Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Date


Publication Information

15 Va. J. Soc. Pol'y & L. 505 (2007-2008)


Even though Professor Leary and I are united in the goal of protecting children against sexual exploitation, we part company on the proper societal response to the problem of self-produced child pornography. In my view, children who produce and distribute pornographic images of themselves ordinarily should not be regarded as proper objects of punishment. In this context, child protective services, backed up if necessary by the threat of criminal prosecution, is a much more appropriate way of reforming minors and protecting them against the serious dangers to which they expose themselves by creating and distributing pornographic images of themselves. A prosecution-based response, though essential for sexual predators and others involved in the sexual exploitation of minors, would create far more problems than it would solve for minors who make the mistake of creating and distributing pornographic images of themselves.


This article was originally published as Stephen F. Smith, Jail for Juvenile Child Pornographers?: A Reply to Professor Leary, 15 Va. J. Soc. Pol'y & L. 505 (2007-2008), and has been reproduced herein with the Journal's permission.

Included in

Criminal Law Commons



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