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NCJ Number: 48133 Find in a Library
Title: JURISDICTION OVER STATUS OFFENSES SHOULD NOT BE REMOVED FROM THE JUVENILE COURT (FROM STATUS OFFENDERS AND THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM - AN ANTHOLOGY, 1978, BY RICHARD ALLINSON - SEE NCJ-48132)
Author(s): L H MARTIN; P R SNYDER
Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Newark, NJ 07102
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE REMOVAL OF STATUS OFFENDERS FROM THE JURISDICTION OF THE JUVENILE COURT, INCLUDING THE FEAR OF A REDUCTION IN SERVICES TO FAMILIES UNDER STRESS, ARE PRESENTED.
Abstract: THE ARTICLE ARGUES THAT, AT LEAST IN NEW YORK WHERE A JUVENILE CANNOT BE BROUGHT BEFORE THE COURTS ON THE BASIS OF A SINGLE STATUS OFFENSE, CHILDREN WHO COME TO THE ATTENTION OF THE JUVENILE AUTHORITIES FOR REPEAT OR HABITUAL STATUS OFFENSES SHOW EVIDENCE OF A NEED FOR SUPERVISION BEYOND THE CAPABILITIES OF VOLUNTARY AGENCY SERVICES. SHOULD STATUS OFFENDERS BE REMOVED FROM THE JURISDICTION OF THE JUVENILE COURTS, THE ONLY RECOURSE FOR FAMILIES UNDER STRESS WOULD BE VOLUNTARY AGENCIES, AND IT IS ARGUED THAT IF PARENTS ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEY CANNOT CONTROL THEIR CHILDREN, THERE IS NO BASIS FOR ASSUMING THAT SUCH CHILDREN WILL HONOR THEIR COMMITMENTS TO AND APPOINTMENTS WITH VOLUNTARY AGENCIES. TO REMOVE STATUS OFFENSES FROM THE PURVIEW OF THE JUVENILE OR FAMILY COURTS IS TO SERIOUSLY NARROW THEIR DISPOSITIONAL OPTIONS. MANY PEOPLE WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN TROUBLE HAVE FOUND A DISTINCTION AMONG YOUTH: YOUNGSTERS WHO FUNCTION WITHIN A GROUP WHOSE VALUES ARE ANTISOCIAL, AND THOSE WHOSE PERSONALITIES ARE MORE DISORGANIZED AND WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED GREATER INTRAFAMILY TENSIONS. ALTHOUGH THE SAME ACT MAY BE COMMITTED BY A YOUNGSTER BELONGING TO EACH CATEGORY, IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE TO RESPOND TO THEM IDENTICALLY, AS WOULD BE THE CASE SHOULD THE JUVENILE COURTS ADOPT A STRUCTURE SIMILAR TO THAT IN USE AT THE ADULT COURT LEVEL. WITHIN SUCH A FRAMEWORK, JUVENILE STATUS OFFENSES WOULD SOON COME TO BE IGNORED. NO ONE CAN SHOW THAT IGNORING RUNAWAYS OR OTHER STATUS OFFENDERS WILL MAKE THEM FEEL MORE LOVED OR WANTED. ALSO, NO ONE CAN SHOW THAT IF JUVENILE COURTS WERE RID OF STATUS OFFENDERS AND WERE RESERVED FOR YOUTH CHARGED WITH CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR, THE RESULTING ADDITIONAL TIME AND RESOURCES WOULD LEAD TO GREATER EFFECTIVENESS IN DEALING WITH JUVENILE DELINQUENTS. REDUCING HEAVY COURT CALENDARS BY REMOVING STATUS OFFENDERS WILL NOT ENHANCE THE STATUS OF THE COURT; NEITHER WILL IT PROVIDE THE VARIETY OF TREATMENT PROGRAMS NEEDED FOR EFFECTIVE DISPOSITIONS. STATUS OFFENDERS SHOULD REMAIN WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THE JUVENILE COURTS AND, FURTHER, SERVICE PROGRAMS FOR FAMILIES UNDER STRESS SHOULD BE EXPANDED BOTH TO FACILITATE VOLUNTARY ACCESS AND TO BROADEN THE DISPOSITIONAL AVENUES AVAILABLE TO THE COURTS. NOTES ARE PROVIDED. (KBL)
Index Term(s): Juvenile adjudication; Juvenile courts; Juvenile justice system; Juvenile status offenses
Note: REPRINTED FROM CRIME AND DELINQUENCY, V 22, N 1 (JANUARY 1976), P 44-47
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=48133

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