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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 51983 Find in a Library
Title: EMERGING THEMES OF FEDERAL YOUTH CRIME POLICY
Journal: JUSTICE SYSTEM JOURNAL  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(FALL 1978)  Pages:88-99
Author(s): A RUTHERFORD
Corporate Author: Institute for Court Management
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Institute for Court Management
Denver, CO 80202
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A HISTORY OF GENERAL POLICY PERVADING THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM NATIONWIDE IS TRACED, FOLLOWED BY A DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS OF THE 1974 FEDERAL JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION ACT.
Abstract: THE FOLLOWING THREE CONTEMPORARY THEMES ARE ASSOCIATED WITH YOUTH CRIME: REDUCTION OF THE MASSIVE OVERREACH OF THE JUVENILE JUSTICE PROCESS; NARROWING THE GAP BETWEEN JUVENILE AND CRIMINAL COURT PROCEDURES; AND CHANGES IN SENTENCING PHILOSOPHIES. THE PERCEIVED OVERREACH OF THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM, WHICH CURRENT POLICY IS ATTEMPTING TO REDUCE, IS ROOTED IN THE ORIGINAL POLICY APPROACH WHEN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM WAS ESTABLISHED IN THE LATTER PART OF THE 19TH CENTURY. AT THAT TIME IT WAS BELIEVED THAT EXTENSIVE INTERVENTION BY THE STATE IN THE LIVES OF PROBLEM YOUTH TO SUPERVISE AND CORRECT ERRANT BEHAVIOR WOULD PREVENT MORE SERIOUS ADULT CRIME LATER. IT IS WIDELY BELIEVED NOW, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH AN APPROACH HAS BEEN COUNTERPRODUCTIVE, IN MANY CASES YOUTH HAVE REACTED WITH AN INCREASED HOSTILITY TOWARD THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE AND HAVE DEVELOPED A CRIMINAL SELF-IDENTITY THROUGH OFFICIAL TREATMENT. EFFORTS TO REDUCE THIS OVERREACH HAVE INVOLVED DIVERSION, DECARCERATION, AND DECRIMINALIZATION. A SECOND MAJOR THEME IN CURRENT JUVENILE JUSTICE POLICY--NARROWING THE GAP BETWEEN JUVENILE AND CRIMINAL COURT PROCEDURES--RECEIVED ITS IMPETUS IN THE U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISION IN THE GAULT CASE. ON THE BASIS OF THIS CASE, JUVENILE COURT PROCEDURES WERE CONSIDERED POTENTIALLY ARBITRARY AND INATTENTIVE TO THE RIGHTS OF YOUTH WHICH WERE GUARANTEED TO ADULTS IN CRIMINAL TRIALS. THE TREND THUS HAS BEEN TOWARD PROVIDING DUE PROCESS RIGHTS FOR JUVENILES IN COURT PROCEDURES. THE THIRD THEME DISCUSSED--CHANGE IN SENTENCING PHILOSOPHY FROM REHABILITATION TO JUST DESSERTS AND INCAPACITATION--IS A MOVE BASED IN A GROWING DISILLUSIONMENT WITH THE EFFECTIVENESS OF REHABILITATION PROGRAMS AND A CONCERN TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC IN THE MIDST OF A RAPID RISE IN SERIOUS CRIMES COMMITTED BY YOUTH. THE BASIC ELEMENTS OF THE 1974 JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION ACT SHOW A THRUST TOWARD DIVERSION FROM COURT PROCEDURES AND A MINIMIZATION OF INCARCERATION FOR YOUTH. THE EMERGENCE OF A JUVENILE JUSTICE POLICY ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL IS CONTRASTED WITH THE LACK OF POLICY LEADERSHIP IN ADULT CRIMINAL JUSTICE. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Decriminalization; Juvenile court diversion; Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act; Juvenile justice system; Policy; Sentencing/Sanctions
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51983

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