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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77328 Find in a Library
Title: Prosecuting Juveniles as Adults - A Symptom of a Crisis in the Juvenile Courts (From Major Issues in Juvenile Justice Information and Training - Readings in Public Policy, P 351-377, 1981, John C Hall et al, ed. - See NCJ-77318)
Author(s): B Flicker
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 27
Sponsoring Agency: Academy for Contemporary Problems
Sale Source: Academy for Contemporary Problems
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Evidence is presented to support the contention that the current nationwide trend to exclude violent juveniles from the jurisdiction of juvenile courts reflects the growing and rightful disenchantment with the medical model long associated with the juvenile court system.
Abstract: The medical model resulted from the three principles upon which the juvenile court was based: parens patriae, individualized justice, and the best interests of the child. Reliance on the medical model has helped produce the current crisis in the juvenile court system. Among symptoms of the crisis are the external critics' proposals for radical reform of the courts' current operations and internal problems such as confusion over goals, operational weaknesses, and confusion regarding the roles of the court's major participants. Survival of the juvenile court as a separate institution depends on the rejection of the medical model. Due process should be substituted for treatment, and justice should be substituted for the best interests of the child. In addition, social protection should be substituted for 'cures' of delinquents. The court's jurisdiction should be limited to matters necessitating coercive State intervention and involving substantial personal and property rights. Conflicts that can be resolved by mediation should be referred to such tribunals. Although deinstitutionalization of status offenses is desirable, it is less a symptom of the crisis than a compromise position leaning toward the more radical decriminalization of status offenses. Waiver of juveniles to adult court represents an admission of failure by the juvenile justice system. Such waiver should occur only under the strictest transfer criteria, as the juvenile court should become the social institution most capable of handling delinquent minors. Footnotes are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Court reform; Jurisdiction; Juvenile court waiver; Law reform; Parens patriae
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