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Purpose and Scope of Juvenile Court Act

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1 Purpose and Scope of Juvenile Court Act
Chapter Five Purpose and Scope of Juvenile Court Act

2 Purpose and Scope of Juvenile Court Act
Illinois Juvenile Court Act of 1899   Principles motivating the Illinois reformers  Children should not be held as accountable as adult transgressors The objective of the juvenile justice system is to treat and rehabilitate rather than punish Disposition should be predicated on analysis of the youth’s special circumstances and needs The system should avoid the trappings of the adult criminal process with all of its confusing rules and procedures The Illinois Juvenile Court Act established juvenile delinquency as a legal concept. The key provisions of the act were these:  A separate court was established for delinquent and neglected children Special procedures were developed to govern the adjudication of juvenile matters Children were separated from adults in courts and in institutional programs Probation programs were to be developed to assist the court in making decisions in the best interests of the state and the child

3 Purpose and Scope of Juvenile Court Act
5 principles supported by the Juvenile Court Act state acts as parent nonpunitive efforts to save the child nurture/prevent stigmatization of formal court processing individualized justice not to punish but to help The Uniform Juvenile Court Act of 1968 was an attempt to encourage uniformity in how each and every juvenile court operated. The purpose, scope, and procedures were reformed to be uniform in every state. Before the reform there were varying definitions of what behaviors were considered delinquent.

4 Purpose and Scope of Juvenile Court Act
Categories of children: delinquent – violated the penal code undisciplined -- unruly dependent neglected abused status offenders – violated rules only children can violate Adults arrested – juveniles taken into custody Preliminary hearing for adults – Preliminary conference or detention hearing Grand jury indictment/ prosecutors information -- petition Adults tried – children adjudicated Adults sentenced – juveniles receive dispositional hearing Adults punished – children treated Both can have appeals

5 Purpose and Scope of Juvenile Court Act
Maintaining the family unit was part of the foundation of the Uniform Juvenile Court Act. Youth can be removed but every effort is made to place the child back into the family. By 1968 there had been a number of cases heard by the Supreme Court on issues concerning the procedural rights of juveniles. These new procedural rights were addressed in the Act. Scope: Age. A child is one under the age of 18 or under the age of 21 if they are still in the system at that time. While the age of a child is established the uniform Juvenile court Act allowed states to designate their own age boundaries. Delinquent Acts: a delinquent act is one designated by local ordinance, state and federal law.

6 Purpose and Scope of Juvenile Court Act
The Family Court Act developed concepts to further prevent the stigmatization of youth: In need of supervision (INS) –non-criminal distinctions to avoid stigma Persons in need of supervision (PINS), Youth (YINS), Child (CHINS), Minor (MINS), Juvenile (JINS)  Delinquents vs. Unruly children – the procedural rights change somewhat when the child has not committed a status or delinquent act. Unruliness can thus be determined by a preponderance of the evidence rather than beyond a reasonable doubt.   Although there was an attempt to keep things uniform, the jurisdiction of the juvenile court still varies somewhat. Adoptions, divorces, hearing concerning mental illness, custody and support, paternity suits and the like may fall under the name family court, and questionable behavior on the part of parents is heard in criminal court.

7 Purpose and Scope of Juvenile Court Act
Youth under 17 following into the jurisdiction of juvenile court can be transferred or waived: Examples of the 3 types: mandatory/automatic – at least 15 and accused of felony, gang member, previously adjudicated delinquent presumptive/judicial transfer – at least 15 and accused of felony (judge given option) discretionary/prosecutorial transfer – at least 13. Considers seriousness of offense, history of delinquency, age, culpability in act, aggressiveness or premeditation of act, use of deadly weapon, history of services (has nothing worked?), adequacy of juvenile court to handle this type of juvenile

8 Purpose and Scope of Juvenile Court Act
With respect to waivers, in the case of Kent v. US (1966) the Supreme Court ruled that the juvenile is entitled to: a full hearing on the issue of a waiver the assistance of legal counsel at the hearing full access to social records, used to determine whether such a transfer should be made statement of the reasons why the juvenile judge decided to waive the juvenile to adult criminal court 15 states have a prosecutorial waiver or direct file option, IL does not

9 Purpose and Scope of Juvenile Court Act
Legislative waivers: Statutory exclusion: legislatures determine cases that are to be excluded from jurisdiction of juvenile court – age (not everyone is considered a juvenile), certain crimes, and prior records  Reverse waiver: (not in IL) the case meets the criteria for being bumped up to adult court, but after all the facts in the case are examined adult court does not seem appropriate and case is reversed back down  Once an adult/always an adult: (not in IL) if convicted once as an adult then future offenses will go directly to adult court In Illinois the minimum age of transfer to adult court is 13, in Kansas it is 10

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