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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 185965 Find in a Library
Title: Legal Issues
Author(s): Barry Feld; Harry Davidson; Bernardine Dohrn
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Regents of the University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Sale Source: Regents of the University of Minnesota
450 McNamara Alumni Center
200 Oak Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States of America
Type: Conference Material
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This summary of a workshop panel discussion on legal issues in juvenile justice management of juveniles focuses on interrogations, the balancing of juvenile and parental rights, the impact of race, the minimum age for delinquency jurisdiction, judicial processes for dealing with juvenile offending, and legal issues raised by serious delinquency cases.
Abstract: One panel member advises that the only way to ensure that interrogations of juveniles are not conducted in a coercive fashion is to require that the juvenile's attorney be present at the interrogation and at all other critical stages of the court process. Because the juvenile court process is primarily a civil process, the issue of a juvenile's legal rights compared to parental rights is murky, and there is little case law available to clarify this issue in the context of juvenile law; in particular, there is no standard for assessing the legal rights of status offenders. However, under the "Parham" case, it can be argued that parental rights are superior to the juvenile's rights in civil cases as long as the parent obtains a doctor's support for the proposed juvenile court disposition. Regarding the issue of race, one panelist suggests that the system's racial bias is a major reason why the juvenile court system's objectives have become increasingly punitive in recent years. Regarding the minimum age of delinquency jurisdiction, one panelist notes that most States that designate a minimum age for delinquency jurisdiction set this age at 10. After reviewing several different judicial processes States use for dealing with offenses committed by very young offenders, one panelist recommends a new alternative model process for dealing with such offender. Under the proposed model, intervention would be initiated by petition filed either by the police or by the child's school. Another panelist recommends legal protections for juveniles accused of committing a serious crime, including that children under the age of 10 be adjudicated through a civil rather than a criminal process, resulting in the provision of social services rather than detention services. Audience questions and discussion are summarized.
Main Term(s): Juvenile processing
Index Term(s): Interrogation procedures; Juvenile court jurisdiction; Parental rights; Police interview/interrogation of juvenile; Racial discrimination; Rights of minors; Suspect interrogation; Violent juvenile offenders; Young juvenile offenders
Note: Proceedings of workshop, “Delinquents Under 10--Targeting the Young Offender,” September 30-October 2, 1999; for other proceedings, see NCJ-185959.
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