Minnesota Law Review
Part I briefly analyzes the social history of the juvenile court and argues that the progressive reformers who created the juvenile court designed it to discriminate against "other peoples' children," a feature that carries over into contemporary juvenile justice administration. Part II analyzes the "constitutional domestication" of the juvenile court. It places the U.S. Supreme Court's juvenile court "due process" decisions in a broader social structural context and argues that the Court emphasized procedural safeguards as part of its broader agenda to protect the civil rights and liberty interests of minorities. Part III analyzes the impact of the juvenile court's procedural revolution on its substantive authority; and Part IV examines why the juvenile court's transformation occurred so readily, contending that the juvenile court's fundamental flaw is not simply a century-long failure of implementation, but a failure of conception. Finally, Part V argues that once a State uncouples social welfare from social control, then no need remains for a separate juvenile court. It explores, on the one hand, how a criminal justice system should respond to the youthfulness of some offenders. It analyzes, on the other hand, how public policies might more appropriately address the "real needs" of all youth, regardless of their criminality.
Barry C. Feld, The Transformation of the Juvenile Court--Part II: Social Structure, Race, and the "Crack Down" on Youth Crime, 84 Minn. L. Rev. 327 (1999), available at https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/faculty_articles/291.