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Appropriate Approaches to Youthful Justice

Muhly, Ernest J.P
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) EcoResolve Occasional Paper. Spring 2002.

In this document, Muhly explores restorative and transformative justice in relation to juvenile justice. He maintains that much of the debate about juvenile justice ignores two significant considerations. (1) Youth offending mirrors offending behavior in adults that discounts the value of people, communities, the environment, and democracy. (2) In terms of their development, young people are biologically and mentally immature; hence, punitive and retributive responses to young offenders are inappropriate measures for holding them accountable and responsible. With all of this in view, Muhly states that justice requires two main components: (1) a just environment; and (2) a just process for resolving conflicts. Restorative and transformative approaches to justice address these two components. In restorative and transformative approaches, a healthy, moral order in community becomes the basis for justice.


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