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NCJ Number: 69885 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Disaffirmance of the Right to Treatment Doctrine - A New Juncture in Juvenile Justice
Journal: University of Pittsburgh Law Review  Volume:41  Dated:(Winter 1980)  Pages:159-204
Author(s): R S Levine
Corporate Author: Pennsylvania Child Advocate, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 46
Sponsoring Agency: Pennsylvania Child Advocate, Inc

US Dept of Justice
Grant Number: 78-JN-AX-0009
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This examination of the right to treatment doctrine concludes that litigation based on it should be abandoned in favor of implementation of the American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Standards.
Abstract: A legally enforceable right to treatment for the involuntarily confined mentally ill was advocated by Birnbaum in 1960. In 1966, a court adopted the right to treatment doctrine; later cases applied this right to juveniles. Both statutory and constitutional origins have been cited for the right to treatment. The constitutional right has been based on the maxims of due process, equal protection, and prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment. Implementation of the right has been difficult and monitoring has been virtually impossible. Public interest legislators became involved with juvenile right to treatment litigation after exposure to prison reform litigation. Litigation vehicles have included mandamus, the inherent powers doctrine, contempt, the extraordinary writ of habeas corpus, personal injury, and tort actions. The civil rights class action remains the most effective vehicle for right to treatment litigation because of its flexibility and scope. Most cases have been litigated in Federal courts. The juvenile courts' current problems are related to the growing criticism of right to treatment, structural weaknesses, narrowing judicial discretion, and other factors. The article concludes that the right to treatment movement illustrates the uses and limitations of judicial use of social engineering. The American Bar Association Juvenile Justice Standards provide a chance for reform without further reliance on the right to treatment doctrine. These standards reject the rehabilitative model, propose legislatively determined maximum sentences, assert that all coercive sanctions are punishment and no treatment can be given without express consent, and use the substantive due process component of the least restrictive alternative. Therefore, these standards can serve as the new litigation vehicle for juveniles. Casenotes are included.
Index Term(s): Critiques; Judicial decisions; Juvenile justice standards; Lawsuits; Right to treatment
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