Overview of the juvenile justice process
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Overview of the Juvenile Justice Process. Initial contact (police, parents, schools, DFS) Discretion to make referral Taken into custody arrest Investigation Diversion Detention hearing Pretrial procedures. Process. File a petition (indictment) Adjudicatory hearing (trial)

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Overview of the Juvenile Justice Process

  • Initial contact (police, parents, schools, DFS)

  • Discretion to make referral

  • Taken into custody arrest

  • Investigation

  • Diversion

  • Detention hearing

  • Pretrial procedures


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Process

  • File a petition (indictment)

  • Adjudicatory hearing (trial)

  • Agree to a finding or deny petition

  • Adjustment (plea bargain) Adjudication (conviction)

  • Disposition (sentence)

  • Bifurcated process

  • Aftercare


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Process

  • Commitment (incarceration, institutionalized)

  • Youth development center, training school (prison)

  • Residential facility (halfway house)


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Current legislation

  • National advisory commission on criminal justice standards and goals (1973)

  • Emphasized:

  • Prevention

  • Diversion

  • Dispositional alternatives

  • Due process

  • Controlling the violent and chronic delinquent


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Legislation

  • Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974

  • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)

  • Removed juveniles from adult jails

  • Separation of status offenders and delinquents

  • Violent crime control and law enforcement act of 1994


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Police and Juveniles

  • Role conflicts: law enforce or service-oriented delinquency prevention

  • Arrests

  • 64% referred to juvenile court

  • 28% informally handled and released

  • 5% referred to criminal court

  • 2% referred to DFS


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History

  • 19th century: increase in number of unemployed and homeless youths

  • Wickersham Commission, IACP advocated police reform

  • Delinquency control squads

  • Vollmer (Berkeley): prevention programs and juvenile aid bureaus, first organized special police services for youths


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History

  • 1960s: increased tension between police and citizens

  • Civil unrest; police seen as oppressors

  • Increase in crime

  • Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA)

  • Development of role in community awareness and crime prevention


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History

  • Specialized programs for juveniles

  • Police athletic leagues

  • Project DARE

  • Community outreach (crime prevention, Weed & Seed

  • School resource officers

  • Gang control


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Police and the law

  • Law of arrest the same for adults and juveniles

  • Probable cause

  • Misdemeanor: police must observe crime

  • Felony: probable cause

  • Otherwise must have a warrant

  • Police can “arrest” youths for status offenses such as truancy, running away and alcohol use


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Police and the law

  • In loco parentis

  • Protective rather than punitive function

  • Once arrested, formal safeguards of the 4th and 5th amendment attach

  • 4th amendment standards of search and seizure have been determined to apply to juveniles


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Police and the law (exceptions to the warrant requirement)

  • Same stop and frisk rule (Terry v. Ohio)

  • Search after a legal arrest in the immediate area of the subject’s control (Robinson v CA)

  • Automobile can be searched if there is probable cause

  • Consent to search

  • Abandoned property


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Law and the police

  • Plain view doctrine

  • What about school officials?

  • Can school officials do searches and turn over what they find to police?

  • New Jersey v. T.L.O.

  • What should be the standard?


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New Jersey v T.L.O.

  • Balance between the student’s right to privacy and school’s need to provide a safe environment

  • Teachers do not need to obtain a warrant before searching a student

  • Justified if violating the law OR violating school rules

  • Legality depends on reasonableness, rather than probable cause


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New Jersey v TLO

  • Considerations are the scope of the search, age and sex of the student, and that behavior that prompted the search

  • An adult could not be searched by an agent of the government under this standard

  • This case is a balance between protections of adults and the needs of youths

  • In loco parentis


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Veronia School district

  • Supreme Court allowed for suspicionless drug testing program for those in the athletics program

  • Would this case apply to youths who are not in such programs, i.e., random testing ? Not clear, has not be litigated


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Custodial interrogations

  • Miranda v. AZ (1966)

  • In re Gault applied Miranda warnings to juveniles (1967)

  • Is a child’s waiver of those rights valid?

  • People v. Lara: whether juvenile can waive depends on the totality of the circumstances:

  • Age and other factors


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Interrogations

  • People v Lara also said that other factors could be considered: education, knowledge, whether youth could consult with family or friends, method of interrogation, whether youth had refused previously to give statements

  • Validity of waiver to be determined on a case by case basis


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Other cases on interrogations

  • Fare v. Michael: asking to speak to his probation officer not the same as asking for his attorney, statements were admissible

  • CA v Prysock: Miranda warning worded slightly differently (taped), court ruled that it was understandable to the juvenile

  • Many jurisdictions require attorney and/or parent, just to be sure


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Police discretion and juveniles

  • Problem of discretion: need for flexibility, but it can be misused (can result in discrimination, especially against the poor and minority groups)

  • Considerable evidence that poor children and perceived and treated differently from middle class children


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Studies of police discretion

  • More than ½ of police juvenile encounters are handled informally

  • Stationhouse detention

  • Factors affecting decision to handle formally/informally

  • Piliavin and Briar: other factors being equal, the demeanor of the juvenile


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Studies of police discretion

  • Other factors:

  • Type and seriousness of offense

  • Wishes of the complaintant

  • Prior contacts

  • Race, sex and age

  • Perceived willingness of the parents to solve the problem


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Discretion

  • Location

  • Police perception of community alternatives

  • Police department practices

  • Perceived community standards and norms

  • Racial bias? Mixed results

  • Police appear more likely to arrest minorities for more minor offenses, makes little difference for serious offenses


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Discretion

  • African Americans more likely to be recommended for formal processing

  • However, greater involvement of minorities in offenses

  • Factors interact with others indicated above (perceived community standards, alternatives, etc.)


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Police and gender bias

  • Paternalism, chivalry hypothesis

  • Police tend to be more lenient toward female delinquency, but treated them more harshly

  • Females more likely to be referred for status offenses

  • Inconclusive


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Class bias

  • Youths growing up in poor areas had a significantly greater chance of having an arrest record than youths in other areas, regardless of the crime rates in these areas.

  • Might be a function of departmental policy to concentrate on certain areas


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New directions: law enforcement

  • Field interrogations

  • Foot patrol and neighborhood storefront police stations

  • Community mobilization programs (block watch, weed and seed, Neighborhood Watch, neighborhood cleanups, etc)

  • Community policing


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Should discretion be controlled?

  • Policies?

  • Recording of decisions?

  • Narrowing the scope of the juvenile code?


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Other directions

  • Mentoring

  • Curfews

  • Afterschool programs

  • School resource officers


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