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Juvenile Justice in the United States

NCJ Number
YAP International Volume: 4 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring 1999 Pages: 1-3
Carrie McVicker
Date Published
3 pages
This is a brief review of juvenile justice in the United States.
The year 1999 marks the 100th anniversary of the juvenile court in the United States. Today's juvenile court is more punitive and far more complicated. Three trends in the system have resulted in courts providing more punishment and less rehabilitation: (1) The scope of the juvenile courts has narrowed so that they deal less and less with social welfare issues and focus on delinquency; (2) The courts have shifted away from placing emphasis on individualized solutions; and (3) The action of the courts has been limited by guidelines and legislation. Society's perception that juvenile crime is a growing problem is not substantiated by the data. The fear may be fueled by media coverage of American youth: 47 percent of televised media reports and 40 percent of newspaper reports involving children are covering juvenile crime topics. The emphasis on violent juvenile crime has fed the demand for punishment and revenge. Perhaps the most troubling aspect of the US juvenile justice system is the fact that the United States allows the death penalty for juveniles. Notes