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Spare the Cell, Spoil the Child: The History and Philosophy of American Juvenile Justice


For his honors thesis in Legal Studies, Mr. Burton wrote a history of the American juvenile justice system from 1899-1967, with a focus on changing philosophies and attitudes towards punishment for juveniles. He discovered that the University Library had in its print collection institutional reports from reform and industrial schools, which he used as primary sources. He also used library databases such as Making of Modern Law to read contemporary texts on youth criminology, and was granted access by the Law School to Westlaw and Lexis-Nexis to read the case law. Prof. Musheno, Director of the Legal Studies Program and Lecturer in Residence at Berkeley Law School, wrote that “It is in studying original writings generated over time and correlating these with changes in legal practices that make Mr. Burton’s thesis outstanding.”

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