The premise of the article "The future of the juvenile court: A theoretical framework that fits" by Mark H. Moore, is that juvenile courts have been subject, in recent years, to increasing criticism of the ways that they handle delinquency cases, and that a new theoretical framework is needed for the court, "that encompasses its jurisdiction over dependency and status offense cases, as well as delinquency cases" (p. 140). Toward that end, the author proposes a theoretical framework, or "alternative model for the court". Such an alternative-model court would hold caretakers of juveniles responsible for fulfilling their responsibilities as the caretakers of minors. .
The central idea proposed by the author is to shift the function of the juvenile court, and by association, others' perception of it, from that of a criminal court enforcing laws, to that of a civil court responsible instead for administering law, as it pertains to parents; caretakers, and children themselves. Such a shift, argues Moore, convincingly, would also serve the socially useful function of holding caretakers more responsible for properly caring for children, thereby better helping such children avoid future lives of crime and/or social dependency, and thus better assuring that they will grow into responsible adulthood, and be willing and able to lead productive lives. .
The article follows a well-organized, syllogistic structure, in which the author first explains legal principles underlying such a re-conception of the juvenile court. Second, the author elaborates in detail on the concept. Third, the author explores advantages and disadvantages, from his perspective as a professor of criminal justice policy, of the proposed concept.
Aptly, the author repeatedly compares the concept of a theoretically redefined juvenile court, in his view, to a bankruptcy court: that is, one whose function is to see that individuals and/or companies (i.