Areas of Concern in Juvenile Forensic Psychology

Areas of Concern in Juvenile Forensic Psychology

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The first juvenile court in the United States was established in Illinois in 1899. The purpose of its development was to establish an
atmosphere of rehabilitation rather than punishment as was seen in the criminal court system. In the past quarter century, a greater number of violent crimes have been committed by those under the age of 18. Society’s reaction has been to remove such youth from the
rehabilitative arm of the juvenile courts and try many of these individuals in the adult criminal system. This has prompted a
significant amount of research in the area of adolescent development, juvenile justice, and the practice of forensic psychology with
juvenile offenders.  The MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice was founded to provide research on various questions related to juvenile crime and justice. To date, the Foundation has provided, for public review, much empirical data on the differences among juveniles of various ages and their relationship to adult criminals. This important research has covered topics from juvenile competency to stand trial to juvenile psychopathy. The research helps to improve understanding of the unique characteristics of juvenile offenders, in order to best address public safety concerns and provide the best treatment for these individuals.

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