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Juvenile court has elicited the interest and criticism of lawyers, social workers, and criminologists, but less attention from sociologists. This book adds to growing sociological literature on the operations of legal institutions. It describes some critical aspects of the functioning of the juvenile court, an institution charged with judging and treating delinquents. To this end, it analyzes the nature of the court operation, the handling of delinquents, and the court's functions in relation to the wider social and legal system.
Robert M. Emerson is professor of sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is associate editor of Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Qualitative Sociology, and Ethnography. He is author of many books and articles and his studies focus on domestic violence, stalking and neighbor disputes and formal, institutional responses to troubles, mainly by criminal justice and mental health systems.