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Rethinking the shame: The intersection of shaming punishments and American juvenile justice.

Harden, Alicia N.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2012) U.C. Davis Journal of Juvenile Law and Policy. 16:93-153.

This Article offers an alternative to the binary of either banning shaming punishments or allowing judges to mete them out without due regard to potential consequences. Part I lays the foundation of the juvenile justice system. It details how parens patriae drove the initial juvenile court system into existence and how later decisions and statutes have changed the nature of the original system. Part II discusses the tensions between shaming punishments and the ideals of the juvenile justice system. Specifically, this section examines shaming’s potential deterrent effects and concludes that, because shaming’s ability to rehabilitate is unknown, it fails to serve as a legitimate sanction under the purposes of most juvenile court systems. This section also argues that judge-issued shaming punishments introduce juveniles into physically and emotionally vulnerable positions. Such public exposure for the offense undermines the traditionally confidential nature of the juvenile justice system. Finally, this section examines individual state purposes for juvenile justice. It concludes
that most states recognize juveniles as individuals needing judicial intervention to address their needs and promote
their best interests. Part III describes three possible solutions to solve the compatibility problem: abolishing shaming
punishments, legislative control of shaming punishments, and controlling juvenile shaming sanctions through plea bargaining.
While an admittedly imperfect solution, this Article advocates for control through plea bargains. The Article
briefly concludes. (excerpt)


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