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NCJ Number: 66167 Find in a Library
Title: RETHINKING JUVENILE JUSTICE - THE STANDARDS PROJECT
Journal: CHILD WELFARE  Volume:59  Issue:3  Dated:(MARCH 1980)  Pages:145-151
Author(s): D GILMAN
Corporate Author: Welfare League of America (CWLA)
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Welfare League of America (CWLA)
Washington, DC 20036
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE DESCRIBES THE NATURE AND INTENT OF CHANGES IN THE JUVENILE COURT SYSTEM AS RECOMMENDED BY THE JOINT COMMISSION OF THE INSTITUTE OF JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION (IJA) AND THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION (ABA).
Abstract: SINCE THE PUBLICATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF 23 VOLUMES OF JUVENILE JUSTICE STANDARDS BY THE COMMISSION, THE STANDARDS HAVE BEEN REVIEWED IN PROFESSIONAL PERIODICALS AND LAW JOURNALS AND HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED AT CONFERENCES AND SYMPOSIUMS. THE JUVENILE COURT SYSTEM WAS FOUNDED ON THE PREMISE THAT JUVENILE DELINQUENCY IS CAUSED BY EITHER ENVIRONMENTAL NEGLECT, INDIVIDUAL PATHOLOGY, OR A COMBINATION OF THESE FACTORS. A MEDICAL MODEL WAS CONSIDERED THE HUMANE AND EFFECTIVE RESPONSE TO JUVENILE CRIME. TREATMENT SERVICES WERE CHAMPIONED, YET THE PRACTICAL RESULTS OF THE TREATMENT MODEL HAVE FALLEN SHORT. THE COMMISSION HAS ESTABLISHED CRITERIA AND PROCEDURES FOR STRUCTURING THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUVENILE JUSTICE TO MEET CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS WHILE RETAINING THE BEST ASPECTS OF THE TREATMENT MODEL. COERCIVE TREATMENT IN SECURE PLACEMENT WAS REJECTED BY THE COMMISSION AS AN IMPERMISSIBLE INVASION OF A JUVENILE'S PRIVACY AND LIBERTY INTERESTS. BY PROVIDING CLEAR AND PRECISE STANDARDS FOR INSTITUTIONALIZATION, THE COMMISSION LIMITS SECURE PLACEMENT TO JUVENILES CHARGED WITH SERIOUS CRIMES. THE CORNERSTONE OF THE STANDARDS' SENTENCING SCHEME IS THAT ALL SENTENCES, REGARDLESS OF SEVERITY, MUST BE DETERMINATE AND BASED ON PROPORTIONALITY, WITH MAXIMUMS FIXED BY THE LEGISLATURE. A LIMITED WAIVER OF DELINQUENTS TO ADULT CRIMINAL COURTS IS ALLOWED. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF MANDATORY SENTENCES OR FIXING OF SENTENCE MINIMUMS IS PROHIBITED. JUDGES ARE GIVEN THE FLEXIBILITY TO SENTENCE WITHIN LEGISLATIVELY ESTABLISHED MAXIMUMS. PARTICIPATION IN TREATMENT PROGRAMS CANNOT BE COERCED BY THREATS OF LENGTHENING INCARCERATION. STRONG PREFERENCE FOR PARENTAL AUTONOMY IN CHILDREARING GUIDE THE ABUSE AND NEGLECT STANDARDS. JUVENILE COURT INTERVENTION CAN OCCUR ONLY WHEN A CHILD IS THREATENED WITH OR SUFFERS FROM CAREFULLY DEFINED HARMS. THE STANDARDS PREMISE COURT INTERVENTION UPON SPECIFIC HARM TO THE CHILD, RATHER THAN ON PARENTAL FAULT, AND WOULD VEST THE JUVENILE COURT WITH LEGAL AUTHORITY OVER AGENCIES AND INSTITUTIONS THAT ARE THE PROVIDERS OF FAMILY AND CHILD WELFARE SERVICES. THEY RECOMMEND THAT STATE INTERVENTION SEEK PRIMARILY TO PROMOTE AUTONOMY AND STRENGTHEN FAMILY LIFE. THE 23-VOLUME SET OF STANDARDS SHOULD SERVE AS AN IMPORTANT GUIDELINE FOR ALL CONCERNED WITH JUVENILE JUSTICE. FOR A RELATED ARTICLE, SEE NCJ 66166. (MJW)
Index Term(s): ABA criminal justice standards; Juvenile courts; Juvenile justice reform; Juvenile justice standards; Objectives
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66167

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