The Fall of the Child Savers, The Rise of Juvenile Lockdown, and The Evolution of Juvenile Justice in Twentieth-Century America Open Access

Flikier, Rebecca (2017)

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In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in In re Gault that juveniles are legal persons entitled to procedural and due process rights. While liberals at the time hailed this ruling as a victory for children's rights, historians have since blamed the decision for the rise of juvenile lockdown facilities. However, the process of criminalizing and adultifying juveniles began long before In re Gault. This thesis tracks the cultural, socioeconomic, and political changes, beginning during World War II, that changed how Americans viewed children, and subsequently, how the criminal justice system treated juvenile offenders. It relies largely on the writings and correspondence of Justine Wise Polier, a juvenile court judge in New York City from 1935-1973. It situates juvenile justice in New York within the context of national trends and events. It examines contemporary periodicals, expert opinions, political platforms, and legal proceedings that collectively expose the changing public view of juveniles, and juvenile delinquents, over the course of the twentieth century. Ultimately, it seeks to understand how social movements and processes transformed the American perception of childhood and determined the development of the juvenile justice system.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 8

Chapter II 32

Chapter III 55

Epilogue 77

Bibliography 82

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