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NCJ Number: 68352 Find in a Library
Title: JUVENILE COURT AND THE STATUS OFFENDER - A DILEMMA
Author(s): F A ORLANDO
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 15
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: REASONS FOR ELIMINATING THE STATUS OFFENSE JURISDICTION OF JUVENILE COURTS ARE DISCUSSED BY A FLORIDA CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE IN A PAPER PRESENTED BEFORE A GATHERING OF CHILD PSYCHIATRISTS.
Abstract: THE DISSCUSSION OPENS WITH A BRIEF HISTORY OF JUVENILE COURTS, STATUS OFFENSE LAW, AND U.S. SUPREME COURT DECISIONS RELATIVE TO THE RIGHTS OF JUVENILES. SOCIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSUMPTIONS ON WHICH THE STATUS OFFENSE JURISDICTION IS BASED ARE THEN CONSIDERED. AMONG THESE ARE THE NOTIONS THAT JUDGES CAN IDENTIFY NONCRIMINAL MISBEHAVIOR THAT IS PREDICTIVE OF FUTURE CRIMINALITY, AND THAT COERCIVE INTERVENTION WILL EFFECTIVELY REMEDY FAMILY-BASED PROBLEMS AND DETER FURTHER OFFENSES. IT IS NOTED THAT, WHILE THERE IS LITTLE EVIDENCE OF A POSITIVE EFFECT OF THE STATUS OFFENSE JURISDICTION, THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT INVOLVEMENT OF STATUS OFFENDERS IN THE FORMAL JUDICIAL PROCESS ACTUALLY CONTRIBUTES TO THE LIKELIHOOD OF FUTURE CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR. FLORIDA'S EFFORTS TO REMOVE STATUS OFFENDERS FROM THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM ARE DESCRIBED, AND IT IS CONCLUDED THAT ALL STATES SHOULD ELIMINATE THE STATUS OFFENSE JURISDICTION SO THAT RESPONSIBILITY FOR DEALING WITH NONCRIMINAL MISBEHAVIOR IN CHILDREN WILL BE TAKEN ON BY VOLUNTEER SOCIAL AGENCIES, WHICH ARE MORE APPROPRIATE INSTRUMENTS FOR HANDLING SUCH PROBLEMS. NO LONGER BURDENED WITH STATUS OFFENSES CASES, THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM COULD THEN DEVOTE ITS TIME AND RESOURCES TO COMBATING NEGLECT, ABUSE, AND TRUE DELINQUENCY. WAYS IN WHICH CHILD PSYCHIATRISTS MIGHT FACILITATE SUCH A TRANSITION ARE SUGGESTED.
Index Term(s): Court reform; Florida; Juvenile codes; Status offense decriminalization
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68352

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