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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74230 Find in a Library
Title: Children in Trouble With the Law
Journal: Criminal Justice Journal  Volume:1  Issue:2  Dated:(Second Quarter 1980)  Pages:51-55
Author(s): R G Ordonez-Benitez
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 5
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Philippines
Annotation: Reforms applied to the treatment of juvenile delinquents by the Philippine courts and police are outlined.
Abstract: Juvenile delinquency became a problem immediately after World War II as a result of the dislocation of families, unemployment, and poverty. To manage the growing problem, the first Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court (JDRC) was set up in 1955 in Manila, and 11 other courts have followed. Their jurisdiction covers 9- to 16-year-old offenders and cases involving adoption and family relations. In 1976, youths below aged 21 constituted 276 out of 2,158 persons arrested for murder in this country; 137 others were arrested for robbery-holdup, 761 for robbery, and 7,590 for simple theft. As a result, the President declared 1977 to 1987 as the 'Decade of the Filipino Child' and decreed that police officers will take apprehended delinquents to area health officers for physical and mental examinations and immediate treatment, if required; that every child has the right to be assisted by counsel; and that all case records are to be destroyed after acquittal, dismissal, or release unless civil liability has been imposed. Also, the JDRC's have initiated a number of programs which emphasize rehabilitation rather than retribution. At intake, a social worker investigates the youths' backgrounds and criminal involvement and makes referrals to specialized agencies. The case is then assigned to another social worker who assists the court in its disposition. Probation services are also coordinated by a social worker, and these include counselling, referral, and followup. In Manila and in several other areas, special assistance programs also provide education, economic opportunities, medical care, home craft courses, and nutritional aides. Juveniles awaiting trial are separated from adult offenders in detention homes. For those committed to the national training schools, preinstitutional and aftercare services help youths and their families through transitional periods. A plan of action for the decade includes the establishment of special juvenile control units for court diversion activities in police departments, providing for the separation of juveniles from adults in jails, and the decriminalization of such acts as vagrancy and the violation of local ordinances of such acts as vagrancy and the violation of local ordinances when no victims are involved. A reference list is not included.
Index Term(s): Foreign juvenile justice systems; Juvenile courts; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juvenile justice reform; Juvenile processing; Juvenile treatment methods; Philippines; Police juvenile relations
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