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Overview of the Juvenile Justice Process Initial contact (police, parents, schools, DFS) Discretion to make referral Taken into custody arrest Investigation.

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Presentation on theme: "Overview of the Juvenile Justice Process Initial contact (police, parents, schools, DFS) Discretion to make referral Taken into custody arrest Investigation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Overview of the Juvenile Justice Process Initial contact (police, parents, schools, DFS) Discretion to make referral Taken into custody arrest Investigation Diversion Detention hearing Pretrial procedures

2 Process File a petition (indictment) Adjudicatory hearing (trial) Agree to a finding or deny petition Adjustment (plea bargain) Adjudication (conviction) Disposition (sentence) Bifurcated process Aftercare

3 Process Commitment (incarceration, institutionalized) Youth development center, training school (prison) Residential facility (halfway house)

4 Current legislation National advisory commission on criminal justice standards and goals (1973) Emphasized: Prevention Diversion Dispositional alternatives Due process Controlling the violent and chronic delinquent

5 Legislation Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Removed juveniles from adult jails Separation of status offenders and delinquents Violent crime control and law enforcement act of 1994

6 Police and Juveniles Role conflicts: law enforce or service-oriented delinquency prevention Arrests 64% referred to juvenile court 28% informally handled and released 5% referred to criminal court 2% referred to DFS

7 History 19 th century: increase in number of unemployed and homeless youths Wickersham Commission, IACP advocated police reform Delinquency control squads Vollmer (Berkeley): prevention programs and juvenile aid bureaus, first organized special police services for youths

8 History 1960s: increased tension between police and citizens Civil unrest; police seen as oppressors Increase in crime Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) Development of role in community awareness and crime prevention

9 History Specialized programs for juveniles Police athletic leagues Project DARE Community outreach (crime prevention, Weed & Seed School resource officers Gang control

10 Police and the law Law of arrest the same for adults and juveniles Probable cause Misdemeanor: police must observe crime Felony: probable cause Otherwise must have a warrant Police can “arrest” youths for status offenses such as truancy, running away and alcohol use

11 Police and the law In loco parentis Protective rather than punitive function Once arrested, formal safeguards of the 4 th and 5 th amendment attach 4 th amendment standards of search and seizure have been determined to apply to juveniles

12 Police and the law (exceptions to the warrant requirement) Same stop and frisk rule (Terry v. Ohio) Search after a legal arrest in the immediate area of the subject’s control (Robinson v CA) Automobile can be searched if there is probable cause Consent to search Abandoned property

13 Law and the police Plain view doctrine What about school officials? Can school officials do searches and turn over what they find to police? New Jersey v. T.L.O. What should be the standard?

14 New Jersey v T.L.O. Balance between the student’s right to privacy and school’s need to provide a safe environment Teachers do not need to obtain a warrant before searching a student Justified if violating the law OR violating school rules Legality depends on reasonableness, rather than probable cause

15 New Jersey v TLO Considerations are the scope of the search, age and sex of the student, and that behavior that prompted the search An adult could not be searched by an agent of the government under this standard This case is a balance between protections of adults and the needs of youths In loco parentis

16 Veronia School district Supreme Court allowed for suspicionless drug testing program for those in the athletics program Would this case apply to youths who are not in such programs, i.e., random testing ? Not clear, has not be litigated

17 Custodial interrogations Miranda v. AZ (1966) In re Gault applied Miranda warnings to juveniles (1967) Is a child’s waiver of those rights valid? People v. Lara: whether juvenile can waive depends on the totality of the circumstances: Age and other factors

18 Interrogations People v Lara also said that other factors could be considered: education, knowledge, whether youth could consult with family or friends, method of interrogation, whether youth had refused previously to give statements Validity of waiver to be determined on a case by case basis

19 Other cases on interrogations Fare v. Michael: asking to speak to his probation officer not the same as asking for his attorney, statements were admissible CA v Prysock: Miranda warning worded slightly differently (taped), court ruled that it was understandable to the juvenile Many jurisdictions require attorney and/or parent, just to be sure

20 Police discretion and juveniles Problem of discretion: need for flexibility, but it can be misused (can result in discrimination, especially against the poor and minority groups) Considerable evidence that poor children and perceived and treated differently from middle class children

21 Studies of police discretion More than ½ of police juvenile encounters are handled informally Stationhouse detention Factors affecting decision to handle formally/informally Piliavin and Briar: other factors being equal, the demeanor of the juvenile

22 Studies of police discretion Other factors: Type and seriousness of offense Wishes of the complaintant Prior contacts Race, sex and age Perceived willingness of the parents to solve the problem

23 Discretion Location Police perception of community alternatives Police department practices Perceived community standards and norms Racial bias? Mixed results Police appear more likely to arrest minorities for more minor offenses, makes little difference for serious offenses

24 Discretion African Americans more likely to be recommended for formal processing However, greater involvement of minorities in offenses Factors interact with others indicated above (perceived community standards, alternatives, etc.)

25 Police and gender bias Paternalism, chivalry hypothesis Police tend to be more lenient toward female delinquency, but treated them more harshly Females more likely to be referred for status offenses Inconclusive

26 Class bias Youths growing up in poor areas had a significantly greater chance of having an arrest record than youths in other areas, regardless of the crime rates in these areas. Might be a function of departmental policy to concentrate on certain areas

27 New directions: law enforcement Field interrogations Foot patrol and neighborhood storefront police stations Community mobilization programs (block watch, weed and seed, Neighborhood Watch, neighborhood cleanups, etc) Community policing

28 Should discretion be controlled? Policies? Recording of decisions? Narrowing the scope of the juvenile code?

29 Other directions Mentoring Curfews Afterschool programs School resource officers

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