Juvenile Justice Outline Origins/History

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Juvenile Justice Outline

  • originally no separate system, just infancy (conclusive at 7, rebuttable presumption through 13)

  • IL’s Act comes from a Progressive belief in rehabilitation and less culpable, parens patriae, environmental theories of juvenile deviance

    • IL Act utilizes unpaid probation officers to investigate, appointing someone on child’s behalf, no jail for under 12

    • Revised for wards of state up to 21, age differential for jurisdiction of males v. females

  • Mack: A move away from reformatory not good enough (a school for crime), need real school and family life, not prison disguised as school  a probation focused system

    • Not seen as punishment, child has a right to be controlled (but also implies no liberty rights)

  • Ainsworth – advocates abolishing juvenile courts, says that adolescence (like childhood, but more so) is social construct

    • This bad because no distinction between criminal and noncriminal behavior that was seen as deviant for the age (aka smoking, sexual activity); all justify states use of parens patriae power  “an unprecedented expansion of state social control over adolescents”

  • Zimring: revisionist view: real purpose of juvenile court was not to reform (interventionist theory), but to divert (diversion theory) children from destructive punishments of criminal justice system

    • or rather these were two purposes, but diversion was more important

    • if intervention really the theory, then Winship would really have to say that “It is better that ten kids who need help do not get help than one kid who does not need help is erroneously assisted.”

  • Commonwealth v. Fisher (PA 1905) upholds juvenile court’s authority to commit juvenile without criminal procedural safeguards

    • yes no due process, but this not a new court, just a new designation for the fact that these things have always been done without these procedural safeguards for criminal trials  simply not punished (instead saved!), so not entitled to these rights

  • theory of parens patriae - child “has a right ‘not to liberty but to custody’”

  • In re Gault (US 1967) - Juvenile court records not really being kept secret, and this can still be done within confines of due process

    • Recent studies found that fairness, impartiality and orderliness will impress youths therapeutically than the benevolent judge in an informal setting

    • The reality is liberty is taken away when sent to institution for years, requires due process

    • requires “fundamentally fair” procedural safeguards during adjudicatory hearing determining delinquency

  • Jacob’s thinks that legalization of Juvenile Court through Gault attacks interventionist rationale more than the diversion rationale

  • Kent v. US (US 1966) requires due process in judicial waiver hearings in juvenile court

  • McKeiver v. Pennsylvania (US)  jury trial not required, not all criminal procedural rules required, accurate factfinding required but this does not require a jury

  • Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 Congress requires deinstitutionalization of status offenders and non-offenders (must be charged a delinquent), does this through limiting formula funding for those who do not comply

  • Early 1990s – response to a “violent juvenile crime epidemic”

    • States lower maximum age to send more kids to adult court (instead of affording a waiver process)

    • Mandatory minimums

    • A lesser concern for keeping records confidential

Juvenile Crime and Victimization
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