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NCJ Number: 202490 Find in a Library
Title: Youth Justice: Discretion in Pre-court Decisionmaking (From Exercising Discretion: Decisionmaking in the Criminal Justice System and Beyond, P 29-49, 2003, Loraine Gelsthorpe and Nicola Padfield, eds. -- See NCJ-202489)
Author(s): Vicky Kemp; Loraine Gelsthorpe
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Hardbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter discusses the youth justice system and the nature of police discretion in the context of a study of Britain’s Northamptonshire’s pre-court decisionmaking process from January 1999 to April 2000.
Abstract: This chapter is based on empirical research carried out over a 16-month period from January 1999 to April 2000. It focuses on certain issues relating to the uses of discretion within the pre-court decisionmaking processes as the English county of Northhamptonshire incorporated the national framework for decisionmaking following the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act. The chapter begins with an overview of police cautioning practice which raises a number of issues that are addressed in the context of the analysis of the way police decisionmaking may have changed. The youth justice reforms of the Crime and Disorder Act of 1988, a new system of reprimands, warnings, and provisions to reduce delays have affected the way decisions to prosecute young people are taken. Pre-court decisions are seen as a first step towards court, and these decisions are seen as increasingly important. There were two key groups of decisionmakers in the Northamptonshire Police: custody officers who made the first disposal decisions and processmakers who received cases referred by custody officers for review. An analysis showed that custody officers’ decisions were dominant, and they made the majority of prosecution decisions. The political pressure to reduce delays at court arguably consolidated the position of custody officers as the dominant decisionmakers. The findings from Northamptonshire and from early research studies on pre-court decisionmaking draw attention to the continued centrality of discretion within the early decisionmaking stages of the youth justice system. References
Main Term(s): Discretionary decisions
Index Term(s): Decisionmaking; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Judicial discretion; Juvenile court judicial discretion; Juvenile justice system; Police decisionmaking; Police discretion; United Kingdom (UK)
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