The 'Other' Missouri Model: Systemic Juvenile Injustice in the Show Me State
52 Pages Posted: 26 May 2014
Date Written: 2013
For years Missouri has been touted as a model for juvenile justice. Stakeholders and commentators continually declare that the Show-Me State – with its “Missouri Model” of juvenile justice – employs the most modern and innovative approaches when it comes to its treatment of court-involved youth. This account is reflected in press accounts, television news coverage, and agency white papers.
But this is only part of the picture; there is much more happening in Missouri when it comes to juveniles. From failing schools, to deeply conflicted court structures, to a lack of free representation, many of Missouri’s young people are forced to contend with deficient systems that remain behind the times. Unfortunately, this “other” part of the story is seldom openly discussed.
This Article seeks to contrast the rosy picture painted on the national level – one that suggests a model system of juvenile justice from top to bottom – with the more troubling day-to-day problems facing vulnerable youth in Missouri’s local communities and courts. Rooted in both legal theory and practice experiences, it argues it is time to shed light on the “other” Missouri Model of juvenile justice and undertake fundamental reforms.
Keywords: Mae Quinn, Mae C. Quinn, Quinn, Juvenile Justice, Juvenile Court, Juvenile Defense
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