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Choosing the Future for American Juvenile Justice$
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Franklin E. Zimring and David S. Tanenhaus

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479816873

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479816873.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Choosing the Future for American Juvenile Justice
Author(s):

Franklin E. Zimring

David S. Tanenhaus

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479816873.003.0001

This introductory chapter presents the basic principles of the juvenile court. Foremost among these is the radical idea that the law should treat children differently from adults. The political philosopher John Locke argued that children's lack of reasoning capacity, which disqualified them from participating in government, also made them less culpable for their criminal acts. Another principle states that children's cases should be diverted from the destructive dynamics of the criminal justice system. This diversionary rationale made increasing sense in a society in which the modern ideal of a sheltered childhood became nearly universal by the middle decades of the twentieth century.

Keywords:   juvenile court, John Locke, reasoning capacity, criminal justice system, sheltered childhood

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