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Changing Role of the Youth Court Judge

NCJ Number
European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research Volume: 7 Issue: 3 Dated: 1999 Pages: 363-393
Lucien A. Beaulieu; Carla Cesaroni
Date Published
31 pages
This article discusses the traditional role of the judge, the unique role of the youth court judge and how history has and is likely to continue to define and influence this role.
There is a need for pluralism in the youth justice system and acceptance of its limits. The youth court and the youth court judge need to let other people try to get on with the job of solving basic social problems. The youth courts should confine themselves to cases of youthful lawbreakers and perfect their functioning in this field before seeking to enforce more general standards of child behavior or to function as general social agencies for children. If a youth is apparently at risk and appears to require protection and treatment, the solution must be found elsewhere. The criminal process cannot and must not be used and abused as a door of entry for treatment of personal and family dysfunction unless related to a legitimately proven criminal offense. The article emphasizes that young offenders are potential resources and any action taken regarding them should enhance that potential in order to further the long-term interests of the community. Note, references