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NCJ Number: 181990 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Court at 100 Years: A Look Back
Journal: Juvenile Justice  Volume:6  Issue:2  Dated:December 1999  Pages:13-21
Author(s): Robert E. Shepherd Jr.
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Juvenile Justice Clearinghouse/NCJRS
P.O. Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews significant events in the evolution of the juvenile court from its beginning in 1899 to the present day.
Abstract: Early in the 19th century, juveniles were tried as adults in criminal courts. Children under age 7 were immune from prosecution, and children between the ages of 7 and 14 were presumed not to be criminally responsible, requiring prosecutors to prove that an individual juvenile was culpable under the law. Youths aged 14 and older were deemed responsible for their criminal acts as adults. Houses of refuge emerged to provide vocational training and education for youth convicted of crimes; these evolved into reformatories in the middle of the 19th century, which separated incarcerated youth from adults, but provided a more punitive confinement than houses of refuge. In a wave of public reaction to the abusive treatment of youth in the criminal justice system, the first juvenile court system was created under the Illinois Juvenile Court Act in 1899. This law created a special court for neglected, dependent, or delinquent children under age 16; defined a rehabilitation rather than punitive purpose for the court; established confidentiality for juvenile records; and required that juveniles be separated from adults when placed in the same institution. Juvenile courts subsequently spread rapidly across the country. The evolution of the juvenile court has seen the professionalization of court staff, separate handling for juvenile status offenders, and court decisions that have mandated due process rights for juveniles. The Federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 set national goals for the rehabilitation and reform of juvenile justice and established a Federal-State partnership for the implementation of these goals. 12 notes and 11 references
Main Term(s): History of juvenile justice
Index Term(s): Juvenile court reform; Juvenile due process; Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act; Juvenile justice reform; US Supreme Court decisions
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