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2016

University of Michigan Law School

Adolescent deliquency

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Juvenile Justice Reform And The Myth Of The Superpredator, Frank E. Vandervort Jan 2016

Juvenile Justice Reform And The Myth Of The Superpredator, Frank E. Vandervort

Other Publications

In the 1980s and 1990s, driven to a moral panic by a sudden escalation in juvenile homicide rates, Michigan lawmakers enacted tougher laws with the intention of cracking down on all juvenile crime. That was the era of the “superpredator” (a term that has recently resurfaced in the presidential contest), a term coined by John Dilulio ,a Princeton professor who later became the Director of Faith Based Initiatives in George W. Bush’s administration, and was spread far and wide by a number of self-serving reform advocates who predicted an onslaught of psychopathic juvenile predators.

Here in Michigan, then-Governor John Engler …