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NCJ Number: 65999 Find in a Library
Title: PUTTING JOHNNY IN JAIL
Journal: JURIS DOCTOR  Volume:8  Dated:(1978)  Pages:16-23
Author(s): J KOMISAR
Corporate Author: MBA Communications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: MBA Communications, Inc
New York, NY 10022
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: TRENDS TOWARD TOUGHER POLICIES ON JUVENILE OFFENDERS INCLUDE DETERMINATE SENTENCING, JUVENILE WAIVERS, AND DUE PROCESS RIGHTS.
Abstract: MEDIA COVERAGE PROCLAIMING A YOUTH CRIME WAVE IN 1977 PROVOKED SEVERAL STATE LEGISLATURES INTO INCREASING PENALTIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE CONVICTED OF SERIOUS OFFENSES. FOR EXAMPLE, NEW YORK STATE HAS SET MINIMUM SENTENCES FOR CERTAIN FELONIES AND INCREASED THE MAXIMUM RESTRICTIVE TIME THAT CAN BE IMPOSED ON JUVENILES. WAIVER LAWS WHICH LOWER THE AGE AT WHICH JUVENILES CAN BE SENT TO ADULT COURTS HAVE BEEN COMMON, ALTHOUGH SOME STATES HAVE IMPOSED RESTRICTIONS INVOLVING TYPE OF OFFENSE AND PREVIOUS RECORD. HISTORICALLY, JUVENILE COURTS HAVE ASSUMED THAT CHILDREN WERE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS AND SHOULD BE TREATED RATHER THAN PUNISHED. THIS APPROACH HAS BEEN INEFFECTIVE, AND STATES HAVE MOVED TOWARD LIMITING THE DISCRETION OF JUVENILE JUDGES AND SOCIAL AGENCIES. THE CONCURRENT TREND TOWARD GRANTING JUVENILES MORE DUE PROCESS RIGHTS ALSO REJECTS THE TREATMENT IDEOLOGY AND HAS BEEN CRITICIZED FOR TURNING THE JUVENILE COURT INTO A MINI-ADULT SYSTEM. CIVIL LIBERTARIANS, HOWEVER, CHARGE THAT THE JUVENILE COURT STILL DENIES JUSTICE TO YOUTHFUL OFFENDERS BY IGNORING DUE PROCESSES SUCH AS RIGHT TO COUNSEL AND TRIAL BY JURY. A STUDY PUBLISHED BY THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION'S JUVENILE JUSTICE STANDARDS PROJECT STATES THAT THE PRESENT SYSTEM NEITHER HELPS CHILDREN NOR PROTECTS SOCIETY. THE ASSOCIATION HAS SUGGESTED PRINCIPLES FOR NEW STANDARDS, INCLUDING SANCTIONS BASED ON THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE OFFENSE, REMOVAL OF STATUS OFFENDERS FROM JUVENILE COURTS, AGE AND OFFENSE RESTRICTIONS ON WAIVERS, AND DUE PROCESS RIGHTS. IN THE DEBATE OVER THE RECOMMENDATIONS, JUDGES FAVOR SOME TYPE OF INDETERMINATE SENTENCING AND DO NOT WANT TO RELINQUISH JURISDICTION OVER STATUS OFFENDERS. SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCIES ARE CONCERNED THAT MORE JUVENILES WILL BE SENT TO CRIMINOGENIC INSTITUTIONS FOR LONGER PERIODS. DISTRICT ATTORNEYS SUPPORT DUE PROCESS PROCEDURES, BUT MAINTAIN THAT JUVENILES STILL NEED SOME SPECIAL PROTECTION. CRITICS ALL AGREE THAT THE CURRENT SYSTEM IS NOT WORKING, BUT FUTURE LEGISLATION DEPENDS MORE ON POLITICAL FACTORS AND PUBLICITY THAN EXPERT OPINIONS.
Index Term(s): Determinate Sentencing; Juvenile codes; Juvenile court procedures; Juvenile court waiver; Juvenile designated felonies; Juvenile justice standards; Juvenile justice system; Juvenile status offenses
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65999

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