This book will expand students’ knowledge and understanding of the evolution of juvenile justice in the last 50 years. Designed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the landmark case In re Gault, which the U.S. Supreme Court decided in 1967, the authors provide a brief history of juvenile justice, then frame the developments and transformations that have occurred in the intervening years. Topics covered include an overview of the dramatic changes to the field following the spike in youth violence in the 1990s, the "superpredator" myth, zero-tolerance policies, and sanctions for juvenile offenders—particularly the 2005 abolition of the death penalty and subsequent decision on life without parole. The book also covers child and youth victimization and trauma, and recent prevention and treatment initiatives.
Designed for upper-level undergraduates, this text reflects on the evolving U.S. juvenile justice system while anticipating future challenges and trends. Reaffirming Juvenile Justice illustrates how ideology, media, and politics shape policy and how it can evolve.
Chapter 1 Developing the Juvenile Justice System
Chapter 2 Demonization of Youth and Politicization of Juvenile Justice
Chapter 3 Court Decisions: From In re Gault to Montgomery v. Louisiana
Chapter 4 From Superpredator to Traumatized Youth
Chapter 5 Creating Sanctuary and Treating Trauma
Chapter 6 Challenges in Reaffirming Juvenile Justice
Alida Merlo and Peter Benekos provide a compelling account of how science, ideology, and politics have shaped the evolution of juvenile justice policy. In a comprehensive and compassionate way, they illuminate the mistakes of the past as a way of showing progressive avenues for future reform. Scholarly but accessible, Reaffirming Juvenile Justice is both an essential reference book and ideal for courses focusing on wayward youths. --Francis T. Cullen, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, University of Cincinnati
Fifty years after the landmark Gault decision revolutionized juvenile justice, Merlo and Benekos undertake a sweeping and comprehensive review of that system. Reaffirming Juvenile Justice powerfully documents legal decisions and key policy debates in the decades that followed. A must-read for those concerned about how the United States treats its most vulnerable youth. --Meda Chesney-Lind, Professor of Women's Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Much has happened since the Gault case was decided some fifty years ago—so much so that it can be hard to keep up with the relevant research and case law spanning multiple disciplines. Fortunately, Merlo and Benekos have done us a huge favor. This book situates the recent developments amidst a backdrop of juvenile justice issues, summarizing key developments, and anticipating the future. From scholars whose careers have been focused on key policy questions, I have no doubt you will learn as much as I have in reading this book. --Alex R. Piquero, Ashbel Smith Professor, The University of Texas at Dallas
Reaffirming Juvenile Justice: From Gault to Montgomery is a well written and informative textbook. The authors provide an in-depth and comprehensive coverage of a range of issues including constitutionality, culpability, and system responses facing the juvenile justice system as well as challenges such as legal defense, disproportionate minority youth contact/involvement with the system, and conditions and the length of confinement. Couched within a historical context, the discussion of the role(s) that political ideology and the media play into the construction of the imagery of youth further sheds light on the complexities involved in the responses to and treatment of juvenile delinquents. A must read! --Michael Leiber, Professor in Criminology, University of South Florida