Center for Gender & Sexuality Law
Abolish Family Court. Merge it. Restructure it. Give it more power; give it less. Whatever recommendations were made during the two-day conference, not a single participant said that the current Court functioned well. That's hardly surprising. Barely twenty-five years after the first juvenile court was created, some of its chief protagonists expressed alarm about the Court's functioning. 1 Those concerns are eerily similar to some of the current critiques that surfaced at the conference: insufficient resources, inadequate preventive services to keep children out of court, an overwhelmed probation service, judges without ample understanding of the complexities of families' lives, intervening in family life because society has failed those families, and the overuse of detention.2
Jane M. Spinak,
Foreword: Framing Family Court through the Lens of Accountability,
Colum. J.L. & Soc. Probs.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/2143