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NCJ Number: 50575 Find in a Library
Title: JUVENILE COURT - WHERE WE WERE, WHERE WE ARE, WHERE WE'RE GOING (FROM UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN CONFERENCE ON CHILD ADVOCACY - PROCEEDINGS, 1976, BY JACK C WESTMAN - SEE NCJ-50570)
Author(s): J J DELANEY
Corporate Author: University of Wisconsin
Dept of Continuing Medical Education
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI 53706
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE LAW IN REGARD TO FAMILIES IS DISCUSSED. JUVENILE COURT HISTORY IS TRACED, AND THE STATE OF THE JUVENILE COURT AT PRESENT AND TRENDS FOR THE FUTURE ARE CONSIDERED.
Abstract: THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW IN REGARD TO FAMILIES IS TO RECOGNIZE THEM AS THE FOUNDATION OF SOCIETY; ITS GOAL SHOULD BE TO DEFINE AND PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF PARENTS AND CHILDREN BOTH WITHIN THE FAMILY RELATIONSHIP AND IN THE FAMILY'S RELATION TO THE COMMUNITY. THE EMERGENCE OF THE JUVENILE COURT IN THE UNITED STATES BEGAN IN THE EARLY 1900'S, AND JUVENILE COURTS APPEARED NATIONWIDE. THEY BECAME ASSOCIATED WITH SOCIAL AGENCIES, AND THE MAJORITY OF JUDGES WERE NONLAWYERS, WITH LITTLE CONNECTION TO THE REST OF THE JUDICIARY. THE SECOND ERA OF JUVENILE COURTS BEGAN IN 1966 WITH KENT V. U.S. AND THE GAULT DECISION (1967). SINCE THE GAULT DECISION MANY STATES HAVE UPGRADED THEIR JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM AND JUVENILE CODES, BUT THE SYSTEM STILL HOLDS A LOW PRIORITY IN RELATION TO OTHER BRANCHES OF THE LEGAL APPARATUS. IN LARGE CITIES, POLICE ARE HANDLING 60-70 PERCENT OF ALL JUVENILE OFFENDERS AS 'STATION HOUSE ADJUSTMENTS' AND SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCIES ARE PROCESSING 90 PERCENT OF THEIR CHILD NEGLECT-ABUSE CASES WITHOUT REFERENCE TO THE COURT. ALTHOUGH JUVENILES COMMIT 50 PERCENT OF REPORTED CRIME IN CITIES, LOS ANGELES (CALIF.) ALLOTS 3 OF ITS 150 SUPREME COURT JUDGES TO JUVENILE COURTS. FUTURE VERSIONS OF THE JUVENILE COURT COULD INCLUDE A RESTRICTED COURT WHICH WOULD DEAL WITH ONLY THE HARD CORE DELINQUENT AND WITH GROSS PHYSICAL ABUSE, OR A HIGHLY VISIBLE COURT WHICH WOULD OFFER DUE PROCESS SAFEGUARDS AND THERAPEUTIC TREATMENT FOR CHILDREN. TO ATTAIN THE LATTER VERSION, COMPETENT JUDGES MUST BE APPOINTED TO JUVENILE COURTS IN ADEQUATE NUMBERS AND WITH SUFFICIENT TIME TO HANDLE CASE LOADS. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THESE STANDARDS BE ADOPTED: THE COURT SHOULD BE A PART OF THE STATE'S HIGHEST TRIAL COURT; IN MULTIPLE JUDGE DISTRICTS, A FAMILY COURT DIVISION SHOULD BE CREATED; FULL OR PART-TIME REFEREES, OR COMMISSIONERS, SHOULD BE APPOINTED TO AID THE JUDGE; NEIGHBORHOOD BRANCHES OF THE JUVENILE COURT SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED IN LARGE COMMUNITIES; EMPHASIS SHOULD BE ON THE SUBSTANCE, RATHER THAN THE FORM, OF LAW; AND THE DISPOSITION OF CASES SHOULD BE A JUDICIAL RESPONSIBILITY. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT MORE TAX MONEY BE SPENT ON JUVENILE COURTS AND THAT ADULTS DEMAND THAT THEIR CHILDREN RECEIVE THEIR RIGHTS IN COURT. (DAG)
Index Term(s): Domestic relations; Family courts; Juvenile court diversion; Juvenile courts; Juvenile justice system; Rights of minors
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50575

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