In recent years the American public has supported a "get tough" approach to
crime. During the 1990s nearly every state passed more punitive juvenile
justice laws making it easier to try juveniles in adult courts. But how many
kids belong in adult court?
An overview of what juvenile justice professionals have seen works--and what
further improvements are needed.
Recent surveys have shown great racial disparities: black and Hispanic
adolescents are found to be arrested more frequently and serve longer sentences
in more restrictive facilities than their white counterparts.
Judges and a defense lawyer defend the idea of having a separate system for
young offenders, arguing that no child--with rare exceptions--should be
considered a lost cause.