Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

History of Juvenile Justice

  • Guadalupe Mendiola-Washington
  • Traqina Q. Emeka
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_279


The creation of the juvenile justice system began with the efforts of benevolent individuals and institutions who responded to the evolving social, economic, and political issues in early America. The juvenile justice system reflected a change in society that addressed and recognized the distinct differences between adults and juveniles. The first juvenile court sought to avoid the adversarial system of the adult court and emphasized individual treatment and rehabilitation. The juvenile court addressed issues concerning those children who allegedly committed delinquent offenses as well as those neglected and abused children. The parens patriae doctrine gave the court authority over the child if the parent was deemed unable and/or unwilling to care for the child. The operation of the juvenile court remained relatively uncontested until the 1960s when the US Supreme Court intervened and questioned the practices of the juvenile court. Prior to US Supreme Court intervention, the...

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Recommended Reading and References

  1. Anderson PG (1988) The good to be done: a history of juvenile protective association of Chicago, 1898–1976. The University of Chicago, ProQuest dissertations and theses, 1. https://ezproxy.uhd.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/303584309?accountid=7109
  2. Bernard TJ (1992) The cycle of juvenile justice. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Colomy P, Kretzmann M (1995) Projects and institution building: judge Ben. B. Lindsey and the juvenile court movement. Soc Probl 42:191–215Google Scholar
  4. Feld B (1999) A funny thing happened on the way to the centenary. Punishm Soc 1:187–214Google Scholar
  5. Ferdinand TN (1991) History overtakes the juvenile justice system. Crime Delinq 37:204–224Google Scholar
  6. Hawes JM (1991) The children’s rights movement a history of advocacy and protection. Twayne, BostonGoogle Scholar
  7. Krisberg B (2005) Juvenile justice: redeeming our children. Sage, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  8. Mendiola-Washington G (2012) The history of Juvenile Justice and the formation of specialized Courts. Unpublished masters thesis, University of Houston-Downtown, HoustonGoogle Scholar
  9. Pisciotta AW (1994) Benevolent repression: social control and the American reformatory-prison movement. New York University Press, New York/LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Platt AM (1977) The child savers: the invention of delinquency, 2nd edn. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  11. Tanenhaus DS (2004) Juvenile justice in the making. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  12. Watkins JC (1998) The juvenile justice century-a sociological commentary on American juvenile courts. Caroline Academic Press, DurhamGoogle Scholar
  13. Williams FP, McShane MD (2009) Youth, drugs and delinquency. In: Benekos PJ, Merlo AV (eds) Controversies in juvenile justice and delinquency. Mathew Bender, Newark, pp 85–106Google Scholar
  14. Williams FP, McShane MD (2010) Criminological theory, 5th edn. Pearson Education, Upper Saddle RiverGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guadalupe Mendiola-Washington
    • 1
  • Traqina Q. Emeka
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Houston-DowntownHoustonUSA