JALE3904 - Youth Justice

Criminology Unit


One trimester



Credit points: 



Successful completion of four(4) X level 200 units 

Mode(s) of delivery:




Unit Objective

To provide students with a background to, and a working knowledge of, the philosophies, practices and agencies of youth justice 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the general history of the separation of the adult and youth justice systems in Western jurisdictions;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the numerous debates that are related to this separation;
  • Evaluate critically the ongoing conflicts between the welfare and justice models of youth justice;
  • Evaluate the major pieces of legislation that impact on young offenders;
  • Evaluate critically the debates that relate to assessing criminal responsibility with young people, and the broader forces that affect such debates;
  • Critically analyse the various services, institutions and sentencing options that are available to young offenders;
  • Evaluate contemporary issues such as the Criminal Justice Enhancement Program and diversion programs.

Unit Content

The unit begins with an outline of various definitions and debates about young people and their status in society. The notions of competence, criminal responsibility and maturity are then identified as central considerations in the youth justice system, and the age of criminal responsibility is explained and placed in historical and political context. In doing so, the justifications for separating the adult and youth justice systems are explained.

Following this, Victorian legislation that addresses young offenders is introduced, and the most significant sections are detailed and critiqued.

The unit concludes ends with an analysis of the various services, institutions, sentencing options, and processing pathways that exist for young offenders in Victoria. 

Unit Workload

1 x 2 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial each week for 12 weeks. The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week

Assessment summary

Assessment information provided at the commencement of the unit in the online class space


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of trimester.