In this article, Professor Ainsworth argues that a unified criminal justice system is preferable to our present two-tiered adult-juvenile court system. In fact, she contends that the cultural and ideological assumptions that underpin the current two-tiered justice system not only engender many of the serious shortcomings of the juvenile justice system, but also serve to exacerbate the very policies and practices of the adult criminal justice system that make it so abhorrent to defenders of the juvenile court. Critics of juvenile court abolitionists thus miss the point when they argue that juveniles would be worse off than they are at present if they were to be tried as adults in "adult court." What Professor Ainsworth is advocating is, in fact, the abolition of "adult court" with all the assumptions entailed by its necessary contrast with juvenile court. In proposing the abolition of a separate juvenile court and its replacement with a unified criminal court system, Professor Ainsworth pleads for a radical rethinking of the entire criminal justice system, making it more responsive to the characteristics of all those it touches, regardless of age.
Youth Justice in a Unified Court: Response to Critics of Juvenile Court Abolition, 36 B.C. L. REV. 927