Event Title

No Child Behind Bars: A Case for a More Just Juvenile Justice System

Location

Edwards Hall Lobby

Document Type

Poster Presentation (1 hour)

Description

The juvenile justice system was founded on the notion of rehabilitation and an understanding of the need to treat youth offenders differently than adults. Despite this history, across the United States, youth under the age of 18 are being tried, sentenced, and incarcerated as adults. State legislation passed in the 1990’s has led to the deterioration of the boundary separating the juvenile and criminal justice system. As such, this has been to the determent of youth involved in the justice system. This paper will discuss evidence against the prosecution of youth as adults and their incarceration in adult facilities. Overwhelming evidence shows that transferring youth to the adult criminal justice system fails to take into account adolescent development, provides fewer opportunities for rehabilitation, disproportionately impacts youth of color, puts youth at greater physical and emotional risk, and is ineffective in reducing crime and recidivism. Finally, this paper will look at efforts to reform and bring a restorative justice approach to the juvenile justice system.

Start Date

April 2014

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Apr 26th, 2:10 PM

No Child Behind Bars: A Case for a More Just Juvenile Justice System

Edwards Hall Lobby

The juvenile justice system was founded on the notion of rehabilitation and an understanding of the need to treat youth offenders differently than adults. Despite this history, across the United States, youth under the age of 18 are being tried, sentenced, and incarcerated as adults. State legislation passed in the 1990’s has led to the deterioration of the boundary separating the juvenile and criminal justice system. As such, this has been to the determent of youth involved in the justice system. This paper will discuss evidence against the prosecution of youth as adults and their incarceration in adult facilities. Overwhelming evidence shows that transferring youth to the adult criminal justice system fails to take into account adolescent development, provides fewer opportunities for rehabilitation, disproportionately impacts youth of color, puts youth at greater physical and emotional risk, and is ineffective in reducing crime and recidivism. Finally, this paper will look at efforts to reform and bring a restorative justice approach to the juvenile justice system.