Boston University Law Review
The United States Supreme Court's decision In re Gault 1 transformed the juvenile court into a very different institution than that envisioned by its Progressive creators. 2 Judicial and legislative efforts to harmonize the juvenile court with Gault's constitutional mandate have modified the purpose, process, and operation of the juvenile justice system. The Progressives envisioned a procedurally informal court with individualized, offender-oriented dispositional practices. The Supreme Court's due process decisions impose procedural formality on the juvenile court's traditional, individualized-treatment sentencing schemes. As the juvenile court system deviates from the Progressive ideal, it increasingly resembles, both procedurally and substantively, the adult criminal court system. 3
Barry C. Feld, The Juvenile Court Meets the Principle of Offense: Punishment, Treatment, and the Difference It Makes, 68 B.U. L. Rev. 821 (1988), available at http://scholarship.law.umn.edu/faculty_articles/285.