skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 185517 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: A Century of Juvenile Justice
Author(s): Philip W. Harris; Wayne N. Welsh; Frank Butler
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 67
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter examines multiple forces that have substantially impacted the juvenile justice endeavor during the 20th century, so as to provide a foundation for envisioning justice for youth in the new century.
Abstract: From its inception, the central focus of the juvenile justice system has been on delinquency, an amorphous construct that includes not only "criminal" behavior but also an array of youthful actions that offend prevailing social mores. Thus, the meaning of delinquency is markedly time dependent. Likewise, methods for addressing juvenile delinquency have reflected the vagaries of social construction of youth and youth deviance. American juvenile justice was founded on internally conflicting value systems: the diminished responsibility and heightened malleability of youths versus individual culpability and the social control of "protocriminality." During its first century, the latter value for juvenile justice has become increasingly predominant over the former. The youth caught up in the juvenile justice system, however, have remained overwhelmingly society's most marginalized youths, from immigrants' offspring in the early 20th century to children of color in contemporary society. Population projections for the 21st century predict great increases in the proportions of Hispanic citizens. The gross economic disadvantage that exists for minority families -- especially Hispanic and African-American -- must be viewed in the new century as an important challenge for juvenile justice, rather than as a cultural blight that produces deviants rather than prosocial, law-abiding citizens. 6 exhibits, 4 notes, and 203 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice policies
Index Term(s): History of juvenile justice; Juvenile crime patterns; Juvenile delinquency factors; Juvenile justice reform; Juvenile justice system
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.