Juvenile Probation on the Eve of the Next Millennium

  • Ronald P. CorbettJr.


Judge Judith Sheindlin, supervising judge for the Manhattan Family Court, published in 1996 her perspective on the state of affairs in juvenile justice in a book titled, Don’t Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining. Judge Sheindlin’s views, graphically foreshadowed in the title, include a repudiation of the social causation approach to juvenile delinquency and a call for a return to an ethic of self-discipline and individual accountability. From the vantage-point of over 20 years’ experience as a juvenile judge, Sheindlin sees a system that can ‘barely function’, trading in empty threats and broken promises (p. 5). Juvenile courts, in her view, have avoided assigning blame for wrongdoing and have thereby encouraged a lack of individual responsibility, leaving young offenders with ready excuses for their predatory behavior and completely without fear of any consequences. The system must ‘cut through the baloney and tell the truth’, starting with the ‘total elimination of probation’ in favor of a greater reliance on police surveillance and increased incarceration (p. 61).


Juvenile Justice Juvenile Offender Juvenile Justice System Juvenile Delinquency Probation Officer 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

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  • Ronald P. CorbettJr.

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