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NCJ Number: 167337 Find in a Library
Title: Fewer Juveniles Should Be Tried as Adults (From Juvenile Crime: Opposing Viewpoints, P 180-186, 1997, A E Sadler, ed. -- See NCJ-167319)
Corporate Author: Coalition for Juvenile Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Coalition for Juvenile Justice
Washington, DC 20036
Greenhaven Press
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
Sale Source: Greenhaven Press
P.O. Box 9187
Farmington Hills, MI 48333-9187
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Coalition for Juvenile Justice argues that juveniles held in adult institutions are more likely to be abused and less likely to receive rehabilitative services than those held in juvenile institutions.
Abstract: The Coalition is a governmental committee that was created in 1974 to advise the President and Congress on issues related to juvenile justice and the prevention of juvenile crime. The Coalition reasons that much of the recent legislative response to juvenile crime is a political reaction to public opinion fueled by disproportionate media coverage of youth crime. It also reflects the belief that the juvenile justice system is ineffective. Research belies this belief. Studies show that only about 18 percent of those juveniles with police contact persist in delinquent behavior, and 59 percent of those juveniles referred to juvenile or family court have only that one referral. Even high-risk juvenile offenders do not remain high-risk for long; serious juvenile crime peaks between 16 and 17 years of age, and the prevalence of serious violence drops dramatically after age 20. Thus, imprisonment in the adult system for incapacitation purposes for long periods of time for acts committed while in adolescence may be irrational and may even contribute to a longer period of criminality. Further, processing juveniles as adults means they can receive the death penalty. In addition to departing from the standards of the rest of the world in determining the appropriateness of the ultimate penalty for children, the imposition of the death penalty ignores the substantial evidence of the greater vulnerability and impulsivity of youth and of the false sense of omnipotence and immortality that many juveniles have. The coalition regularly reaffirms its commitment to delinquency prevention as a crucial element in addressing the problem of growing delinquency rates and, ultimately, serious and violent crime. There must be an increased emphasis on the development of more community-centered and family-based programs, especially in those urban core communities at high risk for producing delinquency.
Main Term(s): Juvenile court waiver
Index Term(s): Juvenile capital punishment; Juvenile justice policies; Juvenile processing
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