Yotam Hotam | Journal of Philosophy of Education
Long a cornerstone of the American juvenile justice system, the idea that youth can change, and merit chances to do so, has enjoyed new life after decades of punitive erosion. Unfortunately, the rehabilitation offered to youth is largely shortsighted and inadequate. In this article, I argue that the juvenile justice system embraces a “myopic model” of rehabilitation that loses touch with the social roots of youth problems and focuses too heavily on improving internal thoughts and behaviors through short-term “pills and programs” (Goshe 2019). By losing sight of the societal harms at the root of delinquent behaviors, the myopic model advances a limited and ultimately unsustainable model of change. In contrast, this article contends that robust rehabilitation treats the social and the personal as crucial to the rehabilitative equation and offers a pathway to meaningful change for youth and the juvenile justice system.