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NCJ Number: 49811 Find in a Library
Title: STATUS OFFENSE DILEMMA - COERCION AND TREATMENT
Journal: CRIME AND DELINQUENCY  Volume:22  Issue:4  Dated:(OCTOBER 1976)  Pages:456-460
Author(s): H ABADINSKY
Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Des Moines, IA 50316
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ARGUMENTS AGAINST RETAINING THE JUVENILE COURT'S JURISDICTION OVER STATUS OFFENSES ARE PRESENTED, WITH REFERENCE TO ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF DEALING WITH SUCH OFFENSES IN SCANDINAVIAN AND OTHER COUNTRIES.
Abstract: THE JUVENILE COURT HAS FAILED TO LIVE UP TO ITS ORIGINAL GOAL OF SAVING CHILDREN FROM THE STIGMA OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROCESS. THE COURTS GENERALLY ARE INADEQUATELY STAFFED AND OVERCROWDED. HEARINGS OFTEN ARE CURSORY. YET THE COURT CONTINUES TO RETAIN JURISDICTION OVER STATUS OFFENDERS, CHILDREN WHOSE OFFENSES ARE SUCH ACTS AS TRUANCY, RUNNING AWAY FROM HOME, AND BEING INCORRIGIBLE. RETENTION OF THIS JURISDICTION IS PREDICATED ON THE NEED FOR THE COURT'S COERCIVE POWER. IF THE USE OF THIS COERCIVE POWER HAD A SALUTARY EFFECT, SOME OF THE COURT'S CRITICS MIGHT BE MOLLIFIED. BUT THE JUVENILE COURT PROCESS STIGMATIZES CHILDREN, AND THE TREATMENT IT PROVIDES IS COSTLY AND INEFFECTIVE. THE JUVENILE COURT SHOULD REDUCE THE NUMBER AND NARROW THE CATEGORIES OF YOUNG PERSONS SUBJECT TO ITS COERCION AND SHOULD INTENSIFY ITS RESEARCH EFFORTS TO FIND BETTER WAYS OF DEALING WITH YOUNG OFFENDERS. POTENTIAL ALTERNATIVES ARE TO BE FOUND IN THE CHILD WELFARE COUNCILS AND SIMILAR ORGANIZATIONS THAT PROVIDE SERVICES TO CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES IN SWEDEN, NORWAY, DENMARK, BELGIUM, AND SCOTLAND. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LKM)
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Jurisdiction; Juvenile courts; Juvenile status offenders; Juvenile status offenses
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49811

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