The manner in which society deals with juvenile crime implicates a wide range of legal, social, and psychological principles that often come into conflict. For example, the juvenile justice system is premised on the ideal that a child is not a "criminal" and should not be subject to the procedures or sanctions that are applied to adults. Instead, the child should receive case-specific rehabilitative services fashioned by a juvenile or family court through the use of flexible procedures unavailable to adult courts. However, over time more and more formal criminal processes have been imposed upon the juvenile justice system -- often undermining the essential purpose of that system. By contrast, even though in many respects the procedures applicable in the family court are indistinguishable from those in the adult court, and even though children are often sentenced to juvenile facilities indistinguishable in critical ways from adult prisons, children in many states -- including New York -- are not entitled to a trial by jury.
In addition to covering substantive New York juvenile delinquency practice, this course will explore these issues, as well as a range of similar theoretical and practical matters, including: the historical, constitutional, and psychological underpinnings of the system; whether it is at all effective; and alternatives (including a discussion of other jurisdictions' approach, both in the United States and elsewhere.
Various practitioners in the field -- including social workers and mental health professionals, as well as attorneys -- will participate a guest lecturers.Grading and Method of Evaluation
Letter grade with pass/fail option. Final exam.