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NCJ Number: 67939 Find in a Library
Title: JUVENILE COURT STRUCTURES - PROBLEMS AND DILEMMAS
Author(s): J JUNGER-TAS
Corporate Author: Netherlands Ministry of Justice
Research and Documentation Centre
Netherlands
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Netherlands Ministry of Justice
2500 Eh the Hague, Netherlands
Publication Number: 33
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Survey (Cross-Cultural)
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: USING RESEARCH STUDIES FROM WESTERN EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES, THE PAPER DISCUSSES PROBLEMS FACING JUVENILE COURTS AND NEW APPROACHES TO JUVENILE JUSTICE.
Abstract: JUVENILE COURTS HAVE ALWAYS EXPERIENCED CONFLICTS BETWEEN PROTECTING SOCIETY AND RESPONDING TO CHILDREN'S NEEDS, BUT THE DILEMMA HAS BECOME ACUTE IN RECENT YEARS. STUDIES SHOW THAT JUVENILE DELINQUENCY IS MORE WIDESPREAD THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT, AND MUCH MISCONDUCT IS NEVER REPORTED BUT DISAPPEARS AFTER ADOLESCENCE. COURTS HAVE BECOME DISILLUSIONED WITH THE POOR RESULTS OF INSTITUTIONAL TREATMENT AND HAVE BEEN ATTACKED BY LABELING THEORISTS AS DISCRIMINATORY AND STIGMATIZING. THE RISE OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY IN ALL WESTERN COUNTRIES SINCE 1950'S HAS PLACED ADDITIONAL PRESSURES ON THE COURTS. IN ORDER TO REDUCE THE INPUT INTO THE JUSTICE SYSTEM, POLICE IN ENGLAND, WALES, AND FRANCE HAVE BEEN GIVEN MORE LEEWAY TO DISMISS CASES OR HANDLE THEM UNOFFICIALLY. SIMILAR POLICIES IN SWEDEN AND THE NETHERLANDS ARE DISCUSSED. A MAJOR PORTION OF JUVENILE COURT CASES CONCERN YOUTHS WHOSE BEHAVIOR IS PREDELINQUENT OR WHO ARE MALTREATED. MOST WESTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES HAVE SHIFTED TREATMENT POLICIES TO EMPHASIZE LESS INTENSIVE INTERVENTIONS IN CHILDREN'S LIVES, AND CONSEQUENTLY INSTITUTIONAL PLACEMENTS HAVE DECLINED. IN ENGLAND AND FRANCE, A TREND TOWARD GREATER PUNITIVENESS IN REGARD TO HARD CORE OFFENDERS IS EVIDENT. IN THE NETHERLANDS, JUVENILES SENTENCED TO PRISON HAVE NOT INCREASED SINCE 1965, BUT THE NUMBER OF JUVENILE OFFENDERS REMANDED IN CUSTODY HAS RISEN. WHEN JUVENILE DELINQUENTS BECOME 16, JUDGES SEEM TO FEEL THAT MORE EDUCATION OR TREATMENT WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE. A REVIEW OF THE SCANDANAVIAN SYSTEM, THE ENGLISH 1969 CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS ACT, AND THE SCOTTISH HEARING SYSTEM DEMONSTRATES DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO SOLVE THE DILEMMA BETWEEN HELP AND PUNISHMENT. CORRECTIONAL TREATMENT THEORISTS VIEW DELINQUENCY AS A PATHOLOGICAL CONDITION OR AS A FUNCTION OF JUVENILE GROUP RELATIONS. THEY ALSO ASSUME THAT LACK OF SKILL AND RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES CONTRIBUTE TO DELINQUENT BEHAVIOR. HOWEVER, BOTH INSTITUTIONAL PROGRAMS AND SOCIAL WORKER INTERVENTION HAVE NOT BEEN VERY SUCCESSFUL. DIVERSION PROGRAMS IN THE UNITED STATES ARE EXAMINED, ALONG WITH ALTERNATIVE SOCIAL AGENCIES IN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES WHICH OFFER IMMEDIATE, REALISTIC, AND NONMORALIZING HELP TO ADOLESCENTS. GUIDELINES FOR THIS TYPE OF APPROACH ARE PROVIDED. AS THE COURT RESTRICTS ITS INTERVENTIONS, THE NEED FOR HELPING SERVICES WHICH EMPHASIZE SOLUTIONS TO THE NORMAL PROBLEMS OF GROWING UP WILL INCREASE. A BIBLIOGRAPHY IS INCLUDED. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Child abuse; England; Foreign juvenile justice systems; France; Juvenile court diversion; Juvenile courts; Juvenile justice system; Multinational studies; Netherlands; Scotland; Sweden; United States of America
Note: REPORT PREPARED FOR THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE'S SEMINAR FOR JUVENILE COURT JUDGES, STRASBOURG, SEPTEMBER 24-28, 1979
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67939

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