CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, March 28, 2011

Slobogin & Fondacaro on Juvenile Justice in Flux

Slobogin_big Christopher Slobogin (pictured) and Mark R. Fondacaro, J.D., Ph.D. (Vanderbilt Law School and John Jay College - CUNY) have posted Juvenile Justice in Flux (JUVENILES AT RISK: A PLEA FOR PREVENTIVE JUSTICE, Oxford University Press, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

The current approach to the juvenile crime problem is insufficiently conceptualized and too beholden to myths about youth, the crimes they commit, and effective means of responding to their problems. The currently dominant punitive approach to juvenile justice, modeled on the adult criminal justice system, either ignores or misapplies current knowledge about the causes of juvenile crime and the means of reducing it. We argue that, with some significant adjustments that take this new knowledge into account, the legal system should continue to maintain a separate juvenile court, but one that is preventive in orientation, with a new emphasis on both rehabilitation and flexible procedures. The view that culpability should be the linchpin of juvenile justice (touted by liberals as well as conservatives) is misguided, not only because it leads to unnecessarily harsh punishment but also because it deemphasizes crime-reducing interventions and undermines the case for handling adolescent offenders through a system that is independent of the culpability-based adult system. The currently popular view that adult-type procedures should govern the juvenile process is also open to serious doubt, given social science research that questions the extent to which such procedures promote accuracy and fairness. Chapter 1, which elaborates on the book’s thesis, is provided here.

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