Special Issues in Juvenile Justice

Keith R. Cruise, Fordham University (at time of publication: LSUHSC Juvenile Justice Program)

APA Citation: Cruise, K. R. (2006). Special issues in juvenile justice. Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice, 2(3), 177-204.

The final version of record is available at Applied Psychology in Criminal Justice.


From the original juvenile court founded in Cook County, Illinois, to current juvenile court systems across the United States, the philosophy of juvenile justice has reflected society’s predominant views on youth and adolescence. The first juvenile courts developed during the industrial revolution when social reformers were concerned about the dangers children faced in the workplace. In the early 1900s, compulsory education was promoted as a mechanism to improve the status of poor and immigrant children as well as a tool of social control (Steinberg, 2002). G. Stanley Hall had defined the boundaries of adolescence and described the ensuing “storm and stress” as a universal experience of all youth. Under the doctrine of parens patriae, juvenile court systems were developed with the primary goal of rehabilitating wayward youth.