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Alicia N. Harden

excerpted from: Alicia N. Harden, Rethinking the Shame: the Intersection of Shaming Punishments and American Juvenile Justice, 16 U.C. Davis Journal of Juvenile Law & Policy 93 (Winter 2012) (250 Footnotes Omitted)


States are divided on the purposes of their juvenile justice systems, but most states still recognize the overarching need to treat juveniles differently from adults, recognizing rehabilitation as legitimate. Thus, despite changes in juvenile court systems from the idealized systems imagined by Progressives, some of the same ideas, goals, and protections are still present. Shaming punishments conflict with juvenile justice in four ways. First, shaming punishments are not proven deterrents for either adults or youths; by imposing criminal punishment instead of intervention and rehabilitative services, juvenile shaming punishments fail to promote penological goals and do not positively contribute to the intervention in the child's life. Second, shaming can place youths in emotionally and physically vulnerable positions. Third, sentencing juveniles to shaming punishments undermines the traditional foundations of confidentiality by creating public stigma for the offense. Finally, shaming punishments are generally inconsistent with the individual purposes states have announced as their stated goals for juvenile courts. The following sections detail these problems in more depth.