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History Of Juvenile Justice Essays

adjudicated delinquent (i.e., found guilty), a disposition hearing (similar to sentencing in criminal court) is held to determine the appropriate sanction. Dispositions include commitment to an institution, placement in a group or foster home or other residential facility, probation, referral to an outside agency or treatment program, imposition of a fine, community service, or restitution. At any point during the process, some juveniles may be held in a secure detention facility. In 1996, juveniles were detained in 18 percent of criminal delinquency cases processed by the juvenile courts (Snyder and Sickmund, 1999).

Juvenile courts also vary by the extent of services for which they are responsible. Some courts oversee only the adjudication process, while others provide a full array of preadjudication and postdisposition services. In over half the states, juvenile courts administer their own probation services, and many are responsible for detention and intake as well (Torbet, 1990).

Some researchers have expressed concerns regarding certain juvenile justice procedures. As mentioned previously, the lack of a right to a jury trial may have consequences for the outcome of a trial. Also at issue is legal representation for juveniles. As in adult court, juveniles have the right to be represented by an attorney. The majority of states, however, allow juveniles to decide independently to waive their rights to an attorney without having had legal counsel prior to the decision (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1995b). This practice is inconsistent with the assumption that children are different from and should be treated differently than adults, in that it implies that juveniles can make the decision “voluntarily and intelligently, ” although studies suggest that juveniles are not as competent as adults to waive their rights in a “knowing and intelligent” manner (Feld, 1993:31).

Studies from 1980 to 1990 found that the majority of juveniles were not represented by an attorney, including the majority of youths who received out-of-home placement (Feld, 1993). Rates of representation varied between urban and rural jurisdictions, and among states and within states (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1995b).

Also of possible concern are the quality and impact of attorney representation. Some studies suggest that there are grounds for concern about the effectiveness of defense counsel in juvenile trials, possibly because of inexperience and large caseloads (Feld, 1993). Studies also indicate that presence of counsel in juvenile courts is related to differences in pretrial detention, sentencing, and case-processing practices (Feld, 1993). One study (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1995b) found that, in general, while unrepresented juveniles were as likely as represented juveniles to be adjudicated as delinquents, they were less likely to receive out-of-home placement for certain crimes than juveniles with attorneys. The

Essay about History of the Juvenile Justice System

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This paper will discuss the history of the juvenile justice system and how it has come to be what it is today. When a juvenile offender commits a crime and is sentenced to jail or reform school, the offender goes to a separate jail or reforming place than an adult. It hasn’t always been this way. Until the early 1800’s juveniles were tried just like everyone else. Today, that is not the case. This paper will explain the reforms that have taken place within the criminal justice system that developed the juvenile justice system. Before the Progressive Era, children who were over the age of seven were put in jail with adults. In the early part of the 1800’s reformers started to become concerned with the overcrowded environment in the…show more content…

The child-essentially good, as they saw it was made to feel that he is the object of the state's care and solicitude, not that he was under arrest or on trial” (In re Gault, 1967).
The rising viewpoint of the child savers was that of parens patriae which said that the state had an assenting duty to get involved and care for the less fortunate kids. In 1899, the first court devoted to hearing cases with juvenile delinquents was developed by the Illinois Legislature. The procedures in the juvenile court were much different from those of the criminal courts. The child would be accused of a crime they committed, but they were offered help, treatment, and direction (Myers, 2008). Juvenile hearings were held in private and the juvenile’s records were kept sealed to avoid the disgrace of a criminal conviction. Since the juvenile courts rejected punishment, they were allowed to have jurisdiction on things adult courts did not consider crimes. These offenses could be anything including truancy, disobedience, bad language, immorality, and vagrancy. Under parens patriae, the juvenile court was allowed to use wide range discretion to resolve the troubles of juvenile offenders and rejected the official procedures of the adult

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