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Juvenile-Justice-Jacobs-Fall06 - Juvenile Justice Professor...

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Juvenile Justice, Professor James Jacobs Fall 2006 Big Themes in the Juvenile Justice System: 1. Justifications for different procedures and dispositions for Juveniles: a. Rehabilitation i. Gault questioned whether the Juvenile Justice System was really rehabilitative b. Juveniles Have Less Liberty Anyway, since they are controlled by parents; or they are always in some custody- be it parent, teacher or state c. Consequences of juvenile system are less severe than adult system, so justifies less procedural rights d. Parents Patriae- State as protector e. Equal Protection not violated, because juveniles not similarly situated. Also age does not trigger strict scrutiny. 2. Arguments that juveniles should have some rights as adults: a. Engender juveniles with sense of justice b. In reality, consequences of adult court and juvenile court similar; so rights should be similar i. Help prevent stigma and bad consequences of detention ii. Juvenile detention as bad as adult prison 3. Rights adult have that Juveniles don’t have: a. Constitutional right to bail b. Right to jury trial (McKeiver) 4. Argument for less Juvenile culpability: a. Social/Biological Juveniles are less developed, less culpable for actions. (See Roper). b. Feld, p. 646 argues that since youth don’t have as much control over their actions they are less culpable and should get less punishment. He notes youth are more likely to have poor risk assessment and prone to peer influence. 5. Should we abolish the juvenile court? Has the juvenile court gotten so close to the adult court that its worthless to have another system? History and Purpose of Juvenile Justice, p. 1-47 1. History: a. Before the Progressive Movement, Kids seen as mini-adults, No Separate court for Juveniles: Before the 19 th Centur, juveniles under the age of seven were never charged with crimes, and juveniles above 14 were treated completely as adults. Children 7-14 were either not prosecuted or treated as mini-adults. In general, children were thought of as mini adults. b. The Progressive Movement, saw kids as kids, and brought about juvenile court: The progressive movement envisioned kids as kids, and older kids as developing adolescents. The progressives moved for Juvenile courts that focused on reform and not punishment. (See Ainsworth, p.12 which connects the general idea of adolescence with the Juvenile Court movement). i. Progressive Movement saw state as a parent figure - parens patriae : In theory under progressive movement, kids were not liable for crimes. However, the state actually controlled many aspects of a Juvenile Delinquent’s life- for example their sentences were often indeterminate. ii. Progressive Movement aimed to focus on Rehabilitation not punishment: Mack, “The Juvenile court”, 1909, p. 7 : Describes the progressive ideal with the state as the parent. Emphasizes the juvenile system is concerned with rehabilitation and not as much punishment. One of the most influential descriptions of the Progressive conception of the Juvenile Court which was embodied in the Illinois Juvenile Court 1
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Act. This Act was the first of many that established Juvenile Courts all around the
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Juvenile-Justice-Jacobs-Fall06 - Juvenile Justice Professor...

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