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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 93900 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Justice in Transition - A New Juvenile Code for North Carolina
Author(s): M P Thomas
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 44
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Following consideration of North Carolina's early juvenile justice system and reform developments, this paper discusses the constitutional rights and due process requirements pertinent to juveniles and concludes with a review of North Carolina's new juvenile code.
Abstract: The history of juvenile justice in North Carolina reflects the interplay between the General Assembly and courts in the development of law. Social reforms on behalf of juveniles were begun in the General Assembly and then challenged in the courts as violating the constitutionality of these various legislative reforms, generally relying on the common law doctrine of parens patriae. North Carolina's new juvenile code became effective January 1, 1980. The general thrust of the new code is to provide a higher degree of procedural due process in juvenile cases, thus continuing the trend toward expansion of children's rights. The higher standard of due process is provided by establishing a number of new statutory rights for children and a smaller number of new rights and responsibilities for parents. The rights of children under the new code and case law interpretations of the U.S. Constitution vary somewhat with the type of case. Children alleged or adjudicated to be delinquent are provided a higher degree of procedural due process than undisciplined children or children who require State protection as neglected, abused, or dependent. This is because only delinquents are subject to loss of freedom by commitment to training school or other specified restraints on their freedom. For the same reason, delinquents are entitled to more rights than status offenders or undisciplined children. The code specifies certain parental rights and responsibilities. If a parent is served personally with a summons and fails to appear without reasonable cause or fails to bring the child before the court, the parent may be punished for contempt of court. Tables list the various rights accorded juveniles in various types of cases. A total of 326 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Juvenile codes; Juvenile justice reform; North Carolina; Rights of minors
Note: Reprinted from the Wake Forest Law Review, V 16, N 1 (February 1980).
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