Source: (2011) Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law. 20:105-141.

This Article compares the juvenile delinquency codes of Oaxaca and California in order to explore contrasting approaches to juvenile justice, addressing each country’s practices in light of research regarding adolescent development and international human rights standards. The use of restorative justice in Oaxaca’s legal code—and the accompanying emphasis on victims’ rights—are contrasted with California’s focus on punishing juvenile offenders. Part II of this Article sets forth a brief history of Mexico’s recent criminal justice reforms. Part III provides contextual information regarding the socio-political climate of Oaxaca and the creation of its new juvenile justice system. The Article discusses California’s approach to juvenile crime in Part IV. Part V begins the comparative analysis by addressing the ways in which each state defines juvenile crime. In Part VI, the Article addresses each state’s compliance with international human rights standards, specifically considering the treatment of juveniles as adults, the use of incarceration, and the characterization of juvenile offenses as prior convictions for sentencing enhancements in the future. Part VII discusses the restorative justice conferences utilized in Oaxaca to resolve most juvenile delinquency cases and explores the role of victims in the juvenile justice process. (excerpt)