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Public Opinion and the Foundation of the Juvenile Court

Title: Public Opinion and the Foundation of the Juvenile Court.
Name(s): Mears, Daniel P., author
Hay, Carter, author
Gertz, Marc, author
Mancini, Christina, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Journal Article
Date Issued: 2007-03-13
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Over 100 years ago, juvenile courts emerged out of the belief that juveniles are different from adults—less culpable and more rehabilitatable—and can be “saved” from a life of crime and disadvantage. Today, the juvenile justice system is under attack through increasing calls to eliminate it and enactment of statutes designed to place younger offenders in the adult justice system. However, little evidence exists that policy makers have taken the full range of public views into account. At the same time, scholarly accounts of calls to eliminate the juvenile justice system have neglected the role of public opinion. The current study addresses this situation by examining public views about 1) abolishing juvenile justice and 2) the proper upper age of original juvenile court jurisdiction. Particular attention is given to the notion that child-saving and “get tough” orientations influence public views about juvenile justice. The analyses suggest support for the lingering appeal of juvenile justice among the public and the idea that youth can be “saved,” as well as arguments about the politicization and criminalization of juvenile justice. They also highlight that the public, like states, holds variable views about the appropriate age of juvenile court jurisdiction. We dis-cuss the implications of the study and avenues for future research.
Identifier: FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1548359088_2358e164 (IID), 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2007.00077.x (DOI)
Keywords: public opinion, juvenile justice
Publication Note: The version of record can be found at
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU
Is Part Of: Criminology.
Issue: iss. 1, vol. 45

Choose the citation style.
Mears, D. P., Hay, C., Gertz, M., & Mancini, C. (2007). Public Opinion and the Foundation of the Juvenile Court. Criminology. Retrieved from