Arraignment & Adjudication Arraignment: Hearing at which juvenile is informed of the charges and asked for a plea Guilty/Responsible/Delinquent Not Guilty/Not Responsible/Not Delinquent Nolo Contendere (No Contest) Plea bargains are often used in the juvenile justice process, which is an arrangement whereby the juvenile pleads guilty in exchange for a lower charge, lower sentence, or other favorable outcome If the youth does not appear, a bench warrant (capias) is issued Adjudication Hearing: The trial for cases in which a Not Guilty plea was entered
Adjudication Rights afforded to juveniles: Right an attorney if facing loss of freedom Privilege against self-incrimination Right to notice of charges Right against double jeopardy Right to proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt If youth found guilty, judges can (and often do) order pre- disposition assessments to be completed prior to the disposition hearing Report contains recommendations to the judge on what type of disposition the offender should receive
Content of Pre-Disposition Assessment Provides the opportunity for: 1. Risk/Strength Assessment 2. Substance Abuse Screening 2. Mental Health Screening 4. Referral for further assessment (SA, MH, medical, family, etc.)
Risk/Need Assessments Management tools that help determine appropriate types and levels of intervention. Utilized to produce a case plan that integrates appropriate levels of supervision, intervention, and treatment (if needed) in order to decrease risk and need factors and increase protective factors; thereby reducing his/her probability for future crime/delinquency.
Understanding MH/SA Mental Health Problems: Signs and symptoms of insufficient intensity or duration to meet the criteria for any mental disorder (USDHHS, 1999). Mental Health Disorders: The array of diagnoses contained in the DSM-IV (APA; 1994). Serious Emotional Disorders (SED): Disorders related to serious mental health conditions that will probably affect the individual throughout his/her life. For instance, early signs of bipolar, schizophrenia, etc. Substance Abuse Problems: Signs and symptoms of abuse or dependency of alcohol and/or other drugs. Abuse=More than casual use, lifestyles begin to focus on using alcohol and other drug use. Problems related to use starting to develop but are not overwhelming. Dependency=Primary focus on individual’s life is on procuring and using alcohol and/or other drugs. Problems related to use become consistent and predictable.
Offender Estimate Ranges in Research Otto et al. ’92 Weirson et al. ‘92 Conduct Disorder10-91%90% Substance Abuse13-81%8-65% Depression27-35%n/a Mood Disorders1-78%10-30% Post Traumatic Stress41%n/a Personality Disorders2-55%10-40% Psychotic Disorders1-39%1-30% Adjustment Disorders4-28%n/a Attention Deficit Disorder1-38%0% Anxiety Disorders1-10%n/a
Disposition The disposition hearing is the equivalent to the sentencing hearing in the adult system Goals that guide the disposition process: Retribution, Incapacitation, Deterrence, Restitution, Rehabilitation, and/or Restorative Justice Possible outcomes: Community service, fines, restitution, probation, corrections, alternative programming Court will order the disposition and with this outcome can stipulate certain conditions that the offender must meet (e.g., participation in anger management program, attend school regularly, drug testing, etc.)
Probation Traditional Supervision (Low, Medium, and High) Intensive Supervision (High Only) Shock Probation Drug Courts Boot Camps Camps Probation has conditions that can include curfews, treatment, family counseling, etc. Offender placed on probation who violates the conditions of that order, can return to court and be moved into state custody
Probation Continued Conditions are used to control and rehabilitate offenders under the supervision of Probation (and Parole) Passive conditions: refrain from behaviors Active conditions: requiring the accomplishment of certain activities Standard conditions: imposed on all offenders in jurisdiction Special conditions: conditions specific/unique to individual offenders
State Custody Diagnostic facilities Foster/Group Homes State Schools/Correctional Facilities Treatment Facility Placements Boot camps, ranches and forestry camps Parole (similar to Probation following the release from a correctional institution) Aftercare Programming (unfortunately, this is limited in the current system) Offender place in state custody who makes parole and violates the conditions of parole, can return to court and to an institution
Handling Risk Handling risk is the primary function of the juvenile court and juvenile justice agencies—to increase public safety Options for handling risk: All offenders can be handled in the same way Each offender could be handled in a random fashion, largely dependent on the subjective opinions of the decision-makers Each offender could be assessed using objective criteria and given levels of supervision and interventions appropriate to his/her risk and need levels Which is the best option? Which option occurs most often? Why use an objective tool? Accuracy, consistency in the decision-making process Using resources efficiently—limited resources must be used wisely
Identifying and Managing Offender Risk: Risk Assessment The results of the risk assessment can be used to develop a case plan in probation or corrections. Using the score received in the tool, agencies can identify appropriate levels of supervision, intervention, and treatment (if needed) Intent of risk score and case plan is to decrease risk and need factors and increase protective factors; thereby reducing his/her probability for future crime/delinquency
Youth Level of Service Inventory Interview format by juvenile justice agency personnel (e.g., probation, correctional institution, parole) Eight domains: Prior and current offenses/adjudications Family circumstances/parenting Education/employment Peer Relations Substance Abuse Leisure/recreation Personality/behavior Attitudes/orientations Each domain is given a score. The sum of the scores is used to identify whether the offender is low, moderate, or high risk Appropriate interventions can then be given and subsequent administration of the tool provides a way to case manage and measure change
Benefits of Risk/Need Assessment Benefits to Youth Promotes equitable treatment Increases accuracy and encourages placement in least restrictive environment Benefits to Staff Promotes equitable treatment Increases consistency and accuracy Saves time and energy Expedites decision-making Provides explicit justification and support for recommendations/judgments Benefits to Program, Agency, Jurisdiction Increases public safety More efficient use of resources Useful for program evaluation Facilitates better control of offenders under supervision in the community and in institutions
Weaknesses of Risk Assessment There is no magical formula that predicts delinquency The same combination of factors in one person may not result in the same behavior as that by someone with the same combination Risk factors used in justice assessments can predict a problem incorrectly Risk factor approach provides a road map but is still not a solution to crime
Aftercare Programming Goals To prepare newly released institutionalized juveniles for increased responsibility and freedom in the community. To facilitate interaction and involvement between juveniles and the community. To prevent recidivism. Requirements for Effective Outcomes Use of risk assessment to establish eligibility Individual case planning and management that incorporates individual, family, and community issues A balance of incentives and realistic graduated sanctions Making appropriate linkages with services in the community that relate to offender risks and needs Information management and program evaluation (Taken from the Intensive Aftercare Program Model; Altshuler, Armstrong, & MacKenzie, 1999)