Juvenile Crime

A look at lobbying efforts, both for and against juvenile justice, at the state level.

Juvenile crime has been a very heated issue in the public policy circles for many years. Crime rates, especially for violent crimes, are continually increasing among younger age groups, which has led to several calls to reform existing laws at both a federal and state level. In many cases, the reform processes have been led by lobbyists, with rebuttals in some cases also led by powerful and well-organized lobbying groups. This paper takes a look at two recent examples of lobbying at the state level, both proposing and opposing legal reforms as regards juvenile crime. It begins with a brief prelude on the lobbying process in general, which serves as the platform for the remainder of the paper. In the final analysis, what this paper makes clear is that lobbying on issues of juvenile crimes is a risky and tricky business. This reality is mostly linked to the fact that juvenile justice is such a subjective and controversial field in its own right. Successful lobbying generally relies on expert knowledge, but in the case of juvenile justice, this expertise is not only difficult to find but next to impossible to apply.