Juvenile Law Violators, Human Rights, and the Development of New Juvenile Justice Systems

Bloomsbury Publishing
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This volume brings together scholars and practitioners specialising in juvenile justice from the US, Europe, alongside scholars from Africa and Asia who are working on human rights issues in developing countries or countries in transition. The book thus presents two types of papers, the first being descriptive and analytical academic papers on whole systems of juvenile justice or certain parts thereof (e.g., aftercare, restorative justice, etc.). These topics are presented as essential for the development of new juvenile justice systems. The second group of papers deal with efforts to promote reform through international activity (PRI, DCI, DIHR), and through efforts to utilise modern theory in national reforms in developing countries (Malawi, Nepal, and Serbia) or in countries experiencing current or recent political and systemic changes or developments (South Africa, Germany, and Poland). The volume is also intended to throw light on recent trends in juvenile crime in various countries, the relationship between actual developments and popular and political perceptions and reactions to such developments, including the efforts to locate effective alternatives to the incarceration of young offenders. At the same time as the search for such alternatives is being intensified through international exchange and experimentation, the amelioration of harsh measures against juvenile law violators is often countered by political and public outcries for security and demonstrative public intervention against misbehavior. A streak of new moralism is clearly discernable as a counteracting force against more humane reform efforts. The volume throws light on developments in the actual parameters of juvenile offending, public and political demands for security and public intervention, and measures to provide interventions which are at the same time compatible with international human rights instruments.
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About the author

Eric L. Jensen is Professor of Sociology, University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, U.S.A.
Jørgen Jepsen is Senior Consultant at the Danish Institute for Human Rights, and Associate Professor Emeritus in Criminology at the University of Aarhus, Denmark.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing
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Published on
Oct 4, 2006
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Pages
496
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ISBN
9781847312853
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Criminal Law / Juvenile Offenders
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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John Hubner
A powerful, bracing and deeply spiritual look at intensely, troubled youth, Last Chance in Texas gives a stirring account of the way one remarkable prison rehabilitates its inmates.

While reporting on the juvenile court system, journalist John Hubner kept hearing about a facility in Texas that ran the most aggressive–and one of the most successful–treatment programs for violent young offenders in America. How was it possible, he wondered, that a state like Texas, famed for its hardcore attitude toward crime and punishment, could be leading the way in the rehabilitation of violent and troubled youth?

Now Hubner shares the surprising answers he found over months of unprecedented access to the Giddings State School, home to “the worst of the worst”: four hundred teenage lawbreakers convicted of crimes ranging from aggravated assault to murder. Hubner follows two of these youths–a boy and a girl–through harrowing group therapy sessions in which they, along with their fellow inmates, recount their crimes and the abuse they suffered as children. The key moment comes when the young offenders reenact these soul-shattering moments with other group members in cathartic outpourings of suffering and anger that lead, incredibly, to genuine remorse and the beginnings of true empathy . . . the first steps on the long road to redemption.

Cutting through the political platitudes surrounding the controversial issue of juvenile justice, Hubner lays bare the complex ties between abuse and violence. By turns wrenching and uplifting, Last Chance in Texas tells a profoundly moving story about the children who grow up to inflict on others the violence that they themselves have suffered. It is a story of horror and heartbreak, yet ultimately full of hope.
Edward Humes
Shannon Adamcik

Sixteen-year-old Cassie Jo Stoddard agreed to house sit for relatives on the weekend of September 22, 2006. It was something the teenager had done before…but this time something went terribly wrong. When the family returned home at the end of the weekend they found Cassie lying on their living room floor brutally stabbed to death.


Detectives focused on two of Cassie’s classmates who had briefly visited her on the night that she was murdered: Torey Adamcik and Brian Draper. Initially both boys denied any knowledge of the crime, but after two separate interrogations, Brian Draper told detectives a chilling story of murder straight out of a horror movie. The two boys were immediately arrested, and a shocking videotape was discovered that seemed to depict the two teens not only planning the cold-blooded murder, but celebrating it.


Community outrage was strong and immediate. The public demanded justice. But was the video actually what it appeared to be: a cold-blooded documentary that detailed the plotting of Cassie’s murder; or something else entirely? Could anyone uncover the truth in time and convince a jury that sometimes things aren't always what they appear to be?


The Guilty Innocent is narrated by Shannon Adamcik, mother of Torey, one of the accused boys. It takes readers behind the scenes of a trial where prosecutors cared more about public opinion than truth, defense attorneys, who had never argued a murder case, were in over their heads, and a young boy’s life hung in the balance.


The United States is the only country in the world that will charge a juvenile as an adult and sentence them to life without parole. As the mother of one such child, I know exactly what happens when a juvenile is placed in adult court where they cannot defend themselves. They are immediately cut off from all human contact, locked in isolation, and railroaded through a justice system they simply cannot comprehend. Consequently, many of these juveniles are sentenced too much longer and harsher terms than their adult counterparts. I've personally lived through this, and I was compelled to write about it.


I began for the simple reason that I had lived through this horrendous ordeal and I ached for someone to confide in. But reliving the most painful part of my life was extraordinarily difficult. Ultimately the only reason that I was able to persevere was my deep belief that the story was important and needed to be told. That is still true.


This is a true story and no one can tell it better than the people who lived it. A crime reporter can look at the details of a case, but they cannot tell you how it feels to live through it. I can and I did. I used the pre-trial and trial transcripts, copies of the police reports, the autopsy and DNA reports, and DVD recordings of all of the evidence in the case. I've done copious research. But more importantly, I take readers step-by-step through what it feels like when your 16-year-old son is accused of first-degree murder; all the odds are stacked against him; and his defense is in the hands of attorneys you can’t fully trust to come through for you.


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