Written by a leading scholar of juvenile justice, this book examines the social and legal changes that have transformed the juvenile court in the last three decades from a nominally rehabilitative welfare agency into a scaled-down criminal court for young offenders. It explores the complex relationship between race and youth crime to explain both the Supreme Court decisions to provide delinquents with procedural justice and the more recent political impetus to "get tough" on young offenders. This provocative book will be necessary reading for criminal and juvenile justice scholars, sociologists, legislators, and juvenile justice personnel.
This is the latest title in Oxford's "Studies in Crime and Public Policy" series, much of which deals with youth crime and its relationship to society. Feld (Minnesota Law Sch.) is a leading scholar in the field of juvenile justice administration. Here he briefly traces the evolution of the juvenile court from its inception in the early 1900s, with an emphasis on the past three decades. Early juvenile courts were seen as rehabilitative welfare agencies, but with the Supreme Court's emphasis in the 1960s on due process, children began to be seen as defendants. As a result of a series of Supreme Court decisions, Feld asserts, juveniles now receive the "worst of both worlds." He explores the complex relationship between race and youth crime in an attempt to understand the court decisions that lead to procedural justice. He also discusses the recent political impetus to treat juveniles as adults in some cases. His points are well made and persuasive. Recommended for libraries with an interest in juveniles and criminal justice.--Sandra K. Lindheimer, Middlesex Law Lib., Cambridge, MA