Book Review: JUVENILE JUSTICE: ADVANCING RESEARCH,
POLICY AND PRACTICE
By Diane Geraghty*
In a 1998 article marking the 100th anniversary of the Juvenile Court,
E. Hunter Hurst, III observed that the enthusiasm that had
accompanied the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in In re Gault and
the juvenile rights movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s had
already been supplanted by a more pessimistic view of juvenile
crime.1 Fueled by concerns over a rise in serious youthful offending
and a loss of confidence in the ability of the traditional juvenile court
to curb this escalation, states had begun enacting “get tough” juvenile
justice policies.2 Eventually these policies took hold on a national
scale and resulted in larger numbers of youth being tried in adult
court and in longer sentences for youth sentenced in juvenile court.3
As Thomas Bernard and others have noted, however, juvenile justice
policy historically moves in cycles, with the philosophical pendulum
swinging between rehabilitation and punishment at regular intervals.4
Perhaps not surprisingly then, in the decade following the Juvenile
Court’s centennial there has been a renewed focus on identifying new
and more effective responses to juvenile crime. This effort has been
aided by a growing body of research that provides a scientific basis
for the centuries-old perception that adolescents are developmentally
* A. Kathleen Beazley Chair in Children’s Law and Director, Civitas ChildLaw
Center, Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Professor Geraghty also serves
as faculty adviser to the Children’s Legal Rights Journal.
1 E. Hunter Hurst, III, The Juvenile Court at 100 Years of Age: The Death of
Optimism, JUV. & FAM. CT. J., Nov. 1998, at 39, 44.
2 Id. at 40-43.
4 See THOMAS J. BERNARD & MEGAN C. KURLYCHEK, THE CYCLE OF JUVENILE
JUSTICE 3 (2d. 2010).