The Procedural Implications of Social Science Research

Christopher Slobogin and Mark R. Fondacaro

in Juveniles at Risk

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199778355
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895151 | DOI:

Series: American Psychology-Law Society Series

The Procedural Implications of Social Science Research

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  • Criminal and Forensic Psychology


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This chapter presents a framework for reconceptualizing due process in juvenile justice with the ultimate aim of striking an optimal balance between fairness, accuracy, and efficiency in handling delinquency cases. The first part recaps the procedural history of the juvenile court. Its primary message is that the Supreme Court's procedural reform of the juvenile justice system was based on the Due Process Clause and general principles of fundamental fairness, which leaves the door open to flexible approaches to juvenile justice procedure. The second part then plumbs developments in the broader constitutional jurisprudence of procedure, particularly in the administrative and civil law arenas, which enthusiastically endorse a flexible view of due process. With the legal groundwork laid for the proposition that juvenile justice procedure can be rethought, the third part summarizes research on “procedural justice,” which suggests that the adversarial model of procedure is not necessarily the most “just” model, whether viewed from a subjective or objective perspective. The chapter closes with a discussion of the implications of this research, and a proposal that due process in juvenile justice be reconceptualized in a way that allows empirical research and a performance-based management system to identify those procedures that best promote fairness, accuracy, and efficiency.

Keywords: juvenile justice system; juvenile offenders; procedural reform; juvenile court; procedural justice; administrative law; civil law

Chapter.  12946 words. 

Subjects: Criminal and Forensic Psychology

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