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date: 24 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Over the last century, the juvenile justice system has strayed far, opposed of its foundational ideals. Attentiveness to children's needs has given way to concentration on the offense. Emphasis on punishment and accountability has overshadowed the social welfare model. This article examines trends in juvenile justice policy and practice. It opens with a brief overview of the early juvenile court, its philosophical underpinnings and historic mission. Following this, the article scans the due process revolution of the 1960s and 1970s and assesses its intended and unintended consequences. It focuses on punitive shifts in the 1980s and 1990s, their structural and political origins, and their impact on the juvenile justice landscape. Finally it takes a look at a number of policies and programs that have emerged in the past decade. It concludes by calling for a much-needed correction to the punitive excesses to shift toward more sensible and humane practices.

Keywords: juvenile justice system, children's needs, punishment, accountability, social welfare model, juvenile justice landscape, policy, practice

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