This Comment provides an historical analysis of the principles, understandings and laws that have formed and altered the American juvenile correction system. Part I offers an historical synopsis of the societal understanding that juvenile offenders are less culpable than their adult counterparts and explains the process by which this concept came to permeate early American common law. By discussing the early nineteenth-century juvenile correction reformation movement and the cases that followed, Part I also illustrates the development and early failures of the American juvenile correction system. Part II explains the history of juvenile waiver laws, from their early presence in the American juvenile correction system to their stringent nationwide alteration during the 1980s and 90s. In Part III, this Comment discusses the unconstitutional results of increased juvenile waiver legislation and examines the United States Supreme Court’s judicial correction of such effects. Part IV concludes that despite the roadblocks to effectuating necessary changes within the juvenile correction system, the interaction among various omnipresent and undeniable forces requires that the States and their judiciaries do so.
Recommended CitationChristopher J. Menihan, Criminal Mind or Inculpable Adolescence? A Glimpse at the History, Failures, and Required Changes of the American Juvenile Correction System, 35 Pace L. Rev. 761 (2014)
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol35/iss2/7