1 The Problem.- Public Nomination.- Public Risks.- Public Intervention.- Juvenile Justice.- Police Powers and Civil Powers.- A Graphic Illustration of Police and Civil Powers.- Conclusion.- 2 The Historical Legacy.- The Colonial Period: 1600-1730.- The Revolutionary Period: 1730-1820.- The Jacksonian/Antebellum Period: 1830-1860.- The Post-Civil War Period: 1860-1890.- The Progressive Era: 1890-1920.- Conclusion.- 3 The Contemporary Mandate.- Politics, Social Values, and the Legislative Mandate.- Jurisprudence, the Law, and Juvenile Justice.- The Coherence of the Juvenile Court.- 4 The Current System: Structure and Operations.- The Boundaries of the System.- A Hierarchy of Private and Public Institutions.- The Process of Nomination, Escalation, and Intake.- The Process of Adjudication.- Formal Dispositions.- Summary and Conclusions.- 5 Emergent Problems.- Trends in Juvenile Crime and Delinquency.- Trends in Child Abuse and Neglect.- Trends in Status Offenses and Guardianship.- Summary: The Future Work of the Juvenile Justice System.- 6 Alternative Futures.- Defining Dimensions.- Alternative Futures.- Summary.- 7 Toward Juvenile Justice.- Juvenile Crime and the Conditions of Child Rearing.- The Crisis in Leadership.- Establishing the Accountability of Children and Their Caretakers.- Casting a Shadow.- Managing Risks in Juvenile Dispositions.- Conclusion.
From the preface: "History has dealt the juvenile court (and, more broadly, the juvenile justice system) a cruel blow. What began as a promising social experiment has disappointed nearly everyone... Inevitably, disillusionment has weakened the mandate of the juvenile justice system. Conflicts in philosophy, once held at bay by general enthusiasm for the enterprise, have now surfaced with great urgency. What, in fact, is the purpose of the juvenile justice system? Is it to protect the community from youth crime, or to help children grow up? Is it primarily a court dominated by concerns for justice? Or, is it more fundamentally a social service agency concerned with structuring the environments of children? Is the court an independent institution that stands apart from the community and administers justice in a fair and impartial way? Or, is the court an agent of the community in the sense that it establishes norms of conduct and draws both public and private agencies to the tasks of socializing children?"
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