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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77325 Find in a Library
Title: Waiver From a Judge's Standpoint (From Major Issues in Juvenile Justice Information and Training - Readings in Public Policy, P 309-320, 1981, John C Hall et al, ed. - See NCJ-77318)
Author(s): M Young
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Academy for Contemporary Problems
Sale Source: Academy for Contemporary Problems
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Philosophical issues involved in the prosecution of juveniles as adults are discussed by a judge.
Abstract: Waiver cases have required more time and energy from the U.S. Supreme Court and State appellate courts than have all the other areas of the juvenile justice system combined. Juvenile court judges are confronted by the conflicting philosophies of treatment and rehabilitation on the one hand and protection of the community on the other. The waiver issue brings this conflict to the forefront more sharply than any other juvenile court proceeding. The waiver procedure varies tremendously from State to State and even within each State. Similarly, judges vary in the ways they use the procedure. The 1966 Kent case, which changed the philosophy of the juvenile court to add due process guarantees, was a waiver case. Among common but inaccurate views affecting transfer cases is the myth that juvenile courts simply do not work effectively. Increases in violent juvenile crime and are cited as proof of the ineffectiveness of juvenile courts. In contrast, actual statistics show that adult offenders are responsible for most of the violent crime as well as most of the increase in violent crime. A realistic appraisal of the statistics would indicate that juvenile courts may be functioning better than adult courts. A second myth is that juvenile court judges should get tough with many juvenile offenders and transfer them to the adult court for punishment. Both personal experience and study data show that transferred juveniles receive neither the rehabilitative treatment deserved nor the punishment that society demands. Other studies indicate that the juvenile court is functioning better than recent publicity would indicate. Analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the three types of waiver indicates that judicial waiver is preferable to legislative or prosecutorial waiver provisions because the latter types preclude individualized justice which juvenile court judges are in the best position to administer. A good judicial waiver process should focus mainly on the youth's prior history and the programs and facilities available to assure the juvenile's treatment and the protection of society. The nature of the offense should also be considered. Footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Judicial discretion; Juvenile court waiver; Parens patriae
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