An Experiment in Youth Justice
This introductory chapter briefly outlines the alternative-to-incarceration (ATI) program exercised by the Manhattan Youth Part, the one courtroom set aside in Manhattan for criminal cases involving youths who are required by New York State law to be prosecuted as adults. Founded in 1992 by retired Judge Michael Corriero, the unique criminal court undertook an experiment in youth justice. Working within the statutory constraints of retributive law, the Manhattan Youth Part created a system of justice that sought to hold young defendants—nearly all of them black and/or Hispanic males between the ages of 14 and 18—accountable for their alleged crimes while acknowledging their adolescence and attempting to divert them away from the full force of the adult sentences they were facing. The chapter also explores the history and development of juvenile justice within the United States, and describes the research methods used by the author in writing the book.
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