The politics of race and juvenile justice: The "due process revolution" and the conservative reaction

Barry C. Feld

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Through the prism of race, this article analyzes the social structural and political context of juvenile justice law reforms over the past half century. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the Supreme Court imposed national legal and equality norms on recalcitrant southern states that still adhered to a segregated Jim Crow legal regime, and these norms provided the impetus for the Supreme Court's juvenile court "due process" decisions in the 1960s. The article then analyzes sociological, crimmologieal, racial factors, media coverage, and political dynamics of the 1970s and 1980s that contributed to the "get tough" legislative reformulation of juvenile justice policies in the 1990s. During this period, conservative Republican politicians pursued a "southern strategy," used crime as a code word for race for electoral advantage, and advocated "get tough" policies, which led to punitive changes in juvenile justice laws and practices and have had a disproportionate impact on racial minorities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)765-800
Number of pages36
JournalJustice Quarterly
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

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