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Introduction to Criminal Justice. Chapter 14. Evolution of American Juvenile Justice System. 1800– juvenile offenders were treated the same as adult offenders Same courts, same penalties Progressive Movement began to change way younger offenders were treated

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evolution of american juvenile justice system
Evolution of American Juvenile Justice System
  • 1800– juvenile offenders were treated the same as adult offenders
  • Same courts, same penalties
  • Progressive Movement began to change way younger offenders were treated
  • Parens Patriae: State has duty to care for children who are neglected, delinquent or disadvantaged
  • Juvenile offenders required treatment, not punishment
first juvenile courts
First Juvenile Courts
  • Local legislatures established laws to take control of children who exhibited tendencies or had been neglected by their parents
  • 1st juvenile court founded in Illinois, 1899
    • No juries; judges had wide discretion
    • Different terminology; “petitions” not warrants; “adjudicated delinquent” not convicted
    • No adversarial relationship between the parties
    • Confidentiality– Records are sealed
  • By 1945, all states had similar court for juveniles
juvenile justice process
Juvenile Justice Process
  • Status offender: committed act deemed unacceptable for those below a certain statutory age
    • Curfew violation, truancy, alcohol consumption, incorrigibility
  • Juvenile delinquency: acts which would be criminal if committed by an adult
    • Theft, robbery, assault, vagrancy
the courts impact on juvenile justice
The Courts’ Impact on Juvenile Justice
  • Many judges were treating status offenders harshly– same as law violators
  • Kent v. U. S. (1966)– Juveniles have right to counsel, and a hearing where judge is considering sending case to adult court
  • In Re Gaultdecision (1967)– juveniles entitled to same basic due process as adult offenders
in re gault decision great impact on system
In Re Gault Decision – Great Impact on System
  • Due process rights required:
    • Notice of charges filed against him
    • Right to counsel
    • Privilege against self-incrimination
    • Right to confront and cross examine witnesses against him
    • Amounts to many of same due process rights adults are entitled to
issues in delinquency
Issues in Delinquency
  • Age at which a criminal act is deemed impossible– 7-9 age range for most states
  • Today, many states require juveniles who are of a certain age and commit a violent offense to be waived to adult court
  • Many researchers– a juvenile by age 14 is able to make reasoned decision same as an adult
  • Others– Juveniles still lack the real life experience which may limit their judgement
issue in delinquency
Issue in Delinquency
  • Roper v. Simmons supreme court case forbid the execution of offenders who were under 18 at the time of the murder
  • Rationale: Minors cannot fully comprehend the consequences of their actions, so the two main justifications for the death penalty, retribution and deterrence, do not work
juvenile justice procedures
Juvenile Justice Procedures
  • Officer may take juvenile into custody for law violation, status offense, or for their own protection (from family or peers)
  • In protection cases, officer is acting in loco parentis, or in place of parents
  • Upon arrest, juvenile is usually:
    • Detained in a juvenile lock-up
    • Diverted from the system to a program
    • Transferred to adult court
intake process
Intake Process
  • Police officer refers youth he believes needs attention of system to juvenile court
  • Court also received referrals from parents, relatives, welfare agencies, school officials
  • Intake Officer (or judge) considers options:
    • Dismiss the case, no action
    • Divert offender to a treatment program
    • File petition for formal court hearing
    • Transfer case to adult court
juvenile pretrial diversion
Juvenile Pretrial Diversion
  • By 1960’s, some believed the juvenile system was not emphasizing rehabilitation
  • Status offenders were being punished as severely as criminals
  • Diversion: the removal of an alleged delinquent from the formal juvenile justice process to a treatment program
  • Three general categories:
    • Probation– under supervision in community
    • Treatment for drug/alcohol/mental health/medical
    • Restitution to victim for wrong committed
transfer to adult court
Transfer to Adult Court
  • Has been popular with “get tough” group
  • Judicial waiver: formal action by judge to move juvenile to adult court
  • Judge considers age, offense, criminal record of the juvenile in making decision
  • Some states require waiver (automatic transfer) for certain serious crimes
  • Most likely to transfer violent felony cases
detention of juveniles
Detention of Juveniles
  • Judges attempt to release most juvenile defendants to parents or guardian before disposition of the case
  • Juvenile can be detained in temporary custody or a secure facility
  • Juvenile has right to a detention hearing before such an order; has procedural rights– counsel, confront witnesses
detention of juveniles14
Detention of Juveniles
  • Juvenile judge must justify his decision with one of three rationales:
    • Whether child poses danger to community
    • Whether child will return for court hearings
    • Will detention decision protect the child (are they a threat to their own welfare through suicide, or simply make matters worse for themselves prior to court)
adjudicatory hearing
Adjudicatory Hearing
  • To determine if juvenile is delinquent, or in need of some form of court supervision
  • Juvenile has right to:
    • Notice of charges against him
    • Counsel representation
    • Confrontation of witnesses
    • Self-incrimination prohibition
  • System has become more formal, rigid and adversarial over past 40 years
  • Judge determines whether respondent is delinquent at conclusion of the hearing
disposition of juvenile case
Disposition of Juvenile Case
  • After adjudication take place, a dispositional hearing is held (bifurcated process)
  • Judge decides what sentence will best “serve” needs of the juvenile
  • Probation Office provides disposition report to help judge make decision
    • Report addresses family background, facts of the offense or act, interviews with significant persons
small group discussion
Small Group Discussion
  • The disposition report completed by the Probation Officer will address many of the factors discussed on p. 382, Fig. 14.6.
  • Which of those many factors do you believe are the most influential in a juvenile committing crime or delinquent acts? Why?
factors influencing delinquency
Factors Influencing Delinquency
  • “Chronic 6%” will be arrested five or more times before they turn 18 years old
  • They are responsible for 50% of all crimes, and 75% of violent crimes (one study)
  • Most likely interpretation– This small percentage of children are more likely to commit crimes under certain circumstances
age and crime
Age and Crime
  • Aging out: any group of at risk persons will commit fewer crimes as they grow older, regardless of race, intelligence or class (Gottfredson)
  • Explained by intervening events (marriage, job, military service) that force a juvenile to mature– Less ability to commit crimes
age and crime20
Age and Crime
  • Age of onset: age at which youth begin delinquent behavior
  • Those who committed delinquency before age 15, much more likely to become chronic offender
  • The earlier a youth enters juvenile justice system, more likely he will become a violent criminal
substance abuse
Substance Abuse
  • Alcohol is a factor in 50-65% of all teen suicides
  • 60% of male juvenile detainees tested positive for drug use at time of offense
  • 87% of female teen offenders were in need of substance abuse treatment
  • Some decreases in juvenile drug charges in past 10 years
child abuse and neglect
Child Abuse and Neglect
  • Child abuse: infliction of physical or emotional damage of a child
  • Child neglect: deprivation of love, shelter, food, proper care
  • Homes where violence or neglect occur cause children to suffer high degrees of physical and emotional problems
  • This all increases their chances of engaging in delinquent behavior
child abuse and neglect23
Child Abuse and Neglect
  • 73% of children aged 14-17 who had parents who had records of abuse were themselves sent to juvenile court for delinquency
  • 75% of violent juveniles suffered severe abuse from a family member
  • 80% had witnessed violence in their houses
  • 33% had a sibling with a prior record
gangs and juveniles
Gangs and Juveniles
  • Youth gangs– groups of 3 or more who:
    • Identify themselves as being apart from community by clothing, hand signals, vocabulary, and names
    • Engage in criminal activity
  • 24,000 gangs; 760,000 members in U. S.
  • More than 50% of homicides in Chicago and Los Angeles are gang related
  • Much gang involvement in drug sales, assault, larceny and motor vehicle theft
  • More likely to own firearms
guns and juveniles
Guns and Juveniles
  • Juveniles’ arrest rates for weapons violations doubled 1987-1993
  • As homicide rate dropped, so did arrest rates for weapons crimes
  • 47% of high school, 22% of middle school students said they could obtain a gun if they wanted
  • Could you?
three strategies to address delinquency
Three Strategies to Address Delinquency
  • Transfer to adult court– harsher punishment
  • Social control regulation– change behavior; does not address causes:
    • Juvenile curfew
    • Parental responsibility statutes– Make parents responsible
    • Community-based programs to address needs of at-risk youth (counseling, education)
  • What is your evaluation of parental responsibility laws?
  • Should parents be held responsible for their children’s delinquent behavior?
  • Why?
bullying at school a cause of delinquency
Bullying at School– A Cause of Delinquency?
  • A substantial percentage of campus shooters had reported being bullied
  • Revenge was often a motive for school shootings and violence
  • Bullying often accompanied by violence and instability in the home, depression and availability of firearms
  • Most school shootings take place in rural or suburban settings, by white students
    • Firearms may be readily available
    • Inner city schools have “locked down” with higher security
homework 5 points
Homework– 5 Points
  • How do you feel about “snitch” programs to pay students for reporting on classmates who carry guns on campus, or violate school rules?
  • What are advantages/disadvantages of such a program?