Chapter 14 - Chapter14:Children,Adolescents,andtheLaw...

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Chapter 14: Children, Adolescents, and the Law Juvenile Justice System Juvenile courts : children under 18 who commit crimes are usually prosecuted in juvenile courts, where they are treated less harshly than adults who have committed the same crime Historically, the objective was rehabilitation rather than punishment Presently most jurisdictions stress public safety, accountability for the offending, and building competencies to reduce re-offense risk. Adolescents who commit serious crimes may be transferred to adult courts and treated the same as adults à in some states, no minimum age for such transfer Transfer laws : laws that allow juveniles being tried for serious crimes to be tried as adults usually focus on 3 criteria related to juvenile’s functioning: 1. potential dangerousness 2. sophistication/maturity 3. amenability to treatment Juveniles differ in important ways from adults: Whereas adults have developed stable and enduring personality styles, adolescents typically experience fluctuations in their personality and behavior as they develop/mature Because adolescents are in the process of developing their identities, their criminal behavior may be less indicative of a bad character than is the criminality of adults Gault case: recognized that even children have constitutionally protected interests and it extended due process rights to them Controversy should they be subjected to Death Penalty?   Three factors that influence adolescents’ decisions: 1. Conformity and compliance in relation to peers 2. Youth’s attitude toward the perception of risk 3. Short-sighted perspective Parens patriae : the parent-like role of guardian assumed by the state to protect the interests of persons with disabilities à juveniles relinquished some of the constitutional rights of adult defendants b/c these protections were deemed unnecessary Waiver : the intentional relinquishment of a right
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Studies show that juveniles younger than 15 do not understand all of their Miranda Rights Adjudicative Competence (competence to stand trial): comparable between adult and juvenile courts Children as Victims Child maltreatment : various forms of child abuse and neglect, including physical and sexual abuse, and emotional or psychological abuse and neglect Retrospective accounts : description of events provided after events have occurred; accounts provided after a lengthy time may lack accuracy Short term effects:     increased propensity for mood and anxiety disorders, inappropriate sexual behavior, and (for victims of physical abuse) increased aggressiveness o Revictimization : process of being victimized again Long term effects:     highly variable à include psychological disorders, repeat victimization experiences, and criminality later in life o Cycle of violence: pattern of periodic violence in a domestic context, often exhibited by batterers, that makes their victims all the more fearful of the battering
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This note was uploaded on 10/01/2011 for the course PSYCH 2650 taught by Professor Dunning, d during the Fall '07 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Chapter 14 - Chapter14:Children,Adolescents,andtheLaw...

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