Who Gets A Childhood?: Race and Juvenile Justice in Twentieth-Century Texas by William BushWho Gets A Childhood?: Race and Juvenile Justice in Twentieth-Century Texas by William Bush

Who Gets A Childhood?: Race and Juvenile Justice in Twentieth-Century Texas

byWilliam Bush

Paperback | September 15, 2010

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Using Texas as a case study for understanding change in the American juvenile justice system over the past century, William S. Bush tells the story of three cycles of scandal, reform, and retrenchment, each of which played out in ways that tended to extend the privileges of a protected childhood to white middle- and upper-class youth, while denying those protections to blacks, Latinos, and poor whites.

On the forefront of both progressive and "get tough" reform campaigns, Texas has led national policy shifts in the treatment of delinquent youth to a surprising degree. Changes in the legal system have included the development of courts devoted exclusively to young offenders, the expanded legal application of psychological expertise, and the rise of the children's rights movement. At the same time, broader cultural ideas about adolescence have also changed. Yet Bush demonstrates that as the notion of the teenager gained currency after World War II, white, middle-class teen criminals were increasingly depicted as suffering from curable emotional disorders even as the rate of incarceration rose sharply for black, Latino, and poor teens. Bush argues that despite the struggles of reformers, child advocates, parents, and youths themselves to make juvenile justice live up to its ideal of offering young people a second chance, the story of twentieth-century juvenile justice in large part boils down to "the exclusion of poor and nonwhite youth from modern categories of childhood and adolescence."

William S. Bush is assistant professor of history at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
Title:Who Gets A Childhood?: Race and Juvenile Justice in Twentieth-Century TexasFormat:PaperbackDimensions:276 pages, 9.05 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:September 15, 2010Publisher:University Of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820337196

ISBN - 13:9780820337197

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Table of Contents


Introduction. Race, Childhood, and Juvenile Justice History
Chapter One. The Other Lost Generation: Reform and Resistance in the Juvenile Training Schools, 1907-1929
Chapter Two. Socializing Delinquency: Child Welfare, Mental Health, and the Critique of Institutions, 1929-1949
Chapter Three. Juvenile Rehabilitation and the Color Line: The Training School for Black Delinquent Girls, 1943-1950
Chapter Four. James Dean and Jim Crow: The Failure of Reform and the Racialization of Delinquency in the 1950s
Chapter Five. "Hard to Reach": The Politics of Delinquency Prevention in Postwar Houston
Chapter Six. Circling the Wagons: The Struggle over the Texas Youth Council, 1965-1971
Chapter Seven. Creating a Right to Treatment: Morales v. Turman, 1971-1988
Epilogue. The New American Dilemma


Editorial Reviews

Who Gets a Childhood? offers readers an opportunity to see beyond the headlines in contemporary debates about juvenile crime. Bush encourages us to question not only our ideas about the nature of juvenile criminality but also our collective biases concerning the dividing line between adolescence and adulthood.

- Deborah Blackwell - Journal of Southern History