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NCJ Number: 201347 Find in a Library
Title: Legal Changes in Juvenile Justice: Then and Now
Journal: Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice  Volume:1  Issue:3  Dated:July 2003  Pages:289-299
Author(s): Stacy C. Moak; Lisa Hutchinson Wallace
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 11
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the changes in juvenile justice policy from its birth through the present day.
Abstract: The juvenile justice system was founded on the belief that children should be treated, rather than punished and should not be exposed to the harshness of the adult criminal justice system. However, recent policy and law shifts have created a juvenile justice system that mirrors its adult counterpart. The rhetoric surrounding juvenile justice is about punishment and sanctions, rather than treatment and protection. In many cases, the juvenile justice system seems content to transfer youth to adult courts and correctional facilities. The authors begin their historical analysis by examining some of the most drastic legal changes regarding the status of children in American society. Three major areas of change are highlighted: changes within the justice system that are increasingly allowing children to be treated as adults when they commit a crime, changes within the educational system that increasingly restrict the rights of students, and changes within the community that increasingly restrict the movement of youth. Juvenile system in America is moving in a backward fashion; rather than becoming more treatment-based, juvenile justice is swinging toward the opposite pendulum and implying increasingly punitive sanctions on children despite their age. Research should focus on the inconsistencies created by a system that is willing to treat children as adults in criminal matters but as children in civil matters. References
Main Term(s): History of juvenile justice
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); Correctional reform; Juvenile justice policies; Juvenile justice system; Juvenile treatment methods; Punishment
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