrently with PSY359.

In addition to courses listed below, please take two 1-credit JUS electives.

Intro to Juvenile Justice
JUS 350 3 credit(s)
This course introduces the history and principles of juvenile justice, focusing on delinquent behavior in the context of adolescence, family, and social/environmental factors. The course explores various societal responses to problem behavior from colonial time to the present, including various community-based and residential program models, and current national debates on treatment vs. punishment of juvenile offenders.
Understanding Child Abuse and Neglect
PSY 359 3 credit(s)
This is course is an overview of child abuse, neglect, and interventions targeted to this social problem. This course will assist the student in understanding, through case studies and readings, contemporary definitions of child abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, institutional abuse, adolescent abuse and catastrophic maltreatment. Child abuse will be discussed in context of family stress and the course will examine the historical role of societal intervention. Additionally, childhood neglect and abuse and their impact on delinquent behavior will be discussed. The course will review theories related to family relationship and attachment, community empowerment and disadvantage and the impact on adolescent growth.
Legal Process for Reporting Suspected Child Abuse
JUS 377 1 credit(s)
This course will cover the Massachusetts child abuse and neglect reporting law and regulations implementing that law. Students will learn the elements of law pertaining to what legally constitutes abuse, the responsibilities of mandated reporters in reporting suspected child abuse and neglect, what happens once a report is filed, and the laws governing child protection services.
Adolescents in Search of Belonging
PSY 330 3 credit(s)
In this course we look at adolescents in traditional and non-traditional families and residential treatment communities. We explore the adolescent search for a sense of belonging in and beyond the family, and for acceptance and inclusion in adult society. We discuss the developmental tasks of adolescence including sexual maturation, identity, and autonomy. We explore adolescent culture, role development, and societal attitudes to adolescents. We research community responses to teen parenting, depression and suicide, substance abuse, and delinquent activity. We look at prevention, intervention, and restoration in the context of community systems.
Introduction to Social Justice
JUS 225 3 credit(s)
Social Justice, the state where conditions are met for all of creation to survive and flourish, is the bedrock which supports all other forms of justice. This course examines the understanding of Social Justice tradition that has developed over the last century. Principles of power, community, and responsibility will be examined in light of practical political and social problems - racism, sexism, hunger, poverty and environmental issues.
Girls and Delinquency
JUS 342 3 credit(s)
Historically, the Juvenile Justice field has developed program services based upon the needs and behaviors of adolescent males. Within the past five years the need for more gender-specific program and treatment models has been recognized. This course presents a gendered view of the causative issues contributing to female adolescent offending and current program initiatives developed to meet the treatment needs of girls.