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Bad Kids: Race and the Transformation of the Juvenile Court

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Barry C. FeldCentennial Professor of Law, University of Minnesota, USA

ISBN13: 9780195097887
ISBN: 0195097882
Published: October 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: USA
Format: Paperback
Price: £24.49



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Within the past three decades, social and legal changes have transformed the juvenile court from a nominally rehabilitative welfare agency into a second-class criminal court for young offenders. Recent efforts to ""toughen"" juvenile justice policies have resulted in increasingly harsh sanctions that fall disproportionately on minority youths. In this provocative new book, Barry Feld examines what went wrong with the juvenile court and proposes an alternative model for youth crime control and child welfare. The Progressive reformers who created the juvenile court a century ago saw children as relatively blameless and innocent. But recent decades of rising crime rates associated with urban decay have strained this tolerant view of young offenders. Feld relates the 1967 Supreme Court decision In re Gault to the broader social and legal changes associated with the civil rights movement and the Warren Court's ""Due Process Revolution."" Although gault mandated more elaborate procedural safeguards in delinquency hearings, ironically, those protections legitimated the imposition of more punitive sanctions.;Since Gault, Feld argues, three decades of judicial, legislative, and administrative reforms have conducted a form of ""criminological triage."" At the ""soft end,"" reforms have shifted noncriminal status offenders, primarily female and white, out of the juvenile justice system into a ""hidden system"" made up of private sector mental health and chemical dependency facilities. At the ""hard end,"" states transfer increasing numbers of young offenders, disproportionately minorities, to criminal court for prosecution as adults. Meanwhile, juvenile courts punish more severely those delinquents-again disproportionately minorities-who remain within the increasingly criminalized juvenile justice system. Feld attributes the current state of affairs to a conceptual flaw inherent in the juvenile court. The juvenile justice system attempts to combine social welfare and social control functions in one organization, but inevitably fulfills both missions badly because of the inherent and irreconcilable contradictions between them.;Progressive reformers situated the juvenile court on a number of cultural, legal, and criminological fault lines, where the ideas of child and adult, determinism and free will, immature and responsible, treatment and punishment collide. The past three decades have witnessed a shift from the former to the latter of these binary pairs in response to the racial transformation of cities, the increase in serious youth crime, and the erosion of the rehabilitative assumptions of the juvenile court. The solution, Feld argues, is to uncouple social welfare from criminal social control. States could try all offenders in one integrated criminal justice system with appropriate modifications to accommodate the youthfulness of younger defendants: a graduated, age-culpability sentencing system, separate youth correctional facilities, and the like. Formally recognizing youthfulness as a mitigating factor would provide youths with greater protections and justice than they currently receive in either the juvenile or criminal justice systems. At the same time such a strategy would enable public policies to address directly the social welfare needs of all young people.

Series: Studies in Crime and Public Policy

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Living in Infamy: Felon Disfranchisement and the History of American Citizenship ISBN 9780199976089
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World Heroin Market: Can Supply Be Cut? ISBN 9780195322996
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Great American Crime Decline ISBN 9780195181159
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Juvenile Justice in the Making ISBN 9780195160451
Published January 2006
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Juvenile Justice in the Making (eBook) ISBN 9780199882908
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Punishment and Democracy New ed
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Hate Crimes: Criminal Law and Identity Politics ISBN 9780195140545
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Hate Crimes: Criminal Law and Identity Politics (eBook) ISBN 9780190286316
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Gun Violence: The Real Costs New ed
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Penal Populism and Public Opinion (eBook)
Julian V. RobertsProfessor of Criminology, University of Ottawa, Canada, Loretta J. StalansAssociate Professor of Criminal Justice, Loyola University, Chicago, USA, David (Senior Research Fellow University of Western Australia Australi Indemaur
ISBN 9780190285777
Published January 2002
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£46.67 + £9.33 VAT
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Penal Populism and Public Opinion
Julian V. RobertsProfessor of Criminology, University of Ottawa, Canada, Loretta J. StalansAssociate Professor of Criminal Justice, Loyola University, Chicago, USA, David (Senior Research Fellow University of Western Australia Australi Indemaur
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£56.00
Restorative Justice and Responsive Regulation
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ISBN 9780195136395
Published December 2001
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£94.00
Restorative Justice and Responsive Regulation (eBook)
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ISBN 9780190285814
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Politics, Punishment and Populism ISBN 9780195115307
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Bad Kids ISBN 9780195097870
Published April 1999
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Sentencing Matters New ed ISBN 9780195122930
Published April 1999
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Hate Crimes: Criminal Law and Identity Politics ISBN 9780195114485
Published April 1998
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Responding to Troubled Youth ISBN 9780195098532
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The Habits of Legality: Criminal Justice and the Rule of Law
Francis A. AllenProfessor of Law and Huber C. Hurst Eminent Scholar, University of Florida, USA
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Incapacitation: Penal Confinement and the Restraint of Crime
Franklin E. ZimringProfessor of Law and Director, Earl Warren Legal Institute, University of California, USA, Gordon HawkinsSenior Fellow, Earl Warren Legal Institute, University of California, Berkeley, USA
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