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Juvenile Justice in Global Perspective$
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Franklin E. Zimring, Maximo Langer, and David S. Tanenhaus

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479826537

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479826537.001.0001

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Myths and Realities of Juvenile Justice in Latin America

Myths and Realities of Juvenile Justice in Latin America

(p.198) 5 Myths and Realities of Juvenile Justice in Latin America
Juvenile Justice in Global Perspective

Mary Beloff

Máximo Langer

NYU Press

This chapter provides an overview of the history of Latin American juvenile justice systems until today. The evolution of Latin American juvenile justice presents two crucial moments: (1) its creation at the beginning of the twentieth century with the importation of the American model of juvenile courts; and (2) its transformation in the past twenty-five years with the incorporation of international human rights law into domestic law. The chapter also assess whether the goal of juvenile justice of removing children and adolescents from criminal law has actually been put into action, and considers the recent wave of juvenile justice reforms in Latin America using the Chilean reform as a case study. The chapter shows that while the Chilean reform has brought more due process protections for deviant youth by reducing the percentage of juveniles in pretrial detention, it has likely substantially increased the absolute and relative levels of juvenile confinement.

Keywords:   Latin America, juvenile justice system, youth justice, juvenile justice reform, juvenile courts, human rights law, Chile, detention, due process

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