Skip to main content
Jump to Footer

M.S. in Administration of Juvenile Justice Course Descriptions


AJJ 501: Seminar in Juvenile Justice & Delinquency
Studies the social construction of juvenile delinquency and historical development of justice practices; including the diversity of delinquents and status offenders from early to modern times.  Students survey contemporary juvenile justice issues, ranging from applied and evidence-based practice, ethical and data-driven decision-making, to victim impact and restorative justice practices, risk and case management tools, and juvenile correctional policy, sentencing, diversion and treatment.

AJJ 502: Advanced Criminological Theory
Examines the diverse nature and causes of delinquent behavior, typologies, offenders, and victims to include the process of becoming a delinquent, patterns of delinquent behavior, and the social and individual consequences of juvenile crime and delinquency.


AJJ 503: Leadership in Juvenile Justice
Studies complex organizations with emphasis on the concepts and practices of the administration and management of agencies in the juvenile justice system.  Students will survey contemporary management trends and issues, with special attention focused on how evolving technological, social, political, ethical and economic factors influence juvenile justice administration, theory, and practice.


AJJ 504: Advanced Research Methods
Studies contemporary empirical research methods and their application in the field of juvenile justice, including research design, research ethics, theories of sampling, construction of data files, data collection strategies, and analysis of findings.  The goal of this course is to provide students with the foundational knowledge of research methods and technologies; to become more informed consumers of academic research and adept at quantitative reasoning, and better equipped to implement and evaluate evidence-based practices.


AJJ 505: Quantitative Analysis
Examines the relationship and application of statistical techniques to theory building, concept construction, computer analysis of quantitative data applied to juvenile justice, the logic of data analysis, and fundamentals of statistical procedures commonly used in criminological research. Students also learn to critique empirical research.


AJJ 506: Strategic Planning, Budgeting & Finance
Examines the interactive process of strategic planning and financial management within juvenile justice agencies. Emphasis is placed upon this process as a system of organizational development, with grant writing and program budgeting as the visible products. Topics include identifying, developing, and securing fiscal resources through the development of a grant; comparisons of levels of planning; distinguishing between operational and managerial plans; the political context of juvenile justice planning/budgeting as it relates to preparation, presentation, approvals, execution, and audit; and enhancements and alternatives to an agency’s routine funding base.


AJJ 507: Seminar in Policy Analysis
Introduces, examines, and provides students the skills with which to analyze juvenile justice policies. This course emphasizes a conceptual approach to studying the creation, implementation, and evaluation of juvenile justice policies. The focus is on the steps involved in the evaluation of juvenile justice policies; it will also address the existence of polices and their relevance to the success of the juvenile justice system (acknowledging the operations of each juvenile justice component - law enforcement, courts, and corrections).


AJJ 520: Advanced Studies in Policing
Focuses on research, theory, and applications of the causes and consequences of modern police behavior.  Specific focus will be placed on the historical role that police have played in society as well as the structure and functioning of police agencies and the consequences of that functioning on the juvenile justice system.  Topics to be covered include police history, the social and political contexts of the police, police strategies and tactics with diverse juveniles, police accountability and legitimacy, and conducting research on the police and their place in modern society.


AJJ 521: Seminar in Victimology
Studies the history of victimology from early victim-centric justice to the prevailing model of government-centered prosecutions.  Explores the causes and consequences of offense-specific victimizations, variations in risk across persons, relationships, lifestyles, and domains, and societal responses to the diversity of youth who are victimized and/or violate others.


AJJ 522: Seminar in Social Justice
Focuses on social justice issues (primarily in America) that affect juveniles. Social justice can be defined as the act of "promoting a just society by challenging injustice and valuing diversity,” and is generally equated with notions of equality.  Through the exploration into social justice concepts, issues, and policy remedies students develop the necessary analytical tools to assess inequality and injustice in juvenile justice.


AJJ 523: Mental Health & the Administration of Justice
Explores mental illness and the intersection of the mental health and juvenile justice systems in the United States, particularly as a result of the deinstitutionalization movement which has resulted in the shifting of individuals with mental illness from hospitals into community-based correctional facilities and programs.


AJJ 524: Anatomy of Violence
Examine the nature of violent and sexual victimization.  The focus on juvenile violence will cover various perspectives, including those of victims, offenders, and individuals close to victims/offenders.  Students will explore concepts and theories that attempt to explain the causes and effects of violent youthful behavior.  The goal of this course is to not only teach students about the types and frequency of violent behaviors, but also to encourage them to seek an answer to the question “why do human beings commit violence?”


AJJ 525:  Intimate Partner and Family Violence
This course will provide students with an overview of the theoretical paradigms examining the definitions of, causes of, ramifications of, and interventions for intimate partner and family violence.  More specifically, we will (1) examine the nature and extent of intimate partner and family violence; (2) take an in-depth look at the perpetrators and victims of IPV; (3) examine theories to gain a better understanding of why these forms of violence take place; (4) examine the juvenile justice response to intimate partner and family violence; and (5) examine some of the larger cultural contexts within which the varieties of abuse occur. This course recognizes that a disproportionate number of the victims are women, but that a strict feminist analysis needs to be modified to recognize abuse in same sex relationships and a growing literature on female offenders.  A seminar format is utilized for the course.


AJJ 540: Selected Topics in AJJ
Opportunity to offer courses in areas of departmental major interest not covered by the regular courses.

AJJ 541: Selected Topics in AJJ
Opportunity to offer courses in areas of departmental major interest not covered by the regular courses.

AJJ 550: Independent Study
This course provides the opportunity for the student to pursue in-depth study on a topic or issue of personal interest under the direction and guidance of a department faculty member.  The goal of the course is to provide students the opportunity to embrace a comprehensive body of information through the examination/analysis of theories, practices, and/or key issues involved in the management of juvenile justice organizations and operations.  


AJJ 551: Practicum I
This first capstone course requires students to demonstrate their mastery of the program’s learning objectives through their ability to successfully review and analyze issues in juvenile justice.  Utilizing the principles and concepts as presented in the core and elective courses of the AJJ curriculum, students prepare a scholarly paper which thoroughly reviews and analyzes the extant body of research in regard to a contemporary juvenile justice issue and proposes a research methodology to further examine the issue.


AJJ 552: Practicum II
This continuation capstone course requires students to demonstrate their mastery of the program’s learning objectives through their ability to successfully conduct, analyze and interpret, and present juvenile justice research.  Utilizing the principles and concepts as presented in the core courses of the AJJ curriculum, students complete an empirical research paper which presents their findings, discusses limitations, and makes recommendations for actions and/or further research.


Contact the Criminal Justice Department 321 Shippen Hall, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: 717-477-1558 Fax: (717) 477-4087