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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134374 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Justice in the United States: A Video History
Author(s): M Schaeffer
Corporate Author: American Correctional Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1991
Sponsoring Agency: American Correctional Assoc
Alexandria, VA 22314
Sale Source: American Correctional Assoc
206 N. Washington St., Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This video traces the history of juvenile justice in the United States over 200 years with emphasis on the major eras and reforms through the 1980's.
Abstract: The eras portrayed in drawings, photographs, and film began in the 17th century in America, when children were viewed as inherently sinful and in need of harsh discipline and punishment. The family had the primary responsibility for managing juveniles. If the family failed in this responsibility, then community institutions administered discipline and punishment which included banishment and execution. Juveniles who violated community standards were handled virtually the same as adults. The next era portrayed was influenced by the Industrial Revolution and the wave of immigrants to America. The vast numbers of unsupervised children were housed separately from adult offenders in houses of refuge which were punitive and labor intensive. This trend was followed by a policy of "placing out" which assigned recalcitrant juveniles from the East to families moving to the Western frontier. The youth became virtual slave laborers on the farms. The next major era portrayed was ushered in 1899 when Cook County, Ill., established the first juvenile court system which focused on the treatment and protection of juveniles determined to have committed criminal or status offenses. Juvenile court hearings were nonadversarial and without the due process guaranteed adult defendants. This changed with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Gault in the 1960's which guaranteed juveniles most of the due process rights given adult defendants. The trend in juvenile justice in the 1960's was reflected in the Federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act which emphasizes diversion for status and first-time offenders as well as alternatives to institutionalization. The remaining institutions were upgraded through performance standards and accreditation procedures. The era of the 1980's and early 1990's shows a trend toward the control and sentencing of juveniles commensurate with offense severity. This is due largely to juvenile involvement in drug-related crimes, gang activity, and increased violent juvenile behavior.
Main Term(s): Juvenile justice system
Index Term(s): Community-based corrections (juvenile); Juvenile Corrections/Detention; Juvenile courts
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. 24 minutes, video color.
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