official reaction to juvenile delinquency
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Official Reaction to Juvenile Delinquency. Components of the Juvenile Justice System II: Pretrial. Elements Involved in Pretrial. Intake. Diversion. Detention. Adult Transfer. Petition. Intake. Refers to the screening of cases by the juvenile court system

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official reaction to juvenile delinquency

Official Reaction to Juvenile Delinquency

Components of the Juvenile Justice System II:


elements involved in pretrial
Elements Involved in Pretrial




Adult Transfer


  • Refers to the screening of cases by the juvenile court system
  • Done by intake officers who are often probation officers
  • Intake results in one of the following:
    • send youth home with no further action
    • divert youth to a social service agency
    • petition to juvenile court and release until court date
    • petition to court and hold in detention
    • waive (transfer) case to adult court

Juveniles at

intake hearing

  • Refers to screening children from the court without judicial determination
  • Also referred to as:
    • nonjudicial adjustment
    • informal disposition
    • adjustment
  • Can be employed by police departments or courts
  • Encourages the child to participate in a specific program or activity with implied threat of further prosecution
pros and cons of diversion
Pros and Cons of Diversion
  • Helps juvenile justice system run smoothly
  • Allows for reallocation of resources to other programs
  • Costs less than institutionalization
  • Helps children avoid being stigmatized



  • Results in “widening the net”
  • Many children who would have before simply sent home are now formally in the system
  • Refers to the holding of children in secure facilities until trial
  • Pretrial detention normally used only when:
    • child might be inclined to run away before trial
    • child might be inclined to commit another serious crime
    • child is a violator from another jurisdiction
  • Alternatives to detention
    • send the child home (most common pre-trial procedure)
    • send to shelter care--less restrictive, normally for status offenders
    • send to foster care--normally for abused and neglected children
trends in detention
Trends in Detention
  • Increases in detention are increasing despite decreases in delinquency
  • Reasons include:
    • rise in serious crime
    • increased link between drug use and delinquency
    • younger children becoming involved in serious crimes
problems with and recommended changes for detention
Problems With and Recommended Changes for Detention


  • Seen by some as incarceration without a trial
  • Due to discretion in who is and is not detained, there tends to be racial and class discrimination
  • May have a strong negative effect on child due to lack of rehabilitative services
  • Some jurisdictions still detain children in adult facilities


  • Some suggest prohibiting detention altogether
  • Should be reserved for juveniles representing a major threat to community
  • Should be some rehabilitative services provided
transfer to adult court
Transfer to Adult Court
  • All states now have a provision to transfer juveniles to adult courts when deemed appropriate
  • Three models for adult transfer. They are not mutually exclusive:
    • Concurrent jurisdiction--prosecutor is given total discretion
    • Excluded offenses--statutorily identifies certain offenses as transferrable
    • Judicial Waiver--the court (not prosecutor) waives jurisdiction
pros and cons of adult transfer
Pros and Cons of Adult Transfer


  • Some suggest that repeat, hardened offenders are beyond rehabilitation anyway
  • Need threat of tough punishment to deter them

Can you think of any other pros?


  • Opponents claim that that only half-hearted attempts have been made at rehabilitation
  • Claim that the transfer is a copout and admission of failure

Can you think of any other cons?

the petition
The Petition
  • If a child is not diverted or waived, he/she will be petitioned to juvenile court
  • The petition is the formal legal complaint that initiates judicial action
  • A petition can be brought by:
    • a police officer
    • social service agency
    • family member or guardian
  • If child admits to allegations, hearing is scheduled to initiate a treatment plan
  • If child does not admit to facts of petition:
    • hearing is scheduled to hear the facts
    • predisposition report is prepared
    • parents are notified of hearing date