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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97870 Find in a Library
Title: Juvenile Justice System - A Legacy of Failure?
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:48  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1984)  Pages:29-33
Author(s): R B McNally
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
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United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Current juvenile justice trends and policies are identified, analyzed, and challenged.
Abstract: Five themes are shaping a future policy which may have undesirable social consequences. As a result of an identify crisis in the juvenile justice system and the advent of proceduralism and criminalization of juvenile codes, the expressed intent of a separate system of justice has been weakened. The notions of criminalization and decriminalization have emasculated the juvenile court and are contributing to the establishment of an adversarial standard as the preferred mode of justice. Erroneous public perceptions of youth and their criminal behavior have contributed to a change of posture away from youth development, delinquency prevention, advocacy, and treatment. The selective incapacitation concept has the potential of victimizing minority groups and perpetuating the myth that there are groups of people with inherently pathological tendencies toward crime. As a result of these trends, the juvenile justice system is on the brink of extinction. Juvenile justice is being stripped of its intended purpose of service to young offenders. What is left is a miniature criminal court that duplicates the adult court at considerable expense. The need for a separate system of justice for youth is as viable today as it was a century ago. With the escalation of domestic violence children require a benevolent institution to act as advocate rather than adversary. Protecting and advocating for young people is as much a part of policy as establishing a mechanism of control. 18 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Criminalization; Decriminalization; Juvenile justice reform; Juvenile justice system; Policy analysis; Selective incapacitation; Trend analysis
Note: Presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Science, Chicago, Illinois, March 27-30, 1984.
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