SAGE Journal Articles
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Abstract: Systematic assessment of the substantial research evidence on “what works” has shown that flagship programs have a modest effect, on average, in changing the future behavior of young offenders. Yet, actual juvenile justice systems do not typically deliver the modest benefits provided by programs selected for evaluation, and probably they never will. Comparative research shows that a passive and lenient juvenile justice system may produce the same level of youth offending as an active and punitive one. Evidence that some programs work should not be used as a platform for expanding the scope and activity of the juvenile justice system. Instead, the influence of juvenile justice on the future behavior of young offenders should be seen as just one element in the evaluation of a system that will always struggle to meet a complex range of partly conflicting objectives.
Abstract: Crime and public policy continue to be salient issues in the 21st century. This article reviews juvenile justice policy and examines initiatives that demonstrate positive directions for the future of the juvenile justice system. The authors summarize the history of juvenile justice and review recent developments that warrant further research to demonstrate rational, effective policies, and strategies for responding to juvenile delinquency. The influences of ideology, politics, and the media on public policy are discussed, and the authors consider future issues in juvenile justice.