"Anybody can screw, see. It doesn't take any intelligence, it doesn't take anything." So says the social worker as she counsels a pretty, black-skinned prostitute, who is barely 14.
"Did you do anything to him?" an official asks a young boy whose face is framed in heavy bandages. The boy, burned when an uncle poured hot grease over him, shows mute incomprehension.
"Don't cry yet," the probation officer gently urges a sobbing girl. "You haven't even been to court."
Such is the stuff of the 17,000 cases that annually pass through the juvenile court of...