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NCJ Number: 49772 Find in a Library
Title: UNITED STATES - FROM THE FIRST JUVENILE COURT TO THE PRESENT (FROM JUVENILE JUSTICE IN BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES - THE BALANCE OF NEEDS AND RIGHTS, 1978, BY PHYLLIDA PARSLOE - SEE NCJ-49769)
Author(s): P PARSLOE
Corporate Author: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 35
Sponsoring Agency: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd
Boston, MA 02108
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE HISTORY OF JUVENILE COURTS IN THE UNITED STATES IS TRACED FROM THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FIRST COURT IN ILLINOIS IN 1898 THROUGH U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISIONS OF THE 1960'S AFFECTING THE JUVENILE COURTS.
Abstract: THE LAW ESTABLISHING THE ILLINOIS JUVENILE COURT CONTAINED A NEW IDEA: THAT OFFENSES AGAINST THE CRIMINAL LAW, WHEN COMMITTED BY CHILDREN, WERE NOT CRIMES. THIS INNOVATION SHIFTED THE BALANCE IN THE NEW JUVENILE COURTS TOWARD A WELFARE APPROACH TO DEALING WITH PROBLEM YOUTHS, THOUGH IT LEFT CHILDREN WITHOUT THE PROTECTIONS THAT ACCOMPANY A CRIMINAL JUSTICE APPROACH. THERE WAS A TENDENCY TO ATTRIBUTE TO THE EARLY PROPONENTS OF JUVENILE COURTS ONLY THE HIGHEST OF HUMANITARIAN MOTIVES; HOWEVER, SOME MAY HAVE BEEN CONCERNED WITH THE SOCIAL CONTROL OF CHILDREN WHOSE BEHAVIOR THREATENED MIDDLE CLASS VALUES. JUVENILE COURTS SPREAD RAPIDLY DURING THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE 20TH CENTURY. THE FORM THAT THE SYSTEM WAS TO TAKE WAS ESTABLISHED, AND THE BASIC FEATURES OF THE JUVENILE COURT BECAME ACCEPTED. THE INDIVIDUALIZATION OF JUSTICE FOR JUVENILES WAS DEPENDENT UPON THE DEVELOPMENT OF PROBATION SERVICES. ANOTHER DEVELOPMENT IN THE EARLY PERIOD OF THE JUVENILE COURTS WAS THE INCLUSION IN JUVENILE CODES OF POWERS TO DEAL WITH ADULTS WHO CONTRIBUTE TO A CHILD'S DELINQUENCY, DEPENDENCY, AND/OR NEGLECT. EARLY APPEALS CONCERNING THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE JUVENILE COURTS FOCUSED ON QUESTIONS OF DUE PROCESS, THE CRIMINAL JURISDICTION OF THE JUVENILE COURT, AND OTHER ISSUES. BY 1925, THE MAJOR ISSUES SEEMED SETTLED. THE NEXT 25 YEARS SAW ATTEMPTS TO RAISE STANDARDS IN JUVENILE COURTS AND PROBATION DEPARTMENTS AND TO ACHIEVE UNIFORMITY ACROSS THE NATION. FEDERAL JUVENILE COURTS WERE ESTABLISHED IN 1938, BUT THE IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS OF THIS PERIOD WERE IN SOCIAL WORK METHODS RATHER THAN IN LEGAL MATTERS. THE JUVENILE COURT NO LONGER PROVIDED A MEETING POINT FOR THE CONFLICTING APPROACHES OF WELFARE AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE; THE WELFARE APPROACH HAD TOO STRONG A HOLD. A RENEWED CONCERN WITH THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN BEGAN TO EMERGE IN THE LATE 1940'S. WHILE LAWYERS FOCUSED ON THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN IN THE COURTS, SOCIOLOGISTS WERE DEVELOPING THEORIES THAT ATTRIBUTED DELINQUENCY TO THE ACTION OF SOCIETY RATHER THAN TO THE INDIVIDUAL. IN 1967, THE U.S. SUPREME COURT BEGAN TO ADDRESS THE DUE PROCESS RIGHTS OF JUVENILES. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Juvenile codes; Juvenile courts; Juvenile justice system
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