Juvenile Delinquency Professor Dawn Brown
Unit 8/The Juvenile Court Process • This unit examines the juvenile court process, including the pretrial phase, waiver to criminal court, trial, and sentencing. Key issues of this process that will be covered include detention, intake, diversion, pretrial release, plea bargaining, and waiver. This unit will also address major Supreme Court decisions that have shaped the juvenile justice process.
What you should learn in this unit? • The roles and responsibilities of the primary participants in the juvenile court • The key issues of the pre-adjudicatory stage of the juvenile system • The rationales for waiving youths to criminal court • About the reasons for confidentiality in juvenile proceedings and the privacy of juvenile records
Chapter 13: Juvenile Court Process: Pretrial, Trial, and Sentencing • This chapter begins with an overview of the people involved in the juvenile courtroom, including defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges. The juvenile court process is then presented. Many decisions about what happens to a child occur prior to adjudication. Key issues include detention, intake, diversion, pretrial release, plea bargaining, and waiver. A discussion of the transfer of juveniles to adult court is examined in detail.
Chapter 13: Juvenile Court Process: Pretrial, Trial, and Sentencing • The chapter then provides an overview of the juvenile court trial process. The constitutional rights afforded to juveniles are presented, with a discussion of key Supreme Court cases that have impacted juvenile justice, such as In re Gault and Roper v Simmons. The major categories of dispositional choice in juvenile cases are covered, including community release, out-of-home placements, fines or restitution, community service, and institutionalization. The chapter concludes with an overview of other important issues including sentencing structures, the Death Penalty, the appellate process and confidentiality.
Key Terminology • Diversion
Diversion • Diversion is "an attempt to divert, or channel out, youthful offenders from the juvenile justice system" (Bynum and Thompson, 1996:430). The concept of diversion is based on the theory that processing certain youth through the juvenile justice system may do more harm than good (Lundman, 1993). The basis of the diversion argument is that courts may inadvertently stigmatize some youth for having committed relatively petty acts that might best be handled outside the formal system. In part, diversion programs are also designed to ameliorate the problem of overburdened juvenile courts and overcrowded corrections institutions (including detention facilities), so that courts and institutions can focus on more serious offenders. • http://www.ncjrs.gov/html/ojjdp/9909-3/div.html
Key Terminology • Widening the Net
Widening the Net • Broken link: • Some fear that restorative programmes could result in sanctions imposed on people (especially youth) who would have "simply been left alone if [restorative] sanctions did not exist" (Walgrave, 1992 at 348). Restorative justice may widen the net of social control by receiving cases that the formal court-system would not have received, or by imposing sanctions not utilized by the formal justice system (Hudson and Galaway, 1996 at 12-13). The use of informal processes and community service sanctions gives rise to a new professionalism, expanding the sphere of social intervention (Walgrave, 1992 at 348). • http://www.restorativejustice.org/university-classroom/01introduction/tutorial-introduction-to-restorative-justice/systemic/net
Key Terminology • Judicial Wavers
Judicial Waveres • “Jurisdictional waiver constitutes a type of sentencing decision. Transfer of juvenile offenders for adult prosecution provides the nexus between the more deterministic and rehabilitative premises of the juvenile court and the free will and punishment assumptions of the adult criminal justice system. Mechanisms to prosecute some juveniles as adults provide a safety valve that permit the expiatory sacrifice of some youths, quiet political and public clamor about serious youth crime, and enable legislators to avoid otherwise irresistible pressures to lower further the maximum age of juvenile court jurisdiction. Waiver laws attempt to resolve fundamental crime control issues, reconcile the conflicted impulses engendered when the child is a criminal and the criminal is a child, and harmonize cultural contradictions between adolescent immaturity and criminal responsibility.” • http://law.jrank.org/pages/1535/Juveniles-in-Adult-System.html
Key Terminology • Due Process
Due Process • “In re Gault, 387 U.S. 1 (1967), was a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision which established that under the Fourteenth Amendment, juveniles accused of crimes in a delinquency proceeding must be accorded many of the same due process rights as adults such as the right to timely notification of charges, the right to confront witnesses, the right against self-incrimination, and the right to counsel. The court's opinion was written by Justice Abe Fortas, a noted proponent of children's rights.” • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_re_Gault
Key Terminology • Confidentiality in Juvenile Proceedings
Confidentiality in Juvenile Proceedings • “Until recently, State laws and judicial norms were established with the understanding that the preservation of the privacy of juveniles adjudicated in the juvenile court is a critical component of the youth's rehabilitation. Today, however, in the face of increasing public concerns over juvenile crime and violence, government agencies, school officials, the public, and victims are seeking more information about juvenile offenders. An increasing number of States are responding to this need by allowing public access to and victim participation in juvenile proceedings, broadening access to juvenile records, fingerprinting and photographing delinquent youth, and altering expungement laws for juvenile records. “ • http://ojjdp.ncjrs.gov/PUBS/reform/ch2_i.html
5 Minute Question • How does the terminology used in the juvenile court reflect its philosophy?
5 Minute Question • Each year, thousands of youths are transferred to criminal court because of the seriousness of their crimes. What factors are considered in the waiver process? What are the consequences to the child and society?
5 Minute Question • Should juveniles have the right to a jury trial?