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American Juvenile Justice$
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Franklin E. Zimring

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195181166

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181166.001.0001

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The Problem of Individual Variation

The Problem of Individual Variation

Chapter:
(p.23) Three The Problem of Individual Variation
Source:
American Juvenile Justice
Author(s):

Franklin E. Zimring

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195181166.003.0016

This chapter focuses on legal tactics for evaluating young persons during adolescence, a period when kids vary enormously in their skills and maturity. Competence testing makes sense in public law when one of two conditions is met: extending a privilege creates a danger to the user and to others; or a special privilege is requested—for example, entering practice as a doctor, lawyer, or accountant. Discretion, particularly parental discretion, is an important part of a well-conceived regulatory scheme, unless there is a good reason to exclude it. Age-grading within adolescence is particularly appropriate when the capacity to test competence is weak and the consequences of mistakes threaten the individual or others in the community with substantial harm.

Keywords:   adolescence, young people, age grading, adolescent development, competence testing

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