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Overview of Juvenile Justice

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Title: Overview of Juvenile Justice


1
Overview of Juvenile Justice
  • CRIM 309

2
Overview of the Juvenile Justice System
  • The JJS is a relatively new systemthe first
    juvenile court was established in 1899
  • The JJS was created to address criminal and
    problem behaviors among children between the ages
    of (approx.) 10 to 18
  • Criminal offenses (aka delinquency)
  • Status offenses
  • Abuse/neglect cases

3
Basis of the JJS
  • Different levels of culpability (I.e.,
    responsibility) of adolescents compared to adults
    served as the basis of the JJS
  • Childhood was created in the early 19th century
    and stages of childhood, specifically adolescence
    was defined shortly afterward
  • Developmentally distinguished adolescents from
    adults emotionally, psychologically, and
    physically
  • Supported the notion that (1) adolescents were
    less culpable than adults, and (2) adolescents
    were more amenable to change than adults

4
Are Adolescents Different from Adults?
  • Increasingly, research demonstrates that
    adolescents are not little adults
  • Adolescence is a period of intense physical,
    emotional, and cognitive development
  • Forced to make choices under the worst conditions
  • Exposed to highly risky situations
  • Often overestimate their understanding of a
    situation while underestimating the consequences
    of their actions
  • Further complicated when youths live in
    disadvantaged, high risk environments
  • Perhaps most important for this discussion is the
    fact that adolescents process emotionally
    charged information from a more reactive,
    gut-level place than adults

5
JJS v. CJS
  • The JJS was purposely developed as a different
    system from the adult criminal justice system
    (CJS)
  • The JJS recognized the need for different
    responses and emphasized rehabilitation over
    punishment
  • JJS differs significantly from the the CJS
  • Informal proceedings
  • Confidential
  • Less adversarial
  • Different responses, with an emphasis on
    treatment

6
Juvenile v. Adult Justice Systems
Juvenile System Adult System
Basis Civil (no due process) Criminal (due process)
Goal(s) Rehabilitation Punishment
Style Non-Adversarial Adversarial
Terminology Medical Model Legal/Constitutional
Role of Family Very Significant Little to No Significance
Functioning Private, confidential Open
Process Adjudication/Delinquent Trial/Guilty or Innocent
Sentencing Indeterminate-Broad Determinate-Focused
7
History of the Juvenile Court
8
Prior to Juvenile Court
  • Prior to 19th century, children were either
    viewed as
  • Not culpable for crime (ages lt7)
  • As responsible and subject to the same penalties
    as adults
  • 19th centuryIntroduction of childhood and
    recognition of developmental differences between
    children and adults
  • Efforts were made by reformers to remove
    juveniles from criminal court and treat them
    differently from adults using legal precedent of
    parens patriae

9
Reformers and the Juvenile Court
  • 19th Century time of drastic change as a result
    of industrialization and high rates of
    immigration
  • Wealthy and middle class develops and turns its
    attention to social ills of the nation
  • Child-SaversMC/W women who took on a variety of
    social issues
  • Progressive Reformersgrowing intelligentsia that
    wanted to reduce social problems with the
    creation of professional organizations

10
Reforming the System
  • Reformers focused on evils of urbanization and
    poor upbringingfamily was at the center of their
    criticism and a target for their efforts
  • Benevolent Reform turns into bias
  • Class, Race, Gender Bias
  • Utilize the legal precedent of parens patriae to
    justify work in many areas related to children
  • Parens Patriaeprovides state the right to
    intervene in the best interest of a person
  • This precedent is critical to all reforms,
    including juvenile justice, compulsory education,
    and child labor

11
Origins of Juvenile Court
  • House of Refuge 1825
  • Concerns regarding this development led to court
    cases
  • Ex Parte Crouse, 1835upheld parens patriae
  • People v. Turner, 1860struck parens patriae down
  • Response Cottage House Systems and
    reformatories-mid 1800s
  • Placing Outsending juveniles west
  • Each of these institutions were an attempt to
  • Separate juveniles from adults
  • Provide treatment to prevent youths from
    adopting a life of crime

12
Purpose of the New Response
  • Differential treatment of juveniles (from adults)
    was intended to save juveniles from
    themselvessalvage their souls
  • Treatment in these institutions translated to
    vocational skills training and religious training
  • Based on stereotypes and role expectations of the
    time
  • Juveniles in these institutions were largely
    poor, immigrant, and female
  • Black youths were often processed by and placed
    in adult system. When allowed into the juvenile
    system, these youths were segregated from Whites
    and given custodial types of tasks

13
Creation of the Juvenile Court
  • Concern over legal challenges led reformers to
    seek permanent placement of juvenile court in
    law,culminating in the creation of the first
    juvenile court---1899 in Cook County, Illinois
  • Created legal categories and jurisdiction for
    juvenile delinquency, status offending, and
    abuse/neglect
  • System was separate from adult court in theory
    and practice
  • By 1925, all states except Maine and Wyoming had
    functioning juvenile courts

14
Evolution of Juvenile Justice
  • 1905 Commonwealth v. Fisher
  • Brought legal question once again to parens
    patriae
  • Court upheld legal doctrine and creation of
    separate legal jurisdiction for juvenile
    delinquents, status offenders, and
    abused/neglected youth
  • Legitimacy not questioned again until the 1960s

15
Juvenile Justice in 20th Century
  • 60s Legal/court reform
  • Kent v. United States, 1966
  • Hearings required for transfer to adult court
  • In Re Gault, 1967
  • Representation for all offenders who face
    institutionalization
  • In Re Winship, 1970
  • Standard of proof, beyond a reasonable doubt,
    required
  • Breed v. Jones, 1975
  • Protection against double jeopardy
  • McKeiver v. Pennsylvania, 1971
  • Rejected access to jury trial

16
20th Century Continued
  • 70s Federal reform
  • Focus on prevention and concern over status
    offenders
  • Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act
  • Federal Act that
  • Prohibited placement of status offenders in
    secure facilities
  • Required sight and separation of juveniles and
    adults in detention and correctional facilities
  • Removal of juveniles from adult jails and lockups
  • Voluntary compliance but connected to funding
  • Reauthorization by Congress in 1988 required
    states to examine over representation of
    minorities in secure confinment

17
20th Century Continued
  • 80s Crime Control Policies
  • Increase in facility use
  • Increase waivers
  • Increase in statutory limitations
  • Death penalty
  • New ways of sentencing
  • 90s Distinguishing Offenders
  • 2000 Punitive mixed with integrating sanctions
    and rehabilitation restorative justice

18
Juvenile Justice In Context
  • Creates a contradiction between our social
    policies related to children and adolescents and
    our treatment of children and adolescents who
    break the law
  • Assumption that the nature of adolescence is to
    face ambiguous decisions and learn appropriate
    behaviors/choice-making
  • Social policies reflect the lack of maturity and
    skills to make certain decisions
  • Criminal justice policies reject many of these
    notions and put juvenile offenders on same level
    as adult offenders
  • Complicated further by the fact that adolescence
    is the highest period of criminal activity

19
Structure of the Juvenile Justice System
20
Contemporary Juvenile Court Structure
  • Juvenile justice is state-based there is no
    federal juvenile justice system
  • The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
    Prevention provides guidance on policy and
    resources for program development, but it has no
    authority over juvenile justice systems operating
    in any state
  • Juvenile courts may be located organizationally
    as general jurisdiction courts, special
    jurisdiction courts, or limited jurisdiction
    courts
  • Extent to which juvenile courts have jurisdiction
    in all matters involving juveniles varies by state

21
The Juvenile Justice System
22
1st Step in the JJ Process Arrest/Referral
  • Juveniles can enter the jjs through
  • Parent referrals
  • School referrals
  • Social service referrals
  • Police referrals
  • Police are responsible for the majority of
    referrals to the juvenile justice system

23
Policing and Juveniles
  • Juveniles are responsible for a lot of police
    contacts
  • Nature of Police-Juvenile Encounters
  • Often difficult
  • Developmental differences and lack of training
  • Hostile behavior
  • Officer response can significantly impact result
  • Role conflictwhat is their role

24
Police Organization of Juvenile Work
  • Depends on the size of the police department, the
    community, amount quality of resources
    available, and policing philosophy of department
  • Special units-officers specially trained
  • Special units are more likely to exist in large,
    urban areas. Smaller areas are less likely to
    have specialized juvenile officers

25
Police and the Law
  • Police have more latitude in handling juveniles
  • Charging decisions
  • Ability to detain
  • If juvenile is charged as an adult, he/she is
    entitled to full due process
  • If juvenile is taken into custody as a juvenile,
    police act in the role of parents and have more
    control over what happens to the youth

26
Police Discretion
  • DiscretionUse of personal decision-making and
    choice in carrying out operations in the justice
    system (I.e., deciding whether to arrest)
  • Discretion applies to all processing stages of
    the juvenile and adult justice systems
  • Particularly large amount of discretion used in
    the case of juveniles
  • Informality and individualized treatment lends
    itself to discretion

27
Impact of Discretion
  • Discretion can keep offenders out of the
    system--have significant impact of who enters the
    system and who does not
  • Discretion can increase chance of being placed in
    the system
  • Discretion can deteriorate into discrimination
    and other abuses
  • Personal, environmental, departmental, and
    situational factors impact the extent to which
    discretion plays a role in processing juveniles
    into the juvenile justice system

28
2nd Stage of the JJ Process Detention
  • Police decide whether to detain an offender or
    release him/her to parents
  • Intake officer determines whether the placement
    is necessary (using a risk tool)
  • Offenders can be detained for their own safety or
    the safety of the communityno bond. Must be
    released by prosecutor or order of the judge
  • Many negative consequences to detentionefforts
    growing to build alternatives
  • Types Shelter, Staff-Secure, Secure
  • Detention can be used at any time in the process

29
3rd Stage of the JJ Process Charging
  • In some states, Prosecutor decides how to charge
    the casedecision is based on state statute
    around juvenile court jurisdiction and waivers to
    adult court
  • Also has the option to not charge or offer
    diversion to an offender
  • The diversion option allows the offender to avoid
    processing if they complete the diversion program
    successfully
  • In other states, Juvenile Court Intake makes the
    decision to informally handle or formally handle
  • Decision is then sent to the Prosecutor
  • Diversion is also possible at this point

30
Transferring Cases to the Adult Court
  • Case may be waived to adult court by a judge
    prior to adjudication
  • Judicial waiver
  • Hearing to determine whether case warrants
    transfer to the adult court
  • In some states, case may also be charged directly
    in adult court by a prosecutor
  • Prosecutorial waiver
  • No hearing defense can file a reverse waiver to
    transfer the case to juvenile court
  • In most states, legislatures have mandated that
    certain cases be automatically processed in adult
    courtstatutory exclusion

31
4th Stage of JJ Process Adjudication
  • Formal Processing
  • Arraignment Hearing
  • Charges read in court
  • Need for Representation Assessed
  • If represented, type of responsibility is entered
  • If responsible?case goes to disposition
  • If not responsible?case goes to adjudication
    hearing (I.e., trial)
  • If responsible?case goes to disposition
  • If not responsible?case is dismissed
  • Plea bargaining occurs during these stages

32
5th Stage of JJ Process Assessment
  • Pre-disposition assessments
  • Thorough evaluations of juveniles risk and need
    levels
  • Judge orders at adjudication hearing
  • Report completed and returned to judge prior to
    the disposition
  • Report contains recommendations to the judge on
    what type of disposition the offender should
    receive

33
Content of Pre-Disposition Assessment
  • This stage may include any or all of the
    following
  • Individual factors previous jj experience,
    peers, living situation, etc.
  • Family factors occupations, living situation,
    history of abuse/neglect, relationships, etc.
  • School factors attendance, performance, behavior
  • Also provides the opportunity for
  • 1. Substance abuse screening
  • 2. Mental health screening
  • 3. Risk Assessment
  • 4. Referral for further assessment (SA, MH,
    medical, family, etc.)

34
6th Stage in JJ Process Disposition
  • Disposition Hearing (Sentence)
  • Judge reviews pre-disposition materials (if
    available) and decides on the following options
  • Probation Supervision in the community
  • Different levels
  • May include placement in camp or detention
    facility
  • State Custody Out-of-Home Placement
  • Different types of placements
  • Parole and Aftercare
  • Blended Sentencing Combination of juvenile and
    adult sentencing

35
Probation
  • Traditional Supervision (Low, Medium, and High)
  • Intensive Supervision (High Only)
  • Drug Courts
  • Camps
  • Probation has conditions that can include
    curfews, treatment, family counseling, etc.

36
State Custody
  • Foster/Group Homes
  • Correctional Facility
  • Treatment Facility Placements
  • Parole
  • Aftercare Programming

37
Caveats to JJ Process
  • Offender placed on probation who violates the
    conditions of that order, can return to court and
    be moved into state custody
  • Offender place in state custody who makes parole
    and violates the conditions of parole, can return
    to court and to an institution
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