Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. A separate juvenile justice system was established in the United States about years ago with the goal of diverting youthful offenders from the destructive punishments of criminal courts and encouraging rehabilitation based on the Two juvenile 1 adult juvenile's needs.
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. Because the judge was to act in the best interests of the child, procedural safeguards available to adults, such as the right to an attorney, the right to know the charges brought Two juvenile 1 adult one, the right to trial by jury, and the right to confront one's accuser, were thought unnecessary.
Juvenile court proceedings were closed to the public and juvenile records were to remain confidential so as not to interfere with the child's or adolescent's ability to be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society. 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.
This tension has shifted over time and has varied significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and it remains today. In response to the increase in violent crime in the s, state legal reforms in juvenile justice, particularly those that deal with serious offenses, have stressed punitiveness, accountability, and a concern for public safety, rejecting traditional concerns for diversion and rehabilitation in favor of a get-tough approach to juvenile crime and punishment. This change in emphasis from a focus on rehabilitating the individual to Two juvenile 1 adult 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 Two juvenile 1 adult 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.
Two juvenile 1 adult 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 Two juvenile 1 adult, 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 Two juvenile 1 adult taken place under the get-tough rubric include more aggressive policing of juveniles, making it easier or in some cases mandatory Two juvenile 1 adult 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 Two juvenile 1 adult when laws are passed. For example, many jurisdictions have been experimenting with. 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, Two juvenile 1 adult 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 Two juvenile 1 adult in involvement in Two juvenile 1 adult 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 first two categories are already collected but not published.
Data on the latter three categories are not now collected nationally. Until the early 19th century in the United States, children as young as 7 years old could be tried in criminal court and, if convicted, sentenced to prison or even to death.