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NCJ Number: 65125 Find in a Library
Title: MIAMI (FL) CRIME COMMISSION - JUVENILE COURT REPORT FAMILY DIVISION, JUVENILE SECTION, 11TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT COURT
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: Crime Cmssn of Greater Miami
United States of America
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Crime Cmssn of Greater Miami
Miami, FL 33125
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: USING VOLUNTEER COURT OBSERVERS, THE CRIME COMMISSION OF GREATER MIAMI STUDIED THE JUVENILE COURT AND ITS ALLIED AGENCIES AND MADE RECOMMENDATIONS TO IMPROVE THE JUVENILE PROCESS.
Abstract: OVER A 4-MONTH PERIOD FOUR JUVENILE JUDGES SITTING IN JUVENILE COURT WERE OBSERVED, AND INTERVIEWS WERE CONDUCTED WITH STATE ATTORNEYS, PUBLIC DEFENDERS, COUNSELORS, JUDGES, AND POLICE OFFICERS. THE EIGHT-PERSON OBSERVER TEAM INCLUDED A RETIRED JUDGE AND FOUR RETIRED ATTORNEYS. COURTS WERE ONLY COVERED 3 DAYS A WEEK, BUT INTERVIEWS SUPPORTED THE CONCLUSIONS DRAWN FROM THE SAMPLE OBSERVATIONS. THE STUDY FOUND THAT A LACK OF SYSTEMATIC CALENDARING OF CASES CAUSED DELAYS, INEFFICIENT USE OF COURT TIME, AND DISMISSALS DUE TO THE SPEEDY TRIAL RULE. ADDITIONAL PROBLEMS WERE CAUSED BY FAILURES OF WITNESSES, DEFENDANTS, OR JUVENILE PERSONNEL TO APPEAR FOR TRIAL. BOTH PROSECUTORS AND DEFENSE ATTORNEYS WERE ABLE TO GAIN POSTPONEMENTS EASILY, CLAIMING A LACK OF PREPAREDNESS, AND DID NOT COOPERATE IN PROCEDURAL MATTERS. THE PUBLIC DEFENDERS OFTEN RECOMMENDED A NOT GUILTY PLEA TO 'BUY TIME' TO PREPARE THE CASE, AND THIS UNDERMINES TRADITIONAL CONCEPTS OF TRUTH AND JUSTICE FOR JUVENILES. CONSIDERABLE TIME AND TAX MONEY IS SPENT TAKING DEPOSITIONS BY PUBLIC DEFENDERS WHO CLAIM THAT IT IS NECESSARY TO PREPARE THEIR CASES. THIS REASONING IS INVALID BECAUSE ALL MATERIAL RELEVANT TO A CASE IS IN THE PROSECUTOR'S FILE AND IS AVAILABLE TO THE DEFENSE. DEPOSITIONS WERE RARELY USED IN THE OBSERVED COURT PROCEEDINGS. THE REPORT RECOMMENDED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A STRONG PROGRAM IN THE SCHOOLS TO HANDLE TRUANCY AND SCHOOL-RELATED OFFENSES, ASSIGNING RELATED CASES TO A SINGLE INTAKE OFFICER, POSSIBLE ELIMINATION OF ATTORNEYS IN TRIALS WHICH DO NOT INVOLVE INCARCERATION AS A PENALTY, AND RESTORATION OF SENTENCING POWERS TO JUDGES. A TABLE BASED ON 91 CASES ILLUSTRATES POSTPONEMENTS AND DISMISSALS AND THEIR CAUSES. THE COMMITTEE CONCLUDED THAT JUVENILE CRIME WILL CONTINUE TO INCREASE UNLESS THE PRESENT SYSTEM IS REFORMED. ONE TABLE IS PROVIDED. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Citizen court watching; Court delays; Florida; Juvenile courts; Public defenders
Note: A FOUR-MONTH STUDY CONDUCTED BY CRIME COMMISSION COURT AIDES OF THE OPERATIONS OF THE ABOVE COURT, INCLUDING OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDED CHANGES
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65125

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