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NCJ Number: 75329 Find in a Library
Title: Adolescent Misconduct and the Juvenile Justice System
Journal: Children and Youth Services Review  Volume:2  Issue:3  Dated:special issue (1980)  Pages:239-269
Author(s): R C Sarri
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 31
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the concept of status offense implications of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 1974, and current practice; it recommends changes in status offense handling.
Abstract: Status offenders are defined as minors who engage in activities which would not result in criminal charges if they were committed by adults. These behaviors include truancy, promiscuity, incorrigibility, and running away. About 30 percent of all juvenile cases involve status offenses. The JJDPA recognizes differences between status and delinquent offenders by requiring that the two groups not be intermingled, and that status offenders not be held in secure confinement. In many states, however, status offenders are confined with delinquents if adjudged in violation of parole or unable to be rehabilitated. Community-based programming can be an effective option in these cases; however, status offenders must be removed from the juvenile court system for optimal success. The Federal government should establish guidelines, focus resources, encourage experimentation, and develop and national information network. Alternative programming emphasizing punishment reduction, community and family linkages, and meeting clients' psychosocial needs should be used at local levels. These programs should also emphasize resource development. Most challenges to statutory laws are based on vagueness, excessive breadth, or punishment of health problems such as addiction. Fifty-six references are listed.
Index Term(s): Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act; Juvenile status offenses; Status offense decriminalization
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