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Title: Not Quite Treatment, Not Quite Punishment: A Case Study of American Juvenile Justice in the Get-Tough Era (1987-2009)
Authors: Schlossman, Michael
Advisors: Pager, Devah
Contributors: Sociology Department
Keywords: Children and Youth
Historical Sociology
Juvenile Delinquency
Juvenile Justice
Subjects: Sociology
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: In spite of the proliferation of punitive legislation in the 1990s and 2000s, the increase in youth incarceration during the "get tough" era was of much lower magnitude and was not as long lasting as the incarceration trends in the adult system. Through an in-depth study of discretionary decision-making in the Allegheny County Juvenile Court (Pittsburgh, PA), I analyze how juvenile justice officials responded to the increase in youth violence and greater fear of crime in a way that did not simply reflect the polarizing politics of this era and managed to keep the majority of delinquent youth living in the community. In the 1990s and 2000s, Pennsylvania and Allegheny County were at the epicenter of the Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) movement, which adapted the juvenile court's historic focus on rehabilitation to a more public-safety conscious era. Drawing on a wide range of archival, interview, and observational evidence obtained over the course of three years studying the Allegheny County Juvenile Probation Department and the Community Intensive Supervision Program (CISP), I examine both the ideals and on-the-ground realities of the BARJ juvenile court. I contend that BARJ brought into practice a novel methodology for achieving the goals of treatment and punishment for a more public-safety conscious era, which I call the "new interventionism." Court officials increasingly invested in intensifying community supervision and treatment, finding that community-based programs could be utilized to incapacitate as well as to offer therapeutic services. The new interventionism, thus, reoriented the juvenile justice system around getting youth to experience short-term behavior change in a community setting. Unlike the adult system during the get-tough era and the pre-BARJ juvenile court, the new juvenile justice model exemplified how an intrusive state might be in the best interest of offenders and society. Through a case study approach, this work explores the inner workings of the new interventionism.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Sociology

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