3 Juvenile ProcessingIntakeLike police officers, juvenile court officials exercise a great deal of discretion, particularly at the intake stageContradictory behaviors:About half of all court referrals are released at intake using informal procedures like those used by policeOn the other hand, prior to adjudication, they detain far more juveniles than are later confined at disposition—often overestimating severity of cases
4 Juvenile Processing Court Dilemmas Nurturance Constitutional rights Vs.Constitutional rightsSaving truants, runaways, and neglected childrenServing up “justice”Risking leniency, releasing kidsRisking being too punitive, locking up and institutionalizingProtecting KidsProtecting Society
5 Juvenile ProcessingWaiverAll states allow juveniles accused of serious crimes to be tried as adults in one of three ways, the third being the most common route to adult court. Kids have due process rights in this process.Judicial Waiver--hearing before a judge who determines whether criminal courts should handle the caseDirect File (prosecutor discretion)--prosecutor has the discretion to take a case directly to juvenile court or to criminal courtExcluded Offenses--Certain offenses are automatically excluded from juvenile courtAge--Some states define persons over a particular age (e.g.,15 or 16) as non-juvenile for criminal justice purposes with particular crimes
6 Juvenile ProcessingAll states allow adult criminal prosecution and sentencing of juveniles under some circumstances.
8 Juvenile Processing 15-Year-Old Sentenced to 6 Years in Adult Prison CAMDEN, NJ (AP) -- A 15-year-old boy who prosecutors said was the mastermind of a failed plot to go on a shooting spree in a suburban school was sentenced Friday to six years in state prison. Edwin DeLeon and three other teens pleaded guilty earlier this year to scheming to shoot teachers and students in April. Authorities said they planned to open fire at Winslow Township High School in Camden County, where DeLeon and two of the others were students, then turn their guns on other people in the community. Despite attempts, the teens were never able to get a gun. School officials heard about the plans and the boys were arrested before anyone was hurt.
9 Juvenile ProcessingKids tried and sentenced as adults are more likely to commit future crimes than similar kids processed as juveniles for the same crimes.
10 Juvenile Processing Death Penalty Juvenile justice systems have no provisions for the death penalty.The lowest age for which a person may be put to death for a crime had until recently been 16 years of age US Supreme Court DecisionMarch 2005 Supreme Court ruling found that it is unconstitutional to put a person to death for a crime committed when the person was under the age of 18.This was consistent with Atkins vs. Virginia, June 2002, where the court ruled that execution of persons with mental retardation is unconstitutional.
11 Juvenile Processing Court Filtering (See Agnew, page 387) Intake Dismissed or Informal Adjustment (43% of Cases)Petitioned(57%) Waived to Adult Court (0.5%)Dismissed/Informal Adjustment (23%)Adjudicated Delinquent (33%)Probation Intermediate Out-of-Home Released(18%) Sanctions (4%) Placement (9%) (1%)
13 Juvenile Processing Trends Rate of referrals for formal processing increased 30 percent from 1988 to 1997.Largest increases have been for violence, weapons, and drugs.Most common cases: property crimes77% maleRate of referrals for formal processing of status offenses increased 78 percent from 1988 to This is an example of “widening the net.”Most common cases: liquor laws and truancy59% male
15 Juvenile Processing Adjudication Most kids admit guilt or accept a plea bargain prior to adjudication.The 1960s and 1970s saw an increase in due process protections for juveniles stemming from a series of US Supreme Court decisions.Notice of charges must be givenRight to an attorneyProof of facts must be “beyond a reasonable doubt”Right to confront accusersNo self-incriminationThere is not a right to trial by jury
16 Juvenile Processing Adjudication Introduction of due process rights brought greater involvement of prosecutors into juvenile proceedings, making the system more adversarial and like the adult systemThe judge:makes a finding of fact that the juvenile is not delinquent or in need of supervisionmakes a finding of fact that the juvenile is delinquent or in need of supervisiondismisses the case because of insufficient or faulty evidencein some places may use informal alternatives
17 Minority and lower-class youth are overrepresented Juvenile ProcessingDispositionOnly a small fraction of all juveniles referred to court are eventually institutionalizedMinority and lower-class youth are overrepresentedUnclear whether court judges discriminate, most likely indirect discrimination at that pointDisposition is still biased if arrest, detention, intake, or predisposition reports are discriminatoryPrior action seems to bias judges
18 Juvenile ProcessingPre-trial confinement accounts for much of the difference.
20 Juvenile ProcessingIn 2003, public and private facilities held 32% more criminal delinquents and 32% fewer status offenders than in 1991
21 Juvenile ProcessingPublic facilities drive the trend for the delinquency population; private facilities drive the trend for status offenders
22 Juvenile ProcessingThe number of male offenders in custody increased 23% from 1991 to 2003The number of female offenders in custody increased 52% from 1991 to 2003—but it is still far below the male number
24 Juvenile ProcessingJuveniles committed to residential placement per 100,000 in the populationIn 2003, the national commitment rate was 219 juvenile offenders in custody for every 100,000 juveniles in the population
27 Juvenile Processing Disposition or Sentencing What Works in Corrections for Juveniles?Community-based correctionsMost experts recommend this over incarceration for most juvenile offendersIndividualized treatments are more effective at reducing recidivism than large training schoolsMore effective at addressing root causes of delinquencyMost Successful programsAre comprehensive and intensiveOperate outside traditional systemBuild on youths’ strengthsUse socially-grounded approach rather than psychological therapyAddresses “right to treatment” better
28 Juvenile Processing Right to Treatment True purpose of juvenile justice system is rehabilitation. Practices not consistent with this goal violate due process guaranteesNoSolitary confinementStrip cellsWithholding educationCorporal punishmentMust haveSufficient lighting, clothing, bedding, hygiene suppliesChange of underwear and socks everydayWriting materials, glasses, reading material, ability to correspondDaily showersAccess to medical and psychiatric careDoes not grantContinued treatment in adulthood, broadly definedIndividualized treatment plans
29 Juvenile Processing What Works in Corrections for Juveniles? Educational, vocational, and recreational programsPros:Educating for meaningful skills and employing in meaningful work do help lower recidivismCheaper than incarcerationAcknowledges that we are in a capitalist society where persons must be employed to thriveCons:Kids are often below grade level and less trainable than expectedOften, not enough resources are invested in programs
30 Juvenile ProcessingCharacteristics of Effective Prevention and RehabilitationPrograms—Agnew Chapter 24Focus on all major causes of delinquency in your populationBe intensiveFocus on kids at highest risk for recidivismBegin earlyBase them in the communityWarm but firm leadershipNew movement called “Positive Youth Development”Those things that make “normal” kids successful are also negatively associated with juvenile delinquency. Giving kids opportunities, relationships, rewarding experiences, responsibilities, and so forth will allow delinquents to turn their behavior around.
31 Juvenile Processing Regular Probation No worse recidivism than with other techniques for most offendersBut it’s a lot cheaperIntensive ProbationSmall caseloadMay be more effective than probationAs effective as incarceration at 1/3 the costElectronic MonitoringMore normalized experience with supervisionNo higher recidivism than incarcerationInexpensiveMay not work for substance abusers, repeat offenders, serious felony offenders, and those with long sentences
32 Juvenile Processing Electronic Monitoring More normalized experience with supervisionNo higher recidivism than incarcerationInexpensiveMay not work for substance abusers, repeat offenders, serious felony offenders, and those with long sentencesRestitution(Monetary, Victim Service, Community Service)Often used more like retributionRelatively successful, lower recidivism than probationWorks better with upper income, good school attendance, few priors, minor offenses, and lower dollar valuesCrimes often resulted from lack of money--how do you get a job now?Widens the net, imposes harsher penalties than existed before
33 Juvenile Processing Residential Community Treatment Group homes, foster homes, rural programsPros:Recidivism is no worseCheaper than lock up, more expensive than probationCons:Public fear of juvenilesViolent offenders may pose risks
34 Juvenile Processing Training Schools (Incarceration) Pros: Can keep “hardened delinquents” incapacitatedCons:Recidivism is often worse than other forms of dispositionExpensiveTherapeutic treatments are typically under funded and led by unqualified therapistsConditions are often badFinding that “getting tough” doesn’t work as well as more “soft” approaches may permit our society to reclaim its humanity
35 Juvenile ProcessingRecently, California found that getting soft did not increase crime!
36 Juvenile ProcessingPreventing recidivism once released???