The first juvenile court was established in Chicago in 1899. Until then, minors above seven years of age were brought to trial in a regular criminal court, although many countries have already operated designated prisons for juvenile offenders. Throughout the following 50 years, the courts have evolved to a significantly different form from the rest of the system. Most importantly was the multidimensional approach towards the child, tailoring rehabilitation programs which best fit his specific situation. In some cases, however, young offenders were tried in criminal courts, as some still happens today.
In "Apostrophe, Animation, and Abortion" (in The Critical Difference ) and "Anthropomorphism in Lyric and Law" (in Persons and Things ), Johnson discusses the recurrence of rhetorical figures of prosopopoeia (an address to a dead or absent person) and anthropomorphism (conferring human attributes on a nonhuman entity) within contemporary disputes about abortion , corporate personhood , and other debates surrounding who or what qualifies as a person. "Apostrophe" juxtaposes Romantic poets such as Percy Bysshe Shelley with twentieth-century poems by Gwendolyn Brooks , Lucille Clifton , and Adrienne Rich that deal with women's experiences following abortion. Johnson argues that the analogy between creative writing and giving birth , traditionally employed by male poets like Sidney and Jonson , re-appears in a distorted fashion in women's writing. Johnson's concern with prosopopoeia represents an ongoing elaboration of Paul de Man 's work, extending the problems posed in his essays "Autobiography as De-Facement" and "Anthropomorphism and Trope in Lyric" (in The Rhetoric of Romanticism ) to feminist and African-American literature.