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Juvenile Justice in Global Perspective

Juvenile Justice in Global Perspective

Franklin E. Zimring
Máximo Langer
David S. Tanenhaus
Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: NYU Press
Pages: 416
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  • Book Info
    Juvenile Justice in Global Perspective
    Book Description:

    Among developed nations, the United States has one of the most extreme and harsh criminal justice systems in the world-there is overwhelmingly more violence, more punishment, and more incarceration for both adults and juveniles here. But while American scholars may have extensive knowledge about other justice systems around the world and how adults are treated, juvenile justice systems and the plight of youth who break the law throughout the world is less often studied. This important volume fills a large gap in the study of juvenile justice by providing an unprecedented comparison of criminal justice and juvenile justice systems across the world, looking for points of comparison and policy variance that can lead to positive change in the United States.

    Edited by three distinguished scholars on this topic,Juvenile Justice in Global Perspectivecontains original contributions from some of the world's leading voices. The contributors cover countries from Western Europe to rising powers like China, India, and countries in Latin America. The book discusses important issues such as the relationship between political change and juvenile justice, the common labels used to unify juvenile systems in different regions and in different forms of government, the types of juvenile systems that exist and how they differ, and the impact of national characteristic differences on outcomes of treatment. Furthermore, the book uses its data on criminal versus juvenile justice in a wide variety of nations to create a new explanation of why separate juvenile and criminal courts are felt to be necessary. Offering a unique, proactive and comprehensive approach to juvenile justice,Juvenile Justice in Global Perspectiveis an important resource for scholars, prosecutors, lawmakers, and judges who hope to shape a better future for youth involved with the criminal justice system.

    eISBN: 978-1-4798-3800-4
    Subjects: Sociology, Law

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    Juvenile courts are both a very recent legal invention and an almost ubiquitous presence in modern nations. The first juvenile court was established by statute in Illinois in 1899 and quickly spread to other American states and to a number of other nations. Both the jurisdictional features and policy ambitions of the Illinois juvenile court were widely emulated in the systems that were established worldwide in the first half of the 20th century. And there is one important feature of every juvenile court’s delinquency jurisdiction that complicates the task of creating a comparative law of juvenile courts. When juvenile courts...


    • 1 Juvenile Justice and Crime Policy in Europe
      (pp. 9-62)

      In the past 25 years, youth justice¹ systems in Europe have undergone considerable changes, particularly in the former socialist countries of central and eastern Europe. However, differing and sometimes contradictory youth justice policies have also emerged in western Europe. So-called neoliberal² tendencies could be seen particularly in England and Wales and also in France and the Netherlands (Cavadino and Dignan 2006: 215; 2007: 284; Goldson 2002: 392; Tonry 2004; Muncie and Goldson 2006; Bailleau and Cartuyvels 2007; Muncie 2008; Cimamonti, di Marino, and Zappalà 2010). In other countries, such as Germany and Switzerland, a moderate system of minimum intervention with...

    • 2 Juvenile Justice without a Juvenile Court: A Note on Scandinavian Exceptionalism
      (pp. 63-118)

      Scandinavian (Nordic) countries have a population of around 25 million (9.2 million in Sweden, 5.5 million in Denmark, 5.3 million in Finland, 4.8 million in Norway, and 320,000 in Iceland). The five countries share much common history and many common traits. All have democratic constitutions with governmental power divided among judicial, executive, and legislative branches. All have multiparty political systems in which coalition governments are the norm. Legislative power is vested in national parliaments whose members are elected in multimember districts on the basis of proportional representation. All are what comparative political scientists call consensus as contrasted with conflict political...


    • 3 The Development and Prospect of Juvenile Justice in the People’s Republic of China
      (pp. 121-144)

      There are many reasons why the history and current conditions of juvenile justice in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are not well known to the citizens of other nations. Juvenile courts were not a part of the legal order for more than a generation after the creation of the PRC in 1949 and were the product of local initiatives rather than national legislation. The gradual and decentralized process that produced thousands of juvenile courts in the 1980s has not received extensive publicity within the PRC or widespread notice abroad. The national legislation that recognized and encouraged juvenile courts in...

    • 4 Juvenile Justice in India
      (pp. 145-197)

      The term “juvenile justice” is used narrowly to refer to the adjudication, reformation, and rehabilitation process after a child has committed an offense. In its wider sense, it includes preventive measure before the advent of delinquency. In India, the Juvenile Justice Act of 2000 covers the wider field of prevention of delinquency by bringing children in need of care and protection within its ambit as well as making provision for dealing with children who are alleged or found to have committed an offense. This chapter, however, examines the theory and practice of the provisions relating to children who have committed...

    • 5 Myths and Realities of Juvenile Justice in Latin America
      (pp. 198-248)

      Latin America has been an almost forgotten region in the academic English-speaking literature on comparative juvenile justice systems.¹ A first goal of this chapter is to provide an overview of the history of Latin American juvenile justice systems until today. The evolution of Latin American juvenile justice presents two crucial moments: (1) its creation at the beginning of the twentieth century with the importation of the American model of juvenile courts and (2) its transformation in the past twenty-five years with the incorporation of international human rights law into domestic law. While in the first period Latin American laws conceived...

    • 6 Juvenile Justice in Muslim-Majority States
      (pp. 249-288)

      Is there an “Islamic juvenile justice”? This chapter provides overviews of laws relating to the crimes of minors in three distinct, legal-historical moments: in orthodox Islamic jurisprudence as developed in the late antique and medieval eras (roughly 610–ca. 1250 CE), in modern Islamic legal history (19th and 20th centuries), and in the legal systems of many contemporary Muslim-majority nation-states.¹ “Juvenile justice” is, of course, a modern category, and my objective is not to locate it in historical contexts but rather to understand how premodern Muslim jurists defined minors and dealt with their crimes. As will become apparent, many orthodox...


    • 7 Juvenile Justice in Poland
      (pp. 291-326)

      A juvenile justice system distinct from the adult criminal law was shaped in Poland for the first time in the 1920s and 1930s. The 1928 Code of Criminal Procedure provided for separate juvenile courts as well as specific rules of proceedings in cases concerning juvenile offenders. Substantive provisions on the criminal responsibility of juvenile offenders were included in the 1932 Criminal Code.

      Due to political reasons, discussions on a separate juvenile justice system started in Poland slightly later than in other European countries, such as Belgium, France, Germany, and Switzerland. In those countries, the Youth Court Movement emerged at the...

    • 8 Freedom in the Making: Juvenile Justice in South Africa
      (pp. 327-369)

      This account of the story of juvenile justice in South Africa begins in precolonial times. Prior to the colonization of South Africa, a child who had offended against customary norms appeared before a traditional court, the purpose of which was to solve the problem, to provide restitution or compensation, and to reconcile the families concerned. Once the “civilized” laws of Europe arrived, these processes were largely swept aside in favor of a punitive criminal justice system based on imprisonment, deportation, and corporal punishment.

      It would be a gross oversimplification to depict South Africa’s subsequent history of children in the criminal...

    • 9 Legislative Impact, Political Change, and Juvenile Detention: Comparing South Korea and Japan
      (pp. 370-380)

      This chapter reports on my effort to assess the impact of legislative change and political change on juvenile justice policy in two neighboring Asian nations, Japan and South Korea. The two nations are close geographically and have legal systems more remarkable for their similarities than their differences. Japan is the larger nation, a dominant regional power until the end of the Second World War and a fully developed economic power in the world by 1985. South Korea has about one-third the population of Japan and did not begin its rapid economic development until around 1960. Japan has been a functioning...


    • 10 One Theme or Many? The Search for a Deep Structure in Global Juvenile Justice
      (pp. 383-412)

      The ambition of this chapter is to use the global portrait of juvenile courts found in the volume to address a central and essential question: why is it almost universal in our contemporary world that special policies toward young offenders have come hand in hand with separate judicial institutions? The historical pattern is that dissatisfaction with the outcomes that young persons faced in criminal courts led to not merely different policies toward young offenders but different judicial institutions to generate case outcomes. This imperative for institutional separation almost always goes beyond the practical safeguards of separate institutions of confinement and...

    (pp. 413-416)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 417-434)