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NCJ Number: 200078 Find in a Library
Title: Incarcerating Juveniles Into Adulthood: Organizational Fields of Knowledge and the Back End of Waiver
Journal: Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice  Volume:1  Issue:2  Dated:April 2003  Pages:115-127
Author(s): Simon I. Singer
Date Published: April 2003
Page Count: 13
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews how the long-term incarceration of juveniles into adulthood through waiver to adult criminal court can be examined in terms of organizational fields of knowledge.
Abstract: Fields of organizational knowledge depend on how juveniles enter the criminal court. If criminal justice officials, namely prosecutors, are the ones who have the initial legal discretion to determine whether a juvenile should be processed as an adult, organizational knowledge is limited to the concerns and interests of criminal justice officials. A different form of organizational knowledge is involved, however, when the transfer of a juvenile is contingent not only on criminal justice officials but also on the decisionmaking of juvenile justice officials. This type of organizational knowledge is based on prosecutorial and legislative waiver. Organizational knowledge is required to make decisions about the risk of juveniles repeating their criminal behavior. This kind of assessment is made in the context of other legal rules that vary by State as well as by offense type and age of eligibility. Reference to the legal rules of waiver can be divided into those that emphasize judicial and nonjudicial forms of waiver. Rather than reviewing each of these forms of waiver in detail, this article first discusses how different systems of waiver create different forms of organizational knowledge. The article then addresses how organizational fields of knowledge influence the long-term incarceration of juveniles. Organizational fields of knowledge are considered in the context of several sensational examples of relatively young juveniles charged with murder in criminal court. The front end of offense-based waiver decisions reflects one form of organizational knowledge that depends on prosecutorial decisionmaking; however, there is a back-end to waiver decisions based on the discretionary decisionmaking of parole officials. Not only are decisions made on aftercare but also on institutional placement, particularly in the context of earlier decisions regarding a juvenile's initial placement. From more treatment-oriented institutions, juveniles may be placed in less secure adult prisons. The article suggests that the reaction of juveniles to their long-term sentences may contribute to a sense of injustice and repeated criminal behavior. 27 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile court waiver
Index Term(s): Corrections decisionmaking; Effects of juvenile imprisonment; Juvenile Corrections/Detention effectiveness; Long-term imprisonment; Probation or parole decisionmaking
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