Overview of the Juvenile Justice Court System Clare Fisher and Sharice Maxwell
History of the Juvenile Justice System and Major Turning Points • The American Juvenile Justice System originated during the 18th century and was influenced by British Parliament • The first United States Juvenile Court was opened in Chicago in 1899 • In 1974, the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act established programs in communities that discouraged juvenile crime and worked towards deinstitutionalizing youth already in the Juvenile Justice System • The Supreme Court abolished the juvenile death penalty in 2005 • The Supreme Court eliminated mandatory life without parole for juveniles convicted of murder in 2012
Individuals in the Courtroom: • The Judge • State’s Attorney • Public Defender • Court Reporter • Deputy Sheriff • Clerk • Interpreter • Probation Officer
A Judge Can Sentence a Juvenile Criminal To: • Probation • Youth will stay with their parents • supervised by a probation officer • Supervision (ex: electronic monitoring) • Similar to probation; if a juvenile successfully completes supervision, they will not have a conviction on their record • Community Service • Treatment • Residential treatment • therapy/counseling • Incarceration
Transfer to Adult Court • In most States, cases referred to juvenile court that meet certain criteria may be transferred to criminal court upon the authorization of the juvenile court judge. • Terminology for judicial waiver also varies: "certification," "remand," or "bind over" for criminal prosecution.
Experience of a Juvenile Offender in the United States’ Juvenile Justice System
Average Age of First Time Offenders: • 15 years old
Which Youth are More At Risk? By: Jane, Gabbie, and Simon
General Characteristics • Living in chronic poverty • Bad neighborhoods • Minimal parental involvement • Poor school systems • Drug/alcohol abuse • Negative peer influence
School Environment Productive School Environment Poor School Environment • High expectations for student achievement • Emphasis on discipline • Provides social and academic support • Smaller school and classroom sizes • Respectful teacher/student relationships • Little expectation for student achievement • Unsafe/violent school environment • Provides little social and academic support • Uncontrolled classroom environment
Potential Outcomes for Students in Poor School Environments • Teenage pregnancy • Drug and/or alcohol abuse • Disinterest in education/potential drop-out • Unsuccessful relationships • Antisocial and/or criminal behavior
Juvenile Crime Statistics • 15% of juveniles in prison are females and 85% are male • There are approximately 32,000 teenage female gang members • In 2009, there were one million gang members in the US • Every city in the US with at least 250,000 people have gang activity • 65% of girls in jail have psychological issues such as clinical depression or generalized anxiety
Disproportionate Minority Contact Nancy Pureco and Kalen Cobb
Definition • Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) describes the disproportionately over-representation of minority youth in the juvenile system, in proportion to their general population as compared with white youth.
Reasons for Disproportions • Racial Profiling • Low income • Environment • Sexuality
Overview • In Cook County from Jan. 2011- December 2011, there were approximately 5,165 juveniles in the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. • 85% were African-American • 11% were Hispanic/Latino • 4% were of other ethnicities
African American Juveniles • More black men are imprisoned today than were slaves in 1850 • Many are imprisoned for nonviolent offenses (drug possession) • Gang affiliation is the cause of most of the imprisonment • Racial profiling and Police Discretion
Hispanic Juveniles • More likely to be involved in delinquency and/or gangs than White, African American, and Asian youth • Have a lower average number of referrals to restorative programs than their White counterparts • 29% of Hispanic youth were born outside the U.S.
Immigration • The system criminalizes immigrants • In 2010, the U.S. deported 19,296 minors • These deportments cost $241,200,000 • $12,500/minor detainee *Numbers are based on population of 33,400 detainees
Foster Care • Many young victims of abuse end up in the State’s care • When these victims outgrow the foster care system, most also end up in the Juvenile System (Dual Cases) • Some juveniles also commit crimes while in foster care due to the lack of support
Mental Health • Many mentally ill are wrongly imprisoned • Not many places for them to go • Prison is seen as a place to get these people off the streets
Aftermath • Lack of responsible mentors • Return to same environment • Gang influence • Lack of support • Minimal rehabilitation centers • Lack of funding
Issues with Age and Brain development MARY Garaudy and Victoria Husser
The last part of the brain to develop is that which dictates judgment and consequences; hence, why most think teens are so self-centered. They are neurologically less capable of predicting the outcome of negative behavior. In addition, the adolescent brain is also more sensitive than that of an adult. It’s a surviving mechanism.
“In the fall of 1999, when he was 17, Manny and two other gang members attacked a family in his neighborhood. One of the victims was six months pregnant. The prosecution says she was hit repeatedly in the stomach with a baseball bat. Four men were assaulted, two of them stabbed. Manny was arrested and brought to court on four counts of attempted murder. Manny comes from one of San Jose's roughest neighborhoods, and is a member of the Hispanic Norteño gang. His childhood was difficult; he grew up without his father and started running the streets and fighting in fourth grade. He has adopted the ethos of the streets, and believes that violence is sometimes necessary to achieve the respect of his peers. He says, ‘If someone hits you, you got to defend yourself . . . By just sitting there and turning the other cheek , you don't stick up for yourself, you just get rolled on, you don't have no self pride for yourself.’”
Definition of Abuse "non-accidental trauma or physical injury caused by punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning or otherwise harming a child."
Shocking Statistics 38% of girls are sexually abused before the age of 18 16% of boys are sexually abused before the age of 18
In a 2012 study abuse has risen significantly since 1980… Physical Abuse has increased 84% Sexual Abuse has increased 350% Emotional Abuse increased 333% Child Neglect Abuse has increased 320%
Effects Causes and Effects of Abuse Causes Verbal Abuse Physical Abuse Emotional Abuse Sexual Abuse ALL CAN RESULT IN… PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Psychological consequences • Depression • Low self esteem • Trust issues • Slower Development of Cognitive Skills
Step One: Contact with Police • Police suspect crime is committed • Taken into custody • Questioned • Decide if youth will go through the juvenile justice system
Step Two: Discovery & Conference • Juvenile appointed to case • Motion for discovery • Attorney/client conference
Step Three: Plea Negotiations • Definition: In criminal procedure, there is a negotiation between the defendant and his attorney on one side and the prosecutor on the other, in which the defendant agrees to plea “guilty” to a crime. • Attorney meets with solicitor • The client • The judge
Step Four: Final Preparation before Trial • If no agreement can be reached, then the case will go to trial • Subpoena • Definition: A writ ordering a person to attend a court • The verdict
After our week together these are some things we learned that will help us to resolve the issues for juveniles in the system
Gender Based Programming Maggie Marx & Julie Randolph
“Crying is not going to get me home The outside tears are nothing but water. I’m crying on the inside where no one can see it.” -14 year old girl in California Juvenile Hall From “No Place to Hide”
“Jail is just another kind of slavery. The law has to not be so quick to lock people up. It should get to know them first.” -15 year old girl in a California Juvenile Hall From “No Place to Hide”
Girls vs. boys • Range of stay in Detention Center • Individuals in the system with PTSD • Dysfunctional families • Sexual abuse • Runaways • Male delinquents demonstrated a higher level of need for a more structured environment, while girls need more psychiatric treatment
Common Factors between girls entering the System • Sexual abuse • Drug problems • Lack of parental figure/family problems • Dislike of foster families • Psychological problems • Problems in school (suspension, expulsion, etc) • Forced into “survival strategies” i.e. prostitution
Girls in the system with mental illnesses • Major depression – 20% • Any anxiety disorder – 30.6% • Any substance abuse/dependence – 49% • Conduct disorders – 40.3% • Any psychiatric disorder – 87.2%
Other interesting Statistics • Fastest growing segment • Most girls are nonviolent offenders • Pregnancy • Racial comparisons
Ideas to change the ways girls are treated by the juvenile justice system • Address the issue that girls are incarcerated for less serious offenses than boys • Require gender-responsive programming for girls (treatment) • Alter practices that may further prevent trauma • Address issues such as abuse, violence, family relationships, substance abuse, and disorders in girls • Require that schools, social services, corrections, and aftercare service providers cooperate so girls don’t fall through the cracks
Juvenile Detention By: Courtney and Emily
Juvenile Detention Facilities Juvenile Detention Center is either a short-term or long-term secure residential facility for juvenile delinquents. There are approximately 60,500 youth in detention centers on a given day. There are 591 Juvenile Detention Centers in the United States. Pro: It can be used as a fear factor to stop youth from committing more crimes. Cons: • Cost • Jail hardens children because they are in an environment where peers encourage each other to continue on the path of crime.