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NCJ Number: 65016 Find in a Library
Title: WASHINGTON'S NEW JUVENILE CODE
Journal: CORRECTIONS MAGAZINE  Volume:6  Issue:1  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1980)  Pages:36-41
Author(s): M S SERRILL
Corporate Author: Criminal Justice Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Criminal Justice Publications, Inc
New York, NY 10017
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: WASHINGTON STATE'S NEW JUVENILE CODE, MANDATING IMPRISONMENT FOR SERIOUS OFFENDERS BUT FORBIDDING IT FOR STATUS OFFENDERS, MAY NOT REDUCE CRIME, BUT IT IS DEEMED FAIRER TO BOTH JUVENILES AND THE PUBLIC.
Abstract: UNDER THE NEW CODE, JUVENILE OFFENDERS ARE GIVEN A CERTAIN NUMBER OF POINTS WITH EACH CONVICTION, DEPENDING UPON AGE, PRIOR CRIMINAL RECORD, AND THE SEVERITY OF CRIMES. ANYONE ACCUMULATING OVER 110 POINTS MAY BE SENT TO AN INSTITUTION. MINOR, MIDDLE, AND SERIOUS CRIME CATEGORIES ARE SET, ALONG WITH CORRESPONDING PENALTIES, AND JUDGES MAY SENTENCE COUNTER TO THE POINT SYSTEM ONLY IN EXCEPTIONAL CASES. PENALTIES SUCH AS FINES, PUBLIC WORK, OR VICTIM RESTITUTION ARE LEVIED FOR THOSE NOT IMPRISONED. WHILE MANY JUVENILES COMMITTING FELONIES NOW CAN BE SENTENCED UP TO 4 YEARS. THE NEW LEGISLATION IS ALSO A BILL OF RIGHTS FOR CHILDREN. RUNAWAYS MAY NOT BE FORCED TO RETURN TO THEIR FAMILIES, AND DELINQUENTS IN INSTITUTIONS MAY REFUSE COUNSELING. IT IS CLAIMED THE EVILS OF THE OLD JUVENILE CODE WERE DUE TO THE BROAD DISCRETION ALLOWED JUVENILE COURTS SINCE MINORS WERE NOT CONSIDERED RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS, AND THEIR INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS WERE DEEMED MORE IMPORTANT THAN PUBLIC SAFETY. JUDGES NOW HAVE LESS DISCRETION, MAY LESS OFTEN REMOVE DELINQUENT JUVENILES FROM THEIR FAMILIES, AND MAY NOT SENTENCE ACCORDING TO THE MINOR'S CIRCUMSTANCES.
Index Term(s): Judicial discretion; Juvenile codes; Juvenile courts; Law reform; Laws and Statutes; Sentencing guidelines; Washington
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