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NCJ Number: 80212 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Rediscovering Juvenile Justice - The Cost of Getting Tough - How Two States Are Responding to Perceived Increases in Juvenile Crime
Author(s): H D Lowell; B Bullington
Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Editor(s): A DeMuro
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 57
Sponsoring Agency: Charles Hayden Foundation
New York, NY 10006
Edna McConnell Clark Foundation
New York, NY 10177
National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Newark, NJ 07102
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
S.I. Newhouse Ctr at Rutgers
15 Washington St., Fourth Floor
Newark, NJ 07102
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Proposals before the New Jersey and Massachusetts legislatures would toughen the stance against juvenile offenders, perceived by the public to be increasing in numbers. The report discusses practical and cost implications of the proposals and suggests alternate measures.
Abstract: The two States use opposite approaches in resolving juvenile justice problems. Massachusetts has a deinstitutionalized youth correctional system which relies on small, community-based residential programs and local counseling and educational programs. New Jersey, on the other hand, operates a more traditional juvenile correctional system, based on institutional confinement and minimal use of local programming. Each of the States is contemplating major changes in juvenile justice. Specific recommendations in Massachusetts call for the provision of an additional 300 secure beds, greatly increased judicial sentencing discretion, and a system of mandatory sentences for certain categories of delinquents. They would also substantially ease the criteria for sending juveniles to trial in adult court. Because these measures are deemed unwieldy and costly, four alternatives are proposed. The suggestions are a legislative mandate for secure treatment regulations, efficient use of existing secure beds, addition of no more than 50 secure beds, and change in only one phase of the transfer process. The bills proposed in New Jersey consist of a list of harsh measures which presume that youths coming into contact with the justice system are eligible for incarceration (immediately causing a need for new and expanded institutional facilities). The proposed legislation also imposes mandatory sentences for certain kinds of crimes. This report suggests other changes to the system to bring about effective procedures for screening youths into an array of program alternatives. Both States seem to be on the verge of adopting legislation without an adequate analysis of its fiscal or programmatic impact, according to the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. Tabular data and 40 references are given.
Index Term(s): Juvenile codes; Juvenile justice system; Law reform; Massachusetts; New Jersey
Note: Limited number of copies available from National Council on Crime and Delinquency.
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