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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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Managing Contradictions

Managing Contradictions

(p.130) Chapter Five Managing Contradictions
Courting Kids

Carla J. Barrett

NYU Press

This chapter highlights how the Manhattan Youth Part managed the most basic tension at work in the practice of trying youths as adults—that, regardless of their statutorily designated “adult” status, defendants were adolescent social actors—and considers the role their families played. It also reveals the contradictions with the New York criminal justice system's own legal labeling practices by exploring the courtroom narratives of six kids. Alonzo, Walter, and Isaac each had one case in the Family Court and another in the criminal court, resulting in each being prosecuted as both a juvenile and as an adult at the same time. On the other hand, Jorge's, Kendrick's, and Dario's stories reveal another internal contradiction of legal labeling—that of being legally labeled as an adult for prosecution and, at the same time, as a child in need of the care and custody of the state through child protective services.

Keywords:   Manhattan Youth Part, youth, adult, adolescent social actors, New York criminal justice system, legal labeling, Family Court, criminal court, juvenile, child protective services

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