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NCJ Number: 52275 Find in a Library
Title: PURSUING JUVENILE JUSTICE - COMMENTS ON SOME RECENT REFORM PROPOSALS
Journal: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT JOURNAL OF URBAN LAW  Volume:55  Issue:3  Dated:(SPRING 1978)  Pages:631-648
Author(s): F E ZIMRING
Corporate Author: University of Detroit
School of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: University of Detroit
Detroit, MI 48226
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: MAJOR THEMES IN RECENT 'JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM' LITERATURE ARE SUMMARIZED AND PRINCIPLES THAT JUSTIFY A SPECIAL POLICY FOR SENTENCING YOUNG OFFENDERS IN JUVENILE AND CRIMINAL COURTS ARE SUGGESTED.
Abstract: THE OPERATION OF THE JUVENILE COURT FROM ITS ORIGIN IN 1899 TO THE PRESENT IS DESCRIBED AS BASED IN 'THE OMNIBUS THEORY OF DELINQUENCY,' WHICH VIEWS ALL SERIOUS MISBEHAVIOR BY YOUTH, WHETHER OR NOT SANCTIONED BY CRIMINAL LAW, AS REASON FOR INTERVENTION BY THE JUVENILE COURT TO EFFECT REHABILITATION. THE TREATMENT OR SENTENCING OF THE DELINQUENT HAS BEEN LEFT LARGELY TO THE DISCRETION OF THE JUDGE. THE IMPETUS FOR RECENT JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM PROPOSALS IS BELIEVED FOUND IN THE INCREASING CRIME RATE AMONG ADOLESCENTS AND THE APPARENT INEFFECTIVENESS OF THE PRESENT SYSTEM IN ACCOMPLISHING REHABILITATION. A SURVEY OF LITERATURE ON JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM REVEALS A CONSENSUS ON THESE REFORM THRUSTS: (1) A NARROWING OF THE DELINQUENCY JURISDICTION OF THE JUVENILE COURT; (2) A REDUCTION OF THE NUMBER OF YOUTHS PLACED UNDER FORMAL SOCIAL CONTROL; (3) A CURTAILMENT OF STATE POWER TO INTERVENE COERCIVELY IN THE LIVES OF YOUTH WHO HAVE NOT VIOLATED THE CRIMINAL LAW; AND (4) THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF SOCIAL CONTROL TO BE EXERCISED OVER YOUTH AS AS PROPORTIONAL TO THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE OFFENSE. COMMENTS ON THESE PROPOSALS ARE SUMMARIZED AS FOLLOWS: MANY REFORM PROPOSALS COME TO DIFFERENT CONCLUSIONS BECAUSE THEY FOCUS ON DIFFERENT ARCHETYPAL CASES; SOME PROPOSALS INTENDED TO ACHIEVE GREATER UNIFORMITY IN THE JUVENILE COURT CREATE GREATER DISPARITY BETWEEN SENTENCING IN THE JUVENILE COURT AND THE SENTENCING OF YOUTH IN CRIMINAL COURT; AND PROPOSALS TO SENTENCE YOUTH IN PROPORTION TO SEVERITY OF OFFENSE FAIL TO PROVIDE A PRINCIPLED BASIS FOR DIFFERENTIATION AMONG THE VARIOUS FORMS OF YOUTH CRIMINALITY. AS REFORM EFFORTS MOVE TO A SYSTEM OF PROPORTIONAL PUNISHMENT, THE LIMITED RESPONSIBILITY OF JUVENILES BECAUSE OF AGE AND THE TIME NEEDED FOR MATURATION ARE SUGGESTED AS COHERENT REASONS FOR DIFFERENTIAL SENTENCING BETWEEN YOUTH AND ADULT OFFENDERS. REFERENCES ARE FOOTNOTED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Analysis; Juvenile courts; Juvenile justice reform; Juvenile justice system; Juvenile sentencing; Juvenile status offenders; Sentencing disparity; Summaries; Youthful offenders
Note: REPRINTED FROM CONFRONTING YOUTH CRIME, PUBLISHED BY HOLMES AND MEIER, NEW YORK, 1978
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52275

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