Challenging the Logics of Reformism and Humanism in Juvenile Justice Rhetoric

  • Alexandra CoxEmail author


This article draws on contemporary policy discourse in order to advance claims about the intractable figure of the “bad” child in contemporary juvenile justice reforms in the United States (US). The article focuses in particular on the discourses of trauma and “brain science” to point to a form of neo-positivism that has arguably emerged and which challenges efforts to engage in systematic decarceration. The article also focuses on the idea of the “bad child” that persists in the commitment of some reformers to the necessity of confinement for some children. The article questions the extent to which new forms of positivism challenge our ability to leverage structural claims.



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of EssexColchesterUK

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