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International Perspectives and Empirical Findings on Child ParticipationFrom Social Exclusion to Child-Inclusive Policies$
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Tali Gal and Benedetta Duramy

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199366989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199366989.001.0001

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The Developmental Stakes of Youth Participation in American Juvenile Court

The Developmental Stakes of Youth Participation in American Juvenile Court

Chapter:
Chapter 13 The Developmental Stakes of Youth Participation in American Juvenile Court
Source:
International Perspectives and Empirical Findings on Child Participation
Author(s):

Emily Buss

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199366989.003.0014

In the United States, Juvenile Court jurisdiction targets young people at serious risk of anti-social development to whom society is committed to offering another chance, with some assistance, to develop in a more pro-social direction. This chance is offered, however, through a dispositional process that undermines the law’s pro-social goals. An extensive body of literature in developmental and social psychology suggests that a dramatic transformation of that process that brought the young people to the center of the decision-making could materially enhance the developmental value of that process for young people. It could offer them meaningful opportunities to develop their decision-making skills and foster an understanding of self as a part of, rather than outside of, the community of law enforcement. This chapter brings together current law and practice with the social science literature to argue for the undertaking of a process experiment in Juvenile Court.

Keywords:   Juvenile Justice, Youth Participation, Restorative Justice, Therapeutic Justice, Adolescent Development, Legal Socialization, Social Identity Development

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