When considering abolition of the criminal justice system, there is no greater or more impactful relevance than for juveniles that find themselves inextricably linked to the juvenile justice system. From its inception, the philosophical foundation of juvenile care was to provide individualized, compassionate assistance to young men and women perceived to be in need of emotional care and/or social control. With the establishment of the Cook County Juvenile Court in 1899, the American juvenile justice system has endured a 118-year odyssey that has produced progressively rational, largely unsympathetic, and increasingly punitive practices. With happenings such as the ‘school-to-prison pipeline’, ‘juvenile life without the possibility of parole’, ‘teen courts’, and ‘deferred prosecution probation’, current juveniles that make unassuming mistakes and errors in judgment are adjoined to a system that sustains and reinforces itself through these mistakes and errors. The charge of this article is to recommend the abolition of the contemporary juvenile justice system, with safeguards for the protection from serious offenders and a return to the compassionate care that is warranted for the majority of juveniles that currently bolster the system.
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Bowman, S.W. The Kids are Alright: Making a Case for Abolition of the Juvenile Justice System. Crit Crim 26, 393–405 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10612-018-9402-2