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NCJ Number: 161835 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Coordination of Criminal and Juvenile Court Proceedings in Child Maltreatment Cases
Author(s): D Whitcomb; M Hardin
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 226
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Assoc
Washington, DC 20036
Education Development Ctr
Newton, MA 02160
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 92-IJ-CX-K034
Sale Source: Education Development Ctr
Higher Education Ctr for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention
55 Chapel Street
Newton, MA 02160
United States of America

American Bar Assoc
Ctr on Children and the Law
1800 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: National outrage over child abuse has encouraged the criminal prosecution of offenders, and many intrafamilial child maltreatment cases involve simultaneous criminal and civil proceedings, each initiated by different government entities and each pursuing different goals.
Abstract: Juvenile and criminal courts perform distinct functions in intrafamily abuse and neglect cases. Juvenile court proceedings are designed to protect the child and to rehabilitate the family when possible. Criminal proceedings are primarily intended to determine the guilt or innocence of the alleged perpetrator. Prosecutions in criminal courts seek to punish the alleged offender, while dependency proceedings in juvenile courts seek to protect the child from further abuse and preserve the family. Because uncoordinated court actions can be time-consuming and costly, several State and national organizations have attempted to overcome fragmentation and assist child victims through the adjudication process. One particular survey, conducted by the Education Development Center and the American Bar Association's Center on Children and the Law, looked at problems in coordinating criminal and juvenile/family court proceedings in child abuse cases. Prosecutors and child protection attorneys were surveyed to determine the range of approaches being employed to balance the missions of criminal and juvenile courts. Survey findings revealed many challenges surrounding efforts to coordinate related proceedings in criminal and juvenile courts. Resulting recommendations focused on establishing good working relationships among court participants, developing a multidisciplinary advisory council and a multidisciplinary case coordination team, enacting legislation to coordinate criminal and juvenile court proceedings, and making judges aware of parallel proceedings in child abuse and neglect cases. Issues affecting the timing of criminal and juvenile court proceedings are explored, and legal barriers to the exchange of information between criminal and juvenile courts are identified. Appendixes include the survey instrument, a sample field interview guide, and a list of interview respondents. Endnotes and tables
Main Term(s): Juvenile courts
Index Term(s): Abused children; Child abuse; Child victims; Criminal justice system coordination; Criminal proceedings; Juvenile dependency and neglect; Juvenile victims; NIJ grant-related documents
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