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NCJ Number: 62573 Find in a Library
Title: SOUTH DAKOTA - POLICE DISPOSITION OF JUVENILE CASES
Journal: SOUTH DAKOTA LAW REVIEW  Volume:24,  Dated:(SUMMER 1979)  Pages:61-105
Author(s): M P ROCHE
Corporate Author: University of South Dakota
School of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 46
Sponsoring Agency: University of South Dakota
Vermillion, SD 57069
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: RESULTS OF A SURVEY OF SOUTH DAKOTA LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES FOCUSING ON THE DISPOSITIONAL DECISION OF REGARDING YOUTH REFERRED TO JUVENILE COURT ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THE 1976 SURVEY PROVED PATTERNS OF AGENCY DISPOSITION OF JUVENILES AND EXISTING POLICE PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING JUVENILES AND MANPOWER ALLOCATIONS IN THE JUVENILE AREA. SURVEY PARTICIPANTS WERE RANDOMLY SELECTED FROM THE STATE'S 136 POLICE AND 64 SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENTS. BOTH TABULAR QUESTIONNAIRES AND FOLLOWUP INTERVIEWS WERE USED. A TOTAL OF 5,322 JUVENILE CONTACTS WERE REPORTED FOR 1975. CONTACTS OCCURRED WHEN A JUVENILE COMMITTED AN OFFENSE, OFFICERS RECOGNIZED A 'WANTED' JUVENILE, OR UNUSUAL OR UNLAWFUL ACTIVITY WAS NOTED BY THE OFFICER. CONTACTS ARE DIVIDED INTO DELINQUENT AND STATUTORY OFFENSES. OF THE 24 REPORTING DEPARTMENTS, 20 STATED THAT THEY USED A COMBINATION OF FACTORS IN DETERMINING WHETHER THE JUVENILE SHOULD BE REFERRED TO THE COURT; THE REMAINING 4 REFERRED CASES ROUTINELY. THE MOST FREQUENT REFERRAL CRITERIA WERE THE JUVENILE'S PAST OFFENSES AND THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE PRESENT OFFENSE. THE AGENCIES SAMPLED REFERRED 56 PERCENT OF THE 5,322 CONTACTS TO COURT; 44 PERCENT WERE HANDLED INFORMALLY. GENERALLY, STATUS OFFENDERS WERE LESS LIKELY TO BE REFERRED TO COURT THAN DELINQUENT OFFENDERS. ONLY FOUR POLICE DEPARTMENTS AND ONE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT ASSIGNED OFFICERS SPECIFICALLY TO THE HANDLING OF JUVENILE CASES. OFFICERS ASSIGNED TO JUVENILE MATTERS EXCLUSIVELY HAD A GREATER EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND THAN REGULAR OFFICERS. BECAUSE THE ROLE OF THE POLICE AS THE PRIMARY AGENT OF REFERRAL OR DIVERSION IS CLEARLY RECOGNIZED, STEPS SHOULD BE TAKEN TO ENSURE THIS RESPONSIBILITY IS CARRIED OUT EFFECTIVELY. THE ARBITRARY MANNER OF DECISIONMAKING SHOULD BE REMEDIED THROUGH THE PASSAGE OF AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION REFERRAL STANDARDS, AND POSSIBLY THROUGH REVISION OF VAGUE SECTIONS OF THE STATE CODE. THE DEVELOPMENT OF GUIDELINES BY ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES AND REQUIREMENT OF SPECIALIZED TRAINING FOR OFFICERS WORKING IN JUVENILE MATTERS IS ALSO RECOMMENDED. FOOTNOTES ARE INLCUDED IN THE ARTICLE. (LWM)
Index Term(s): Decisionmaking; Dispositions; Juvenile adjudication; Juvenile court diversion; Police discretion; Police diversion; South Dakota; Surveys
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