Journal of Law & Family Studies
For more than a century, youth crime policies have oscillated between periods of more lenient treatment and harsher punishment. Justice officials and the public alternatively attributed high crime rates either to ";soft"; rehabilitative policies and advocated ";tougher"; sanctions, or to excessively harsh penalties that failed adequately to treat youths. A century ago, Progressive reformers combined a more modern construction of childhood with a more scientific conception of social control to create a judicial-welfare alternative and to remove children from the adult criminal process. 2 They used juvenile courts to assimilate, ";Americanize,"; and control ";other people's"; children.
Barry C. Feld, Unmitigated Punishment: Adolescent Criminal Responsibility and LWOP Sentences, 10 J.L. & Fam. Stud. 11 (2007), available at http://scholarship.law.umn.edu/faculty_articles/300.