The first chapter explores the shifting conceptions of children and childhood, particularly in the context of the criminal/legal systems. Throughout history the emphasis of the child and childhood arouse due to the decrease of infant mortality, the increase of literary rates, and the emerging discourses of human development. Children were no longer seen as smaller versions of adults, but as future adults. However, these constructions also developed along deep racial lines, as the figure of white children were innocent and sentient, and therefore fully human, while black children were excluded from innocence and access to sentience, not fully human, and therefore not a part of childhood.
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