This course focuses primarily on the application of criminal law and criminal procedure to minors. It addresses how the criminal law dealt with juveniles before the establishment of the first juvenile court; the history of the juvenile court; the introduction of due process principles into juvenile delinquency proceedings in the 1960s and the counter-reformation which followed; procedural protections afforded to minors and how they differ from procedural protections in place for adults; the role of counsel in representing a juvenile charged with delinquency. In addressing these issues we will consider legal doctrine, sociological and psychological theories as to why youth violate the law, and criminal justice policy and recent discoveries in adolescent brain development and their impact on criminal responsibility and culpability. Finally, the course will consider dispositional options available to courts and will explore which are most effective in reducing further law breaking.
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