Juvenile Justice (DDA)

Lesson Duration

By Deliberating in a Democracy in the Americas

This lesson is designed to promote the teaching and learning of democratic principles and the skills of civic deliberation. Students complete a reading (available in English, Spanish, and Audio-English) and engage in a Structured Academic Controversy.

Question for deliberation:
In our democracy, should violent juvenile offenders be punished as adults?


At the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to:
-Define delinquents and juvenile.
-Explain why many democracies have created separate justice systems for juvenile offenders.
-List at least three reasons to support and three reasons to oppose punishing violent juvenile
offenders as adults.
-Describe and contrast at least two reasons governments punish people who break the law.
-Explain how punishing violent juveniles as adults connects to the principles of democracy,
including identifying which principles may be in conflict in this public policy question.
-Identify areas of agreement and disagreement with other students.
-Reach a decision, individually and collectively, on the deliberation issue using evidence and
sound reasoning.
-Explain the importance of deliberating this question in a democratic society.

Go to: Juvenile Justice (DDA)


The initiative is conducted by the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (CRFC), the Constitutional Rights Foundation in Los Angeles (CRF) and Street Law, Inc. with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.