- Slides: 15
Juvenile Justice How and why juvenile justice differs from adult justice
A brief history • It wasn’t until the mid 19 th century that the U. S. even had a juvenile justice system. • Reformers argued that the failure of the family was the cause of delinquent behavior • The system was created to assume the responsibility that had been the parents’ job.
Types of Juvenile Offenses • Delinquent Offenders: youths that have committed acts that would be crimes if committed by adults under federal, state, or local laws. • Status Offenders: youths that committed acts that would not be crimes if committed by adults
Status Offenses Examples • Running away from home • Skipping school • Violating curfew • Refusing to obey parents • Underage drinking
Juvenile and Adult Justice term Comparison • • • Juvenile Term Offense Take into custody Petition Denial Admission Adjudicatory hearing Found delinquent Disposition Detention Aftercare • • • Adult Term Crime Arrest File charges Not guilty plea Guilty plea Trial Found guilty Sentencing Jail Parole
Some Facts on Juvenile Justice
Around the Globe • Since 1997, only four countries have executed individuals who committed crimes before the age of 18—the United States, Iran, Pakistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. • The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and several other key international treaties and agreements prohibit the death penalty for offenders who committed crimes before age 18. • China, the world leader in performing executions, officially stopped executing young offenders in 1997.
In the United States More than half of youth in detention centers are in facilities that fail to meet the health service criteria established by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). Less than a third of youth are in detention or correctional facilities that meet recommended suicide prevention measures, according to OJJDP. Detention and correctional facilities—like Giddings State Home and School in Texas—that provide counseling and treatment, and compel young offenders to be emotionally accountable for their offenses can dramatically lower rates of re-offense, even among young violent offenders.
The Juvenile Justice Process
Detention • The detention stage of the juvenile court process occurs after the offender is taken into custody and before a determination of guilt. • "Detention center" is the official term for a juvenile jail. • Detention reforms include a wide-range of alternatives to detention with community-based programs and degrees of supervision. All keep atrisk youth close to home, community and enrolled in school.
Two legal reasons for pretrial detention 1. The child is deemed a risk to the safety of others or her/himself unless detained. 2. The child is deemed a risk not to show up in court for his hearing.
Three Alternatives to Detention 1. Home confinement with frequent unannounced visits and phone calls by probation officers or surrogates from nonprofit agencies 2. Day/evening reporting centers that provide more intensive oversight and structured activities 3. Shelters serving runaways, homeless children and other youth who need 24 -hour supervision or custodial care
U. S. Juvenile Executions • Of the 22 juvenile executions all were male • 10 were classified as white, 11 were classified as black, and 1 was classified as Latino • All were 17 at the time of the crime, except one juvenile was 16 • Earliest execution was at age 24, latest execution at age 38
How did juvenile executions stop? • In a 5 -4 decision on March 1 st, 2005 executions for juvenile offenses was abolished • The court decided that executing people for crimes committed when they were under 18 constituted cruel and unusual punishment
Why is it cruel and unusual? • The court cited a “national consensus” against the practice • Medical and social science evidence has proven that teenagers are too immature to be held accountable to the same extent as adults