University of Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review

Document Type



The evolution of the juvenile criminal court system has involved a sharp movement away from the nineteenth century “rehabilitative ideal” to today’s state of hyperincarceration and punitive policies of control. Amongst the unintended and under-recognized harms of our carceral state includes a generation of minority children growing up with imprisoned parents. This analysis spotlights the tangible effects of parental incarceration on juvenile growth and development, which creates risks for further mass incarceration. This note suggests that restorative justice may offer an alternative method of “punishment” that can work towards breaking the connection between parental incarceration and adverse life outcomes for their children. By recognizing the successes of diverse restorative justice programs in various cities, this note imagines what the next policy transformation in the juvenile criminal justice system should look like.