William H. Barton

in The Oxford Handbook of Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Justice

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780195385106
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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The term detention refers to that part of the juvenile justice system that handles youths between the time of their arrest and court hearings. Detention centers are secure facilities intended to hold youths deemed too risky to release during that time period. This article attempts to provide an overview of juvenile detention in the United States. It also addresses a range of questions and issues concerning the use of juvenile detention, discussing the purpose and intention of detention and arguing if it really matches its intended purpose. It also gives information on the number of young people placed in juvenile detention, and the reasons and procedures of them landing there. Furthermore, it describes the consequences of juvenile detention policies and practices for society and for the children who are affected by them. Finally, it poses a question, asking if there is a better way to structure juvenile detention.

Keywords: detention; arrest; court hearing; juvenile justice; detention policies; detention centers

Article.  12173 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice ; Prisons and Jails

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