Document Type

Honors Project


Clare won the 2009 Undergraduate Paper Prize from The Law and Society Association for this honors thesis.


For decades, the juvenile court has struggled to contain two contradictory, but necessary theories of justice. This project employs an in-depth, single case study of an urban juvenile court to demonstrate that contradictory juvenile justice models constrain court actors, while also giving them discretion. Individuals within the juvenile system hold ultimate responsibility for incorporating the rehabilitative juvenile model and the traditional criminal model into their roles and practices. Court actors structure interactions and goals based on attitudes regarding juvenile identity, self-identity, and blame in order to reconcile institutional ambiguities and produce fair and just results.



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