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NCJ Number: 177516 Find in a Library
Title: Examining Legal Issues: Juvenile Offenders in Criminal Court and Adult Prison
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:61  Issue:2  Dated:April 1999  Pages:92-95-124
Author(s): R E Redding
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 9
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of research on juvenile court waiver and the increasing incarceration of juveniles in adult correctional institutions concludes that criminal prosecution and imprisonment retard rather than enhance community protection and reduce rather than enhance juvenile offenders' accountability and development of competencies.
Abstract: Public attitudes have for some time been supporting a tougher approach to the perceived increase in juvenile crime. A growing consensus exists that juvenile offenders are responsible for their actions and should be punished, many juvenile offenders are beyond rehabilitation, rehabilitation is ineffective, greater deterrence is needed, and violent juvenile offenders must remain incarcerated into adulthood. The juvenile codes of at least half the States now emphasize punishment rather than rehabilitation. In addition, almost all States have set the minimum age for juvenile court waiver for 14 or younger; some allow children of any age to be transferred for most crimes. However, the legal consequences of a felony court convictions may actually increase recidivism, because they limit the offender's potential for reintegration into society, opportunities for employment, and other life opportunities. The available research findings suggest that the first policy goals should be to minimize the number of juvenile cases transferred to criminal court, particularly cases involving first-time offenders charged with crimes against persons. The second important policy goal should be to reserve prison incarceration only for a small number of very chronic or violent offenders and to use juvenile-based and community-based dispositions for all other offenders. Further research is also needed. Illustrations, notes, and 7 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile court waiver
Index Term(s): Crime control policies; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juveniles in adult facilities; State laws
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