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Restorative Justice in the 21st Century

But while some features of this orientation remain

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Unformatted text preview: le some features of this orientation remain, some observers have noted that the juvenile justice system has moved in recent years toward a retributive justice philosophy which gives first priority to punishment.1 Adolescents in general are viewed increasingly through the lens of suspicion and threat, and delinquent youth are seen primarily as offenders who deserve punishment rather than youth who present clear needs and risks. Moreover, the current juvenile justice system faces a crisis of confidence. Fear of violent juvenile crime and a sense of frustration with both real and perceived system ineffectiveness are fueling major changes in juvenile justice across the nation. If unchecked, these changes could culminate in the elimination of a separate and distinctive justice system whose mandate is to respond to youth crime. Unable to stem the tide of declining public support, the juvenile justice system now finds increasing numbers of youth removed from its authority leaving a system whose jurisdiction, influence, mandate and credibility are shrinking. Can the...
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