The Juvenile Court: The Ideal -vs- The Real
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I began my study under the assumption that the juvenile court, as it was originally conceived of,and was intended to work, had failed. I then set out to discover the reasons why and to determine if in fact the situation was as dismal as the majority of authors writing on the subject portrayed it to be. I have ended up with an attempt to integrate my experience at the Kalamazoo court into the context of the paper, in the hopes of illustrating the problems of the contemporary juvenile court, and how they are in some measure being met. With this explanation in mind then, we may now turn to the basic format of the paper which will include five sections consisting of: 1. The historical and philosophical foundations of the juvenile court, which I have included as I feel that it is essential to understand the foundations of the court in order to understand it now, or to put it another way, by understanding the historical principles on which the court was based, one can understand the dilemmas that it currently finds itself in. 2. The early questions and problems that were raised concerning the courts philosophy and practice. 3. A section which I have entitled Legal Revisionism, which will discuss the major changes that have occurred in the court's structure and the implications of these changes. 4. The juvenile court's operation, and juvenile justice processes which will discuss the structure of the juvenile court, and will be based essentially on the model of Kalamazoo. In this section I will also discuss several problems of the structure. 5. A section which I have entitled Contemporary Problems which will discuss several of the problems that still plague the court, and several changes that have occurred in the court. It is my hope that the elements which I have included in this study will illustrate the complexities of the system well enough, and will provide the reader with some insights into the workings of the juvenile justice system.