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NCJ Number: 157923 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Rebutting Juvenile Waiver Laws: Strategies for Defense Attorneys in California Fitness Hearings
Author(s): D Macallair; R Courtney
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: Ctr on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
San Francisco, CA 94103
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America

Ctr on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
40 Boardman Place
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The rehabilitation mission of California's juvenile court has been eroded over the past 20 years by legislation authorizing the waiver of juvenile offenders to adult court.
Abstract: The waiver laws are based on the belief that a small group of serious juvenile offenders are beyond the reach of rehabilitative intervention. As a result of the expanding use of waiver statutes by prosecutors, juvenile defense advocates must develop and present arguments that demonstrate their client's fitness for or amenability to the juvenile court's care and treatment. Analyzing amenability and presenting convincing arguments require information from many fields, including law, mental health, criminology, sociology, and education. When arguing criminal sophistication, the extent to which a minor has moved into a fully criminal lifestyle, district attorneys often cite the youth's history of gang affiliation, firearms possession, or violent behavior. Contrary to popular assumptions, however, gang membership is not synonymous with criminal sophistication or lifestyle. In determining the potential for rehabilitation, the California Youth Authority must recognize that not all violent offenders are predisposed toward violent behavior. Youths who are at high risk for continued violence demonstrate a combination of psychiatric, neurological, and cognitive disabilities. Further, academic potential and employment are indicative of a youth's rehabilitative potential. Stable family relationships are important in preventing future criminality as well. Consideration must also be paid to the involvement of juveniles in prior delinquent behavior, previous juvenile justice system interventions, and offense circumstances and seriousness. It is concluded that juvenile court waiver does not have a deterrent effect. 56 footnotes
Main Term(s): Juvenile court waiver
Index Term(s): California; Juvenile courts; Juvenile rehabilitation; Juvenile/Youth Gangs; Serious juvenile offenders; State juvenile justice systems; State juvenile laws
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