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NCJ Number: 43308 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: JUVENILE JUSTICE IN THE UNITED STATES
Author(s): P NEJELSKI
Corporate Author: US Dept of Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE HISTORY OF THE JUVENILE COURT SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES, PROBLEMS FACING THIS SYSTEM AS A RESULT OF THE GAULT DECISION, AND THE ROLES OF SOCIAL SERVICES AND CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES ARE BRIEFLY SUMMARIZED.
Abstract: EVAN THOUGH JUVENILE COURTS STARTED IN 1899, THEY ARE ONLY NOW BEING GIVEN ATTENTION BY JUDGES, LAW PROFESSORS, AND THEORISTS. THE ORIGINAL PURPOSE WAS TO PROVIDE A COURT WHICH COULD PRESCRIBE SOCIAL SERVICE ALTERNATIVES, IN CONTRAST TO BE ADULT COURT OF THE DAY. SINCE THAT TIME, JUVENILE COURTS HAVE MOVED MORE TOWARD THE ADULT MODEL OFHEARINGS, PROSECUTING AND DEFENSE ATTORNEYS, AND DUE PROCESS, WHILE ADULT COURTS HAVE ADOPTED PROBATION, ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING, AND OTHER INNOVATIONS PIONEERED IN JUVENILE COURT. WITH THE RISE IN YOUTHFUL CRIME, THE IMPORTANCE OF JUVENILE COURT IS INCREASING; IT IS HOPED THAT JUVENILE COURT WILL NO LONGER BE TREATED AS A SECOND CLASS ASSIGNMENT BY JUDGES AND LAWYERS. THE GAULT DECISION OF 1968 INTRODUCED THE CONCEPT OF DUE PROCESS FOR JUVENILE FOR THE FIRST TIME. THIS, COMBINED WITH THE INCREASING SERIOUSNESS OF JUVENILE OFFENSES, IS LEADING TO BETTER RECORDKEEPING, MORE FORMAL PROCEDURES, AND A LESSENING OF JUDICIAL POWER IN THE JUVENILE SYSTEM. HOWEVER, THE U.S. JUVENILE JUDICIAL COURT SYSTEM IS MADE UP OF 50 STATE COURTS AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, EACH OPERATING IN A DIFFERENT WAY. SINCE THERE IS LITTLE INFORMATION EXCHANGE, THE EFFECTS OF SOCIAL SERVICE ACTIVITIES OR TREATMENT ALTERNATIVES IN ONE STATE ARE SELDOM PROVIDED TO OTHER STATES. CURRENT TRENDS ARE TOWARD LESS AND SHORTER PERIODS OF INCARCERATION OF JUVENILES; STUDIES HAVE SHOWN THAT JUVENILES WHO SPEND 4 MONTHS IN A CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION HAVE LOWER RECIDIVISM RATES THAN THOSE WHO SPEND THE TRADITIONAL YEAR. ALSO, YOUTHS WHO DO NOT GO TO CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS HAVE STILL LOWER RECIDIVISM RATES. THE PROBLEM OF PROPORTIONALITY OF PUNISHMENT IS INCREASINGLY DEBATED; SHOULD A JUVENILE OFFENDER SPENT LESS TIME BEING PUNISHED THAN AN ADULT WHO COMMITS THE SAME OFFENSE? USE OF JUVENILES AS DOPE CARRIERS OR AS TRIGGER MEN IN GANG WARS BECAUSE OF THEIR RELATIVE IMMUNITY IS INCREASING. ALSO, THE PROBLEM OF WHEN AND HOW TO TRANSFER JUVENILES TO ADULT COURT FOR SERIOUS OFFNSES HAS MANY RAMIFICATIONS REGARDING STANDARDS AND HEARINGS. THESE AND MANY OTHER QUESTIONS REFLECT THE INCREASING BURDEN ON THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM.
Index Term(s): Juvenile adjudication; Juvenile court procedures; Juvenile courts; Theory
Note: 27TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN CRIMINOLOGY - UNIVERSITY OF WUPPERTAL, WEST GERMANY
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=43308

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