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Massachusetts: Juvenile Justice System

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1 Massachusetts: Juvenile Justice System
Tyler Rubchinuk Kimberly Bilotas

2 Juvenile Delinquents Juvenile- If you are under the age of 18 in the US and commit a crime, you are considered Juvenile. There are three different maximum ages of juvenile’s among the states : 15, 16, 17 Delinquent- Any behavior that violates any juvenile law in the state. There are two categories of delinquency. Status offenses- typically do not hurt people. (curfew violations, skipping school, smoking, running away.) Crime- including burglary, vandalism, assault etc.

3 The process A juvenile suspected of committing crime is reffered to the courts, or given away in agreement between the victim, officer, and parents. Parents also have the option to enter their child into a detention center. The juveniles case goes to an intake officer, where they decide whether or not to bring the case to trial. If the case continues to court, it then goes to prosecution. Prosecution can dismiss, agree to detention, prosecute, or waive the case to an adult court. If the child is found guilty, then a disposition hearing occurs. Outcome of hearing – either placed on probation, receive residential placement, aftercare, or detention.

4 Probation in Massachusetts
There are 13, 822 children across Massachusetts who are either on probation, or “court involved” –Coria Holland, Spokeswoman for the office of the commissioner of probation. There are 175 juvenile probation officers across the state who are responsible for keeping track of them. Leaving 80 cases for each officer Probation officers are responsible for making sure that each teen is following the terms of their probation. Reoffending Juveniles are given more restrictive conditions. The judge has the right to sentence them to serve the remainder of their term in a department of youth services juvenile detention facility.

5 Continued The Juvenile Court is designed to be different from other wings of the state Trial court. The focus is to emphasize on rehabilitating teen offenders, instead of just incarcerating them - Judge Daniel J. Swords Massachusetts passed a law intended to crack down on juvenile super predators by transferring a significant number of juvenile cases to adult court.

6 Case Cameron Kenniston Vs. Department of Youth Services
The courts decided against allowing DYS to retain juveniles in their custody after their 18th birthday based on the fact that the dept. determines whether or not that the youths would be physically dangerous to the public. This was dismissed because it lacked due process requirements and was constitutionally infirm, where the statute failed to establish or require any link between a youth’s alleged dangerousness and a mental condition or defect making the youth incapable of controlling his or her behavior, and also where the statute failed to provide any standard for what constituted physical dangerousness

7 Youthful Offender in Massachusetts
If the prosecutor feels that a child has committed a serious offense instead of a delinquency they can choose to proceed against the child in deeming them a youthful offender. A person can be known as a youthful offender if they were ages at the time of the offense, and one of the following circumstances applies 1. the offense charged is one that would be punishable by state prison if the accused were an adult and the accused was previously committed to the department of youth services 2. the offense involves serious bodily harm, or the threat of such harm

8 Youthful offenders vs. Delinquents
There are two major differences in a youthful offenders case, instead of how the case would be treated if they were just delinquent. All delinquency cases are closed to the public. No one is allowed to be in the court room other than the people involved, and the child charged. No information can be released to the public of the case. The delinquent case is allowed confidentiality. Youthful offenders have no rule of confidentiality, and the courts file is available to anyone in the public who wants to look at it. The courtroom of a youthful offenders case is open to the public and media.

9 Massachusetts Juvenile Court System Pros vs. Cons
Confidentiality with Delinquents Main focus is rehabilitation for teens instead of incarcerating them Cons Some cases can be sent to Adult court Youthful offenders do not get confidentiality

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