The ideological nature of juvenile justice policy is analyzed, including the domain assumptions of the predominant juvenile justice ideologies which presently inform juvenile justice policy development. Further, it is argued that the failure of present juvenile justice policies to effectively respond to the juvenile "crime problem" may lead to the opportunity to develop a more critically informed juvenile justice policy, one which is better able to meet the needs of clients and respond more effectively to juvenile crime. Finally, some of the essential elements of a critical juvenile justice ideology and practice capable of more realistically and humanely responding to juvenile crime are outlined.

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