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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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Individualized Justice in a Criminal Court

Individualized Justice in a Criminal Court

(p.89) Chapter Four Individualized Justice in a Criminal Court
Courting Kids

Carla J. Barrett

NYU Press

This chapter illustrates the often paternalistic and maternalistic treatment given to kids by judges and other court actors in the Manhattan Youth Part during court proceedings. By showing the various discursive and dramaturgical strategies employed within the court, it argues that these practices reconceptualize the original parens patriae philosophy, with its emphasis on individualized justice, extralegal factors, and child-saving strategies, updating and reinventing it to fit within the structural constraints of a criminal court. The chapter also provides a detailed comparison of the author's ethnographic findings with Aaron Kupchik's findings published in The Process Is the Punishment: Handling Cases in a Lower Criminal Court (1979) in order to understand both the commonalities and differences between case processing in two courts operating under the same state law.

Keywords:   court proceedings, maternalistic treatment, court actors, Manhattan Youth Part, parens patriae, individualized justice, child-saving strategies, criminal court, The Process Is the Punishment, state law

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