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Courting KidsInside an Experimental Youth Court$
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Carla J. Barrett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814709467

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814709467.001.0001

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Creating the “Juvenile Offender”

Creating the “Juvenile Offender”

(p.44) Chapter Two Creating the “Juvenile Offender”
Courting Kids

Carla J. Barrett

NYU Press

This chapter analyzes how the formal label of “Juvenile Offender” came into existence in New York law in 1978. As the first law of its kind in the nation, the passage of New York's Juvenile Offender Law set an early precedent for the routine prosecution of youths as adults. The year 1978 was an election year in New York State, and the issue of juvenile crime and violence became a hotly contested campaign issue, fueled in large part by two murders committed by 15-year-old Willie Bosket. The convergence of these forces—election year politics and juvenile violence—facilitated New York's harsh legislative action. The chapter concludes with an examination of data on indictments in New York City from 1984 to 2004 in discussing demographic trends among youths prosecuted as adults in the city.

Keywords:   Juvenile Offender, New York law, 1978, Juvenile Offender Law, youth, adult, juvenile crime, Willie Bosket

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