Throughout U.S. history, attitudes toward young people have vacillated between "fear of" and "fear for." These attitudes impact social programs for youth, including the system of juvenile justice. Attitudes are shaped by the socio-political and cultural cliimate of the times, and can be traced back to colonial times. However, changing mores and values often create confusion and conflict, resulting in ineffective strategies for preventing and responding to juvenile delinquency. Tracing the history of juvenile justice back to the pre-colonial era through the present day, Finley sheds light on just how we arrived where we are in terms of juvenile justice. She connects the competing attitudes about young people to the social, economic, and political changes of a given era, and offers recommendations for establishing more effective and more humane policies toward juveniles in the justice system.