The year 1999 marks the 100th anniversary of the juvenile court. At the time of its creation, the juvenile court was heralded as one of the greatest advancements in the cause for children. While few will argue with the fact that the juvenile court has been a constructive force in promoting the welfare of children, the court has also been the subject of ongoing and increasingly sever criticism. The problems and abuses that plagued the juvenile court eventually reached the United States Supreme Court, whose decisions transformed the juvenile court from a social welfare institution into a court of law for young people.
Now, the juvenile court is faced with legislative policy changes resulting in a loss of jurisdiction over serious, chronic, and in particular, violent delinquent acts. The juvenile court's centennial arrives at a time when the voices calling for its abolition are getting louder and gaining support.
Will the Juvenile Court System Survive?, a special issue of THE ANNALS, features articles written by some of the country's leading juvenile justice policymakers, practitioners, researchers and child advocates. Articles in this issue cover a diverse range of topics:
· Young women and the juvenile justice system
· The role of the juvenile court in children's mental health
· The future of youth corrections
· Reassessing the need for a separate juvenile justice court
As the turn of the century approaches, scholars and practitioners are asking the questions of whether the juvenile court will survive. This special issue features valuable discussions and debates on all aspects of the juvenile court and its future in the United States.