We can then make a speculation on the future and offer recommendations to confront this unique challenge.
In the last 200 years in the United States, children have held a special status within the framework of the law. However, the age at which they were considered juveniles has been subject to change over the years. In the early 1800s, most children that we consider to be juveniles today were treated as adults under the law. As late as 1827, a child at the age of 10 was considered to be of age to accept full adult criminal responsibility under the law in Illinois (Ferro 2003 p.3). In fact, the term 'delinquency' did not appear in US law until the turn of the twentieth century as social upheaval transformed our urban areas and juvenile crime became more prevalent and problematic. During this period, industrialization had brought people together in large urban areas from all over the country and the world seeking employment in the newly established factories in cities such as Chicago, New York, and Detroit. Social pressures and poverty fueled rising crime in the general population. This rise in crime among adults was mirrored in the juvenile population.
States have often held great authority over the handling of juvenile crime. Delinquents would often be relegated to poorhouses, county farms, or reform schools. ...Show more