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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76666 Find in a Library
Title: Judicial Response to the New Juvenile Code
Journal: Indiana Law Journal  Volume:54  Issue:4  Dated:(1978-1979)  Pages:639-650
Author(s): J B Griffis
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article comments upon Indiana's new Juvenile Code in general and focuses on particular areas of concern to judges having juvenile jurisdiction.
Abstract: Although judges with experience in the juvenile justice system were well represented in deliberations that spawned the new code, there were a number of concerns as well as positive feelings among the judges about the code that was finally enacted. Although the judges generally favor the code's provision for prosecutors to make the decision about filing a formal petition in juvenile court (judges formerly did this), there is some concern among the judges that prosecutors not currently involved in juvenile justice systems and who would prefer to remain uninvolved may not have the commitment required to gain the knowledge required to deal properly with the special circumstances of juvenile cases. The most frequent reservation expressed by judges has to do with the number of hearings required by the code in order to deal with different aspects of juvenile dispositions. Although the code mandates the holding of certain hearings, several can be combined and handled in a single court appearance. Judges are also concerned about the code's elimination of any secure detention for status offenders. Many judges believe the court should retain the coercive power of detention as an ultimate threat to encourage status offenders to participate in rehabilitation programs. Judges also worry about the additional cost involved in the administration of the new code, especially in the area of shelter care. The code requires that many shelter facilities must be established within a short period. Positive aspects of the code are also examined. Provisions that will be especially helpful to judges are (1) the expansion of formerly narrow definitions of the neglected/dependent child and the child in need of services and (2) ability to appoint a guardian ad litem to act in the child's behalf. A total of 40 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Court costs; Indiana; Judges; Judicial process; Juvenile codes; Juvenile detention; Juvenile justice system; Juvenile status offenders; Prosecution
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