Models[ edit ] Juvenile court is a special court or department of a trial court that deals with under-age defendants who are charged with crimes, are neglected, or are out of the control of their parents.
This system was to differ from adult or criminal court in a number of ways. It was to focus on the child or adolescent as a person in need of assistance, not on the act that brought him or her before the court. The proceedings were informal, with much discretion left to the juvenile court judge.
The very language used in juvenile court underscored these differences. Juveniles are not charged with crimes, but rather with delinquencies; they are not found guilty, but rather are adjudicated delinquent; they are not sent to prison, but to training school or reformatory. In practice, there was always a tension between social welfare and social control—that is, focusing on the best interests of the individual child versus focusing on punishment, incapacitation, and protecting society from certain offenses.
|Juvenile Justice History — Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice||Since the s, youth crime rates have plummeted. These falling crime rates have led many jurisdictions to rethink the punitive juvenile justice practices that became popular in the s and s.|
|Juvenile Justice History — Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice||Adolescent Diversion Parts Young people ages 16 and 17 are processed as adults within the confines of the criminal justice system. The Court has implemented a separate Diversion Effort to improve court outcomes for youth charged with non-violent offenses, designed to help these young people avoid the legal consequences of conviction and realign them with a law-abiding trajectory and a productive future.|
This tension has shifted over time and has varied significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and it remains today. Page Share Cite Suggested Citation: Juvenile Crime, Juvenile Justice.
The National Academies Press. This change in emphasis from a focus on rehabilitating the individual to punishing the act is exemplified by the 17 states that redefined the purpose clause of their juvenile courts to emphasize public safety, certainty of sanctions, and offender accountability Torbet and Szymanski, Inherent in this change in focus is the belief that the juvenile justice system is too soft on delinquents, who are thought to be potentially as much a threat to public safety as their adult criminal counterparts.
It is important to remember that the United States has at least 51 different juvenile justice systems, not one. Each state and the District of Columbia has its own laws that govern its juvenile justice system. How juvenile courts operate may vary from county to county and municipality to municipality within a state.
The federal government has jurisdiction over a small number of juveniles, such as those who commit crimes on Indian reservations or in national parks, and it has its own laws to govern juveniles within its system. States that receive money under the federal Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act must meet certain requirements, such as not housing juveniles with adults in detention or incarceration facilities, but it is state law that governs the structure of juvenile courts and juvenile corrections facilities.
When this report refers to the juvenile justice system, it is referring to a generic framework that is more or less representative of what happens in any given state. Legal reforms and policy changes that have taken place under the get-tough rubric include more aggressive policing of juveniles, making it easier or in some cases mandatory to treat a juvenile who has committed certain offenses as an adult, moving decision making about where to try a juvenile from the judge to the prosecutor or the state legislature, changing sentencing options, and opening juvenile proceedings and records.
Changes in laws do not necessarily translate into changes in practice. In addition to the belief that at least some juvenile offenders are amenable to treatment and rehabilitation, other factors limit overreliance on get-tough measures: Practice may also move in ways not envisioned when laws are passed.
Whereas the traditional juvenile justice model focuses attention on offender rehabilitation and the current get-tough changes focus on offense punishment, the restorative model focuses on balancing the needs of victims, offenders, and communities Bazemore and Umbreit, Tracking changes in practice is difficult, not only because of the differences in structure of the juvenile justice system among the states, but also because the information collected about case processing and about incarcerated juveniles differs from state to state, and because there are few national data.
Some states collect and publish a large amount of data on various aspects of the juvenile justice system, but for most states the data are not readily available. Although data are collected nationally on juvenile court case processing, 1 the courts are not required to submit data, so that national juvenile court statistics are derived from courts that cover only about two-thirds of the entire juvenile population Stahl et al.
Furthermore, there are no published national data on the number of juveniles convicted by offense, the number incarcerated by offense, sentence length, time served in confinement, or time served on parole Langan and Farrington, The center of the juvenile justice system is the juvenile or family court Moore and Wakeling, In fact, the term juvenile justice is often used synonymously with the juvenile court, but it also may refer to other affiliated institutions in addition to the court, including the police, prosecuting and defense attorneys, probation, juvenile detention centers, and juvenile correctional facilities Rosenheim, In this chapter, juvenile justice is used in the latter, larger sense.
After providing a brief historical background of the juvenile court and a description of stages in the juvenile justice system, we examine the various legal and policy changes that have taken place in recent years, the impact those changes have had on practice, and the result of the laws, policy, and practice on juveniles caught up in the juvenile justice system.
Throughout the chapter, differences by race and by gender in involvement in the juvenile justice system are noted. Chapter 6 examines in more detail the overrepresentation of minorities in the juvenile justice system.
Department of Justice, has collected and analyzed juvenile court statistics since Data on the latter three categories are not now collected nationally. Children under the age of 7 were presumed to be unable to form criminal intent and were therefore exempt from punishment.
The establishment of special courts and incarceration facilities for juveniles was part of Progressive Era reforms, along with kindergarten, child labor laws, mandatory education, school lunches, and vocational education, that were aimed at enhancing optimal child development in the industrial city Schlossman, Reformers believed that treating children and adolescents as adult criminals was unnecessarily harsh and resulted in their corruption.
They were not to be accused of specific crimes. The act gave the court jurisdiction over neglected, dependent, and delinquent children under age Courthouse Planning & Design, Operational Analysis, and Activation Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Justice Planning Associates began working with Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, Ohio) and its Juvenile Justice System in , and continued to assist the County through the completion and opening of the Juvenile Justice Center in Examining the works of Mack (), Platt (), Caldwell (), and Fox () reveals that, although development of the court has taken various shapes and has often been rooted in differing ideals and guiding principles, the overall philosophical view of the purpose of the juvenile court has remained relatively unchanged and, surprisingly, was .
The Purpose of the Juvenile Justice System. community engagement, decision-point analysis, and effective alternatives to detention (PDF) as essential tools for eliminating racial and ethnic disparities.
Purpose of Detention. Re-offend before their next court . Creation of the U.S. Juvenile Court System By Maura Downey The formal United States Juvenile Court system began on the cusp of a new century, spurred by the zeitgeist surrounding “childhood,” such as the implementation of education and child labor laws, which followed the transition from an agrarian to industrial economy (Borum & Otto, .
The juvenile court system was established in the United States a little more than a century ago, with the first court appearing in Illinois in Prior to that time, children and youth were seen as miniature adults and were tried and punished as adults.
The center of the juvenile justice system is the juvenile or family court (Moore and Wakeling, ). In fact, the term juvenile justice is often used synonymously with the juvenile court, but it also may refer to other affiliated institutions in addition to the court, including the police, prosecuting and defense attorneys, probation, juvenile.