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NCJ Number: 144145 Find in a Library
Journal: Criminal Justice  Volume:8  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1993)  Pages:6-10,54-56
Author(s): B Dohrn
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 8
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Chicago's juvenile court processes about 27,000 new cases each year involving children who are abused or neglected or youth charged with a crime, and the cases illustrate the poverty of children, the alienation and violence children experience, and the legal needs and rights of children.
Abstract: The number of children in Chicago's overcrowded juvenile jail has increased 50 percent over the past 7 years, and the problems faced by Chicago are national in scope. Over 14 million children nationally live in poverty, and 8.3 million children had no health insurance in 1991. The image of poverty is urban, but more poor children live in rural areas than in central cities; 67 percent are white, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American, while the remaining 33 percent are black. Even among more affluent children, an explosion of alienation, violence, and drug abuse has occurred. Young children are increasingly being charged with crimes and suffer the effects of economic dislocation, political reaction, and social crisis. Laws concerning children are based historically on property relationships. Overlaying the legacy of children as legal property is the concept of parens patriae, the state as parent. Over the past two decades, however, there has been growing recognition that children have civil rights; an example is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Child advocacy is essential to ensure that all children receive basic nutrition, health care, and education and that their legal rights are protected.
Main Term(s): Rights of minors
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child victims; Child welfare; Illinois; Juvenile offenders; Juveniles; Parens patriae; Poverty and crime; Social conditions; Victims of Crime
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