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NCJ Number: 78566 Find in a Library
Title: Youthful Offender Before the Juvenile Courts
Journal: Philippine Law Journal  Volume:54  Dated:(1979)  Pages:45-62
Author(s): R S Esguerra
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 18
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Philippines
Annotation: Following an overview of juvenile delinquency and the juvenile justice system in the Philippines, this paper evaluates the juvenile court's effectiveness in coping with delinquency.
Abstract: Studies have shown that high delinquency areas tend to be large manufacturing towns with a large proportion of low-income residents, considerable infant mortality, and high adult crime rates. Manila has the highest youthful crime rate. Research has found that most minor offenders are between age 13 and 18 and that males predominate. A history of Philippine juvenile justice legislation emphasizes a trend away from punishment and toward reformation of the youthful offender. Decrees promulgated under the current martial law regime to protect the interests under the current martial law regime to protect the interests of minor offenders are detailed. The Juvenile Domestic Relations Courts (JDRC) are fairly recent additions to the justice system, with the first one being established in Manila in 1955. The JDRC's have jurisdiction over custody, marital and child protection matters, as well as authority to hear and determine criminal cases involving minors under 16 years old. Problems regarding JDRC jurisdiction over violations of municipal ordinances and cases of youths over 16 but under 21 years old are discussed. Juvenile court proceedings reflect the parens patriae approach and are clinical in nature. Provisions of Presidential Decree No. 603 which specify measures to promote the general welfare and rehabilitation of youthful offenders are described. Areas covered include medical treatment, detention, sentencing guidelines, followup reports, and confidentiality of records. Intake procedures and dispositional alternatives are also outlined. The concluding discussion notes that only a few juvenile courts actually operate throughout the country and that legislation is needed to clarify jurisdictional issues. The Presidential Decree No. 603 provides for institutionalizing a youthful offender in a special center, but few separate detention facilities for juveniles exist. Lack of funds has been a major factor in the slow progress of juvenile justice. Approximately 60 footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Foreign juvenile justice systems; Jurisdiction; Juvenile codes; Juvenile court procedures; Juvenile courts; Philippines; Services effectiveness
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