ERIC Number: ED433480
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr-19
Intersections of Critical Legal Theories: In Search of a Critical Theory of Juvenile Justice.
Michaelis, Karen L.
Children who are subjected to the juvenile justice system suffer injustices and prejudices similar to those experienced by women and minorities. The main difference is that there is no political group comprised of juveniles who could advocate for a new approach to juvenile justice. This makes them the most vulnerable of all individuals who come into contact with the justice system. Juveniles have virtually no power to overcome the bias and irrationality of school disciplinary procedures, much less legal decisions. Because little consideration is given as to why juveniles end up criminals, the perspective of the juvenile in the process is not considered. Thus, it is difficult to expect juveniles to change their behavior to fit into a society that refuses to protect them when they are victimized, but is all too eager to punish them when they behave in an inevitably violent manner. A critical theory of juvenile justice that incorporates the perspectives and experiences of juveniles who enter the system is needed to salvage the majority of juveniles who find themselves reaching out for help in the only ways they know how--violence and illegal behavior. (JDM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 19-23, 1999.