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The Black Child-SaversRacial Democracy and Juvenile Justice$
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Geoff K. Ward

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226873169

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226873190.001.0001

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Citizen Delinquent: Race, Liberal Democracy, and the Rehabilitative Ideal

Citizen Delinquent: Race, Liberal Democracy, and the Rehabilitative Ideal

(p.19) One Citizen Delinquent: Race, Liberal Democracy, and the Rehabilitative Ideal
The Black Child-Savers

Geoff K. Ward

University of Chicago Press

Owing to the cultural and political link between child development and social welfare, juvenile social control became a concern for various, often competing constituencies interested in shaping the nation. That link was central to the republican idealism of early American juvenile justice, the development of Jim Crow juvenile justice, and the nearly century-long struggle to advance racial democracy within and through juvenile social control. This chapter examines the background of the juvenile rehabilitative ideal and its roots in American liberal-democratic idealism. Mainstream concerns with shaping and molding wayward, neglected, and criminal youths were explicitly linked to unease over the well-being of civil society and the fate of liberal democracy. This setting is vital to understanding why juvenile justice became an early and enduring feature in the struggle over the relation between race and American democracy.

Keywords:   American juvenile justice, Jim Crow, black youth, black community, civil rights, rehabilitation, race, liberal democracy, juvenile rehabilitative ideal

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