Myopic Justice? The Juvenile Court and Child Welfare Systems

Ira M. Schwartz, Neil Alan Weiner, Guy Enosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The two major institutions set up to assist at-risk youths—the juvenile court and the child welfare system—have failed at their common historical mission to treat, supervise, rehabilitate, protect, and care for youths. Institutional survival has almost always taken precedence over this core mission. The result has been the unintended but not unexpected victimization of their vulnerable, often already victimized young clientele. There are profound political, social, and institutional forces intense balance surrounding the two systems. Some of these forces keep the two institutions from coming apart and crumbling. Others keep them from pursuing the basic required changes that would presage meaningful institutional reform and, perhaps, revival. Despite these obstacles to change, there are still possibilities for embarking upon a politically and socially sound process of change. This process might enable the juvenile court and the child welfare system to better fulfill their mission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-141
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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