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Library Journal Review
Investigatory questioning by law enforcement is understood to involve an unequal balance of power with an intrinsic opportunity for abuse. For this reason, Miranda warning rights and other constitutional protections exist in the United States. Nevertheless, Feld (law, Univ. of Minnesota; Juvenile Justice Administration in a Nutshell) warns in his latest book that these legal protections have failed miserably, particularly when juveniles are involved. Feld cautions that juvenile interrogations are ripe for inquisitorial abuse owing, first, to juveniles' incompetence to exercise their Miranda rights effectively; second, to police officers' skill in using psychological tools to gain a waiver; and third, to judicial inability to supervise interrogations as they happen. His research reveals that juvenile interrogation tactics and procedures have resulted in various injustices including the proliferation of false confessions. Feld also offers solutions, including the simple one of recording all custodial interrogations for possible review. VERDICT Recommended. Judges and attorneys as well as law enforcement agencies and juvenile advocates will find this book useful as they work toward the goal of fair treatment and justice for juveniles, both guilty and innocent.-Reba Kennedy, San Antonio, TX (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Feld (Minnesota) examines the significant and complex issue of police interviewing (interrogation) of juveniles. He labels the standard use of police interrogation procedures for adult suspects as a discredited practice, even more egregious when applied to juvenile suspects. This study maintains that in the course of the typical investigative process, law enforcement routinely violates the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution with psychological mistreatment and physiological duress, at a minimum. One particularly important focus is the controversial but unintended failure of the Miranda warnings. These Fifth Amendment-based warnings, made applicable to juveniles in the case of In re Gault, provide a justifying shelter for less-than-adequate adult or juvenile protection. Further, the author asserts that juvenile protections (due to youthful fear and lack of an intimate understanding of the legal system) should be extended specifically to mandatory attorney counsel for juveniles under the age of 16 during any law enforcement questioning. His research is fairly conducted but generally limited to four counties in Minnesota, which by reasonable academic standards is ordinarily considered too constricted a sample size. This is especially significant, given the sweeping generalizations Feld makes regarding law enforcement practices and juvenile suspects in the US justice system. Summing Up: Recommended. All academic levels/libraries. R. M. Seklecki Minot State University
Author notes provided by Syndetics
Barry C. Feld is Centennial Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota and author or editor of many books, including The Oxford Handbook of Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Justice, Cases and Materials on Juvenile Justice Administration, and Bad Kids; Race and the Transformation of the Juvenile Court.