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NCJ Number: 47919 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: BACKGROUND PAPER ON DELINQUENCY ADJUDICATIONS AGAINST JUVENILES (FROM DELINQUENCY ADJUDICATIONS AGAINST JUVENILES, 1978, BY B J GEORGE, JR ET AL - SEE NCJ-47918)
Author(s): B J GEORGE
Corporate Author: Citizens Research Council of Michigan
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Citizens Research Council of Michigan
Detroit, MI 48226
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE STATUS OF JUVENILES IN DELINQUENCY ADJUDICATION IN MICHIGAN AS OF APRIL 1978 IS EXAMINED, AND THE HISTORY OF THE CODES AND STATUTES DEFINING JUVENILE STATUS IS TRACED.
Abstract: UNTIL THE LATE 19TH CENTURY, JUVENILE OFFENDERS IN MICHIGAN WERE DEALT WITH IN THE SAME WAY AS ADULT OFFENDERS. AGE WAS A FACTOR ONLY IN ASCERTAINING CULPABILITY. CHILDREN UNDER 7 WERE PRESUMED LEGALLY INCAPABLE OF COMMITTING CRIMES, AND THOSE BETWEEN 7 AND 14 WERE INITIALLY PRESUMED UNABLE TO PERFORM CRIMINAL ACTION; AFTER AGE 14, FULL CRIMINAL RESPONSIBILITY ATTACHED. IN REACTION TO CRUELTIES INHERENT IN CONFINING JUVENILES BEFORE AND DURING TRIAL AND AFTER CONVICTION, SOMETIMES WITH HARDENED CRIMINALS, AMERICAN JURISDICTIONS DEVELOPED SPECIAL JUVENILE COURTS WITH JURISDICTION BASED ON AGE. THESE COURTS WERE EMPOWERED TO ADJUDICATE CHARGES OF DELINQUENCY AND HAD THE RESPONSIBILITY TO CARE FOR NEGLECTED CHILDREN. AS EARLY AS 1857, MICHIGAN RECOGNIZED THE NEED TO PROVIDE SPECIAL INSTITUTIONS FOR YOUNG PERSONS CONVICTED OF CRIMES. THE FIRST COMPREHENSIVE LAW, ENACTED IN 1905, WAS FOUND TO BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND WAS REPLACED BY A VALID ENACTMENT IN 1907. THE STATE SUPREME COURT ALSO PROMULGATED JUVENILE DELINQUENCY PROCEEDINGS WERE VIEWED AS CIVIL AND PROTECTIVE, AND THEREFORE NOT REGULATED BY THE CONSTITUTIONAL SAFEGUARDS GOVERNING ADULT CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS; THIS RATIONALE WAS REJECTED BY THE U.S. SUPREME COURT IN ITS GAULT DECISION OF 1967. NOTING THAT THE ASSERTED REHABILITATIVE PURPOSES OF THE JUVENILE COURT SYSTEM HAD NOT BEEN ACHIEVED AND THAT JUVENILES COULD NOT ENJOY MARKEDLY FEWER CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS THAN ADULTS PURELY BECAUSE OF AGE, THE COURT MADE CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS: (1) RESPONDENTS MUST RECEIVE TIMELY WRITTEN NOTICE OF CHARGES; (2) THEY SHALL BE REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL; (3) THEY WILL BE ACCORDED THE RIGHT TO CONFRONT WITNESSES; AND (4) THEY MUST HAVE THE PROTECTION OF THE PRIVILEGE AGAINST SELF-INCRIMINATION. AREAS THAT REMAIN CONTROVERSIAL ARE THE INABILITY TO RETAIN CONTROL PAST A CERTAIN AGE AND THE DEFINITION OF THE CHARACTER OF THE JUVENILE COURT. PROPONENTS OF THE EXISTING SYSTEM BELIEVE THAT DELINQUENT CONDUCT IS SYMPTOMATIC OF ILLNESS, SOCIAL MALADJUSTMENT, OR ECONOMIC DEPRIVATION; THEY PURPORT DATA THAT, IF THE CAUSES ARE REMOVED BY A CERTAIN AGE, ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOR WILL CEASE. IN MICHIGAN, ONLY JUVENILES 16 OR YOUNGER CAN BE DEALT WITH IN JUVENILE COURT. IF ADJUDICATION IS MADE BEFORE A JUVENILE BECOMES 17, REMEDIAL SANCTIONS CAN CONTINUE THROUGH AGE 18, BUT WITH A RESPONDENT'S 19TH BIRTHDAY, ALL CONTROL TERMINATES. PROPONENTS OF CHANGE RECOMMEND THAT THE ADULT CRIMINAL COURTS BE GIVEN THE POWER TO RY AT LEAST VIOLENT CRIMINAL COURTS BE GIVEN THE POWER TO TRY AT LEAST VIOLENT CRIMINAL ACTS COMMITTED BY THOSE ABOVE THE AGE OF 14. CRITICS OF THE CHARACTER OF AMERICA'S JUVENILE COURT STRUCTURE ASSERT THAT, SINCE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF SUCH COURTS AT THE TURN OF THE CENTURY, THE ADMINISTRATIVE-WELFARE APPARATUS AND COURT SYSTEM HAVE CHANGED IN SUCH A WAY AS TO RENDER THE JUVENILE COURT AN ANACHRONISM. (KBL)
Index Term(s): Juvenile adjudication; Juvenile codes; Juvenile courts; Juvenile justice system; Juvenile status offenders; Michigan; Reform
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=47919

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