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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 83695 Find in a Library
Title: Stubborn and Rebellious Children - Liability of Public Officials for Detention of Children in Jails
Journal: Brigham Young University Law Review  Volume:1980  Issue:1  Dated:(1980)  Pages:1-45
Author(s): M Soler; M J Dale; K Flake
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 45
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 78-JS-AX-0073
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The nature and extent of the legal liability Utah local and State officials may incur for detaining juveniles in adult jails are discussed.
Abstract: The near unanimous censure of the jailing of children stems from the general finding that such detention harms the very persons the juvenile justice system is intended to protect and assist. Local and State officials who detain juveniles in adult jails may incur liability in two ways. First, officials who authorize or allow such detention in derogation of statute, or who fail to prevent or terminate such detention when under a legal duty to do so may incur liability from the very fact that the detention occurs. Second, such officials may incur liability for the physical or mental injuries sustained by juveniles as a result of their being jailed with adults. In Utah, State and local officials legally responsible for such detention include county commissioners, sheriffs, departments of social services, and juvenile court judges. Liability may be incurred under both Federal and State law. Under Federal law liability may be incurred through (1) the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, which specifically prohibits the incarceration of juveniles in jails with adults; (2) the right to due process; (3) the right to treatment; (4) Federal civil rights provisions; and (5) the constitutional prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Liability can also be established under State tort law, where it can be proven that an official was negligent for confining a juvenile in jails and that such negligence was the proximate cause of the juvenile's injuries. Any immunity granted government officials under law usually only protects a public official from liability for damages, but rarely are public officials immune to lawsuits for declaratory and injunctive relief. A total of 216 footnotes are listed.
Index Term(s): Juvenile detention; Juveniles in adult facilities; Legal liability; Utah
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