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Article
Social information processing, subtypes of violence, and a progressive construction of culpability and punishment in juvenile justice
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry (2008)
  • Reid Griffith Fontaine, University of Arizona
Abstract
Consistent with core principles of liberal theories of punishment (including humane treatment of offenders, respecting offender rights, parsimony, penal proportionality, and rehabilitation), progressive frameworks have sought to expand doctrines of mitigation and excuse such that culpability and punishment may be reduced. With respect to juvenile justice, scholars have proposed that doctrinal mitigation be broadened, and that adolescents, due to aspects of developmental immaturity (such as decision making capacity), be punished less severely than adults who commit the same crimes. One model of adolescent antisocial behavior that may be useful to a progressive theory of punishment in juvenile justice distinguishes between instrumental violence, by which the actor behaves thoughtfully and calmly to achieve personal gain, and reactive violence, which is characterized as impulsive, emotional retaliation toward a perceived threat or injustice. In particular, social cognitive differences between instrumental and reactive violence have implications for responsibility, length and structure of incarceration, rehabilitation, and other issues that are central to a progressive theory of juvenile culpability and punishment.
Keywords
  • Juvenile Justice,
  • Social Information Processing,
  • Violent Subtypes,
  • Antisocial Behavior,
  • Aggression,
  • Delinquency
Disciplines
Publication Date
2008
Citation Information
Reid Griffith Fontaine. "Social information processing, subtypes of violence, and a progressive construction of culpability and punishment in juvenile justice" International Journal of Law and Psychiatry Vol. 31 (2008)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/reid_fontaine/12/