Should the Juvenile Court Survive?

  • Barry Krisberg


Nearly two decades ago Marvin Wolfgang called for radical reform of the juvenile court (Wolfgang, 1982). He proposed that youths over the age of 16 years be tried in criminal courts, and that younger children be handled in family courts. He further proposed that juvenile status offenses such as truancy, running away, and incorrigibility be decriminalized. This proposal appeared in a journal designed for members of the California Bar Association. Fortunately, Dr. Wolfgang’s bold proposal never received wide circulation among criminologists or national policy-makers as he later reconsidered these views, and often privately decried the fact that his research was misinterpreted to justify crackdowns on youthful offenders. As a long-time board member of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), Dr. Wolfgang was a strong advocate in the Council’s fight against the movement to prosecute ever younger children in criminal courts.


Juvenile Justice Juvenile Offender Juvenile Justice System Criminal Court Juvenile Court 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Krisberg
    • 1
  1. 1.National Council on Crime and DelinquencyUSA

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