The American juvenile justice system was established over one hundred years ago to address the problem of young offenders. This course examines the historical, social and legal foundations for our current system. We will examine the issue of "rights" as applied to children and look at the effects of ideology and politics on the current juvenile justice system. How have assumptions of childhood and responsibility changed? Has the juvenile court been "criminalized" with the introduction of due process rights for children? Under what circumstances are children treated as adult offenders? Selected issues for inquiry include: police interrogation of juveniles; school safety and zero tolerance policies; adjudicative competency; anti-youth crime policies; conditions of incarceration; and changes brought about by elimination of mandatory juvenile life without parole. We will examine these issues through use of court cases, law review articles, governmental and private organizational position papers, and legislative history. Using the Massachusetts model, one of the early and often emulated juvenile systems, we will examine the changes in the prosecution and incarceration of juveniles over the past century. As we consider the overarching issue of whether it makes sense to maintain a separate justice system for juveniles, we will compare our system to those of other nations. We will visit the Boston Juvenile Court to observe a delinquency session and speak with court personnel. Students are expected to attend each class prepared to discuss the assigned readings. Course requirements include a 15-20 page final paper, a class presentation based on the paper topic or related class readings, and several assigned reading response papers over the course of the semester. A limited number of students will be permitted to fulfill the upper-class writing certification requirement. This is a graded course. NOTE: This seminar satisfies the Upper-class Professional Skills requirement. ENROLLMENT LIMIT: 18 students. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. **A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.