At a Tender Age: Violent Youth and Juvenile Justice

Rita Kramer, Author Henry Holt & Company $0 (309p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0419-9
The juvenile justice system, as it operates in many parts of the country, is presented as severely flawed and outdated in this study by Kramer (In Defense of the Family), who spent three years observing the system in New York City. She documents cases of youngsters, some only 12 years old, who have committed homicide, rape and arson, but whose age shelters them from meaningful punishment. In Kramer's interviews with Family Court judges, with probation officers and staffs of correctional institutions, we hear the repetitious cadence of failure ""to restrain or retrain the violent young.'' The voices of victims, victimizers, judges, lawyers (principally Legal Aid advocates) mingle as readers thread their way through a baffling system, one that more often than not nurtures the criminal offender's contempt for the law. Disturbing questions prevail but solutions are not readily forthcoming in this enlightening, sobering journey though the milieu of criminal children. (April)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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