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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70331 Find in a Library
Title: Promises, Failures, and New Promises in Juvenile Justice - Implications for Social Work Education in the 1980s
Journal: Journal of Education for Social Work  Volume:15  Issue:3  Dated:(Fall 1979)  Pages:88-95
Author(s): J H Ward
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The article discusses the impact of reforms in the juvenile justice system upon social service agencies, the new approaches to delinquency that these changes dictate, and their relevance for social work education.
Abstract: Since the late 1960's, there has been a nationwide effort to restrict the juvenile court's jurisdiction by diverting status offenders to community-based services outside the justice system. The 1974 Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act provided Federal grants to help States improve their juvenile justice systems, emphasizing deinstitutionalization of juveniles and services for runaways. The creation of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and a national advisory committee provided a planning and administrative system to implement the Act's training, research, and demonstration functions. Originally, State participation was voluntary, but State requirements for deinstitutionalized status offenders were amended to the Act in 1977. Implementing the Act places enormous burdens on agencies who serve youthful offenders and their families. Agencies will have to improve their short-term services, such as crisis intervention, and assume an active role in developing, administering, and evaluating juvenile programs. A different perspective should be adopted which views much juvenile misconduct as a normal reaction to adolescence that does not require legal sanctions. At present the juvenile justice and corrections systems do not have the staff or resources to manage successfully the millions of youths referred for treatment, particularly in programs which work directly with juveniles, peer groups, and families. Schools of social work have not promoted corrections work nor offered adequate training in this field. Reforms in their educational programs and a commitment from the social work profession are vital to implementation of the 1974 Act. Footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Community-based corrections (juvenile); Deinstitutionalization; Education; Juvenile court diversion; Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act; Juvenile justice system; Social service agencies; Social work; Status offense decriminalization
Note: Originally presented at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting in New Orleans, La., February 28, 1978.
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