Discretionary Justice
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Discretionary Justice : Looking Inside a Juvenile Drug Court

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Juvenile drug courts are on the rise in the United States, as a result of a favourable political climate and justice officials' endorsement of the therapeutic jurisprudence movement--the concept of combining therapeutic care with correctional discipline. The goal is to divert nonviolent youth drug offenders into addiction treatment instead of long-term incarceration. Discretionary Justice overviews the system, taking readers behind the scenes of the juvenile drug court. Based on fifteen months of ethnographic fieldwork and interviews at a California court, Leslie Paik explores the staff's decision-making practices in assessing the youths' cases, concentrating on the way accountability and noncompliance are assessed. Using the concept of ""workability,"" Paik demonstrates how compliance, and what is seen by staff as ""noncompliance,"" are the constructed results of staff decisions, fluctuating budgets, and sometimes questionable drug test results. While these courts largely focus on holding youths responsible for their actions, this book underscores the social factors that shape how staff members view progress in the court. Paik also emphasises the perspectives of children and parents. Given the growing emphasis on individual responsibility in other settings, such as schools and public welfare agencies, Paik's findings are relevant outside the juvenile justice system.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 160 x 230 x 22mm | 498.95g
  • Rutgers University Press
  • New Brunswick, NJ, United States
  • English
  • New
  • 0813550068
  • 9780813550060
  • 1,827,807

Flap copy

Juvenile drug courts are on the rise in the United States, as a result of a favorable political climate and justice officials' endorsement of the therapeutic jurisprudence movement--the concept of combining therapeutic care with correctional discipline. Discretionary Justice overviews the system, taking readers behind the scenes of the juvenile drug court. Based on fifteen months of ethnographic fieldwork and interviews at a California court, Leslie Paik explores the staff's decision-making practices in assessing the youths' cases, concentrating on the way accountability and noncompliance are assessed.
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Review quote

"This important, timely analysis reveals how meanings are constructed and bureaucratic decisions are created within a youth drug court."--Madelaine Adelman"Associate Professor, Justice & Social Inquiry, Arizona State University" (07/15/2010) "Paik''s extraordinary data illuminates the tension between therapy and punishment in juvenile drug courts. A terrific read!"--Aaron Kupchik"author of Homeroom Security: School Discipline in an Age of Fear" (07/15/2010) "Paik's extraordinary data illuminates the tension between therapy and punishment in juvenile drug courts. A terrific read!"--Aaron Kupchik"author of Homeroom Security: School Discipline in an Age of Fear" (07/15/2010) """Paik's extraordinary data illuminates the tension between therapy and punishment in juvenile drug courts. A terrific read!" Aaron Kupchik, author of "Homeroom Security: School Discipline in an Age of Fear"
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About Leslie Paik

LESLIE PAIK is an assistant professor of sociology at The City College, City University of New York.
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