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Alexandra Cox

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Responsible Submission: The Racialized Consequences of Neoliberal Juvenile Justice Practices

This article focuses on the racialized consequences of neoliberal juvenile justice practices. Based on over two years of ethnographic fieldwork inside of one state’s secure residential facilities and alternative to incarceration programs, the article scrutinizes contemporary intervention practices used with young people. These practices emphasize the cultivation of individuality, rationality and “responsibility” by young people. The author argues that to be successful in these programs, these forms of behavior invariably define “success” as deference and submission to program staff and standards. In other words, “responsibility” is often a form of repression. In a youth justice system where a vast majority of the young people in detention and residential placement are African-American, it is quite possible to trace the direct line between the early forms of social control directed at African-Americans in the United States and those that exist today.

race, governmentality, neoliberalism, agency, responsibility, juvenile justice, incarceration

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 41, No. 4 (2014): 23-39

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