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NCJ Number: 166058 Find in a Library
Title: Should Teens Be Tried as Adults? (From Young Blood: Juvenile Justice and the Death Penalty, P 13-50, 1995, Shirley Dicks, ed. - See NCJ-166057)
Author(s): R Harris
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 38
Sponsoring Agency: Prometheus Books
Amherst, NY 14228-2197
Sale Source: Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive
Amherst, NY 14228-2197
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Juvenile justice policies are critically examined, with emphasis on the increasing incarceration and reduced judicial discretion despite data revealing that juvenile crime has steadily declined since 1975.
Abstract: Some States now lock up larger percentages of children than adults, and juveniles may serve longer sentences than their adult counterparts. In addition, youth are often housed in overcrowded facilities and are sometimes punished in ways that would be unthinkable in State prisons. The juvenile court functioned as society's stern surrogate parent before the changes in State laws that reduced emphasis on rehabilitation, increased the amount of juvenile incarceration, and allowed thousands of children to be tried and sentenced as adults. Juvenile justice officials report that as the country moved toward punishment, services that nurture children, bolster families, or intervene with youth at risk began to diminish. As a result, issues that could or should have been resolved earlier come to juvenile court. In addition, probation officers' caseloads have soared and their effectiveness has declined. Moreover, black youths are far more likely to be incarcerated, largely because white youths often have private health insurance and qualify for private treatment that helps them avoid custody. However, some jurisdictions are reevaluating their strategies and testing alternatives that avoid detention, use small facilities, and provide intense supervision. Case examples
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice policies
Index Term(s): Judicial discretion; Juvenile justice reform; Juvenile sentencing
Note: Reprinted from the Los Angeles Times, August 22, 23, 24, and 25, 1993
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