Adolescent Brain Science and Juvenile Justice

Terry A. Maroney

in Law and Neuroscience

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599844
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725227 | DOI:

Series: Current Legal Issues

Adolescent Brain Science and Juvenile Justice

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This chapter first traces the ascendance of developmental neuroscience within juvenile justice. It then demonstrates that, despite optimistic projections, adolescent brain science has had, is likely to have, and should have, only moderate impact in the courts. Neuroscience can, however, play a limited role in juvenile justice policy. It reinforces the (once) noncontroversial idea that, as a group, young people differ from adults in systematic ways directly relevant to their relative culpability, deterrability, and potential for rehabilitation. Therefore, legal decision-makers exercising a policy-making role — usually legislatures but sometimes the courts — ought to consider developmental neuroscience one source among many upon which to draw when making legally relevant assumptions about adolescents as a group.

Keywords: developmental neuroscience; juvenile justice; adolescent brain science; young people; rehabilitation

Chapter.  13864 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law

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