A History of Juvenile Justice Policies in the United States ― A Sociological Perspective 

Hideo Tokuoka / 著





This book is an attempt to discuss the transition of the criminal policy for juvenile delinquency (juvenile justice policies) in the United States from the colonial era to the present. A 16-year-old murderer who killed another person who would have previously been treated as an adult, or general criminal, but eventually became recognized as a subject of "juvenile delinquent," and these days, again, juveniles are returning to the category of adult criminal. This change will be described.

Despite the keen interest in youth delinquency and a large number of publications, as well as the fact that criminal research and the nature and operation of criminal law should be two pillars of crime research, there are very few studies on the topic. This theme is a prime area for interdisciplinary research for criminal policy science and sociology of crime. However, there is currently no consensus, so behavioral scientists, such as sociologists, have focused on delinquent juveniles, focusing on accurately understanding the actual circumstances of delinquency and investigating its causes. Even though they are interested in the theory of misconduct, there is a tendency to debate policy. On the other hand, minor interest in juvenile criminal procedures in the field of criminal policy is evident in the chapter structure of introductory books. Law scholars have little interest in behavioral science theory.

Until now, the actual policies and causes of crime and delinquency have been studied separately, but policy has influenced the rise and fall of the theory. Also, in situations where the policies themselves can cause problems, research itself has to consider causal steps.

A historical perspective is needed to understand the mutual provision of policy and theory in the cyclical flow of theory to policy, then again to theory, then again to policy. American society is an excellent field for such a view. Because, as it is said, U.S. society is a "place of great social experimentation," policies are being changed one after another in a manner that accurately reflects the delinquency theory and social consciousness of each era.

It has been more than a dozen years since I read the literature before and after the establishment of House of Refuge during my stay in the United States and renewed my thought that "history repeats itself." Since then, I have been collecting and publishing documents little by little, but I have often been idle during that time. It was a great pleasure to be granted a half-year vacation at Kansai University in 1992 and to receive a Kansai University incentive research fund. I would like to thank my seniors and colleagues for their generous understanding and support in my recent private university situation, which has been very busy. Thanks again to Osamu Sato, University of Tokyo Press, who once again took care of me.


Born in Kyoto (1941〜 ). Graduated from Kyoto University, Faculty of Education in 1964. Currently a professor at the Faculty of Sociology, Kansai University. Dr. of Educatin (Kyoto Univ.)


Major books and dissertations

"A Perspective on Analyzing Social Pathology" (1987, The University of Tokyo Press), "Basic Sociology (2nd Edition)" (Co-editor, 1990, Fukumura Publishing) ("Readings Japanese Sociology, vol.16 Education" 1986, University of Tokyo Press), and "Youth Issues and Educational Pathology" (Research on Educational Sociology, Vol. 50, 1992), etc.



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