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IJJO F OJJ D P B ROJ US T I C E POffice of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention1999 NationalReport SeriesJuvenile Justice BulletinSG OVCRAMSNBJ A C EIOF FOffice of Justice ProgramsNT OF JMEUSRTCETIDEPAU.S. Department of JusticeDECEMBER 1999Juvenile Justice:A Century of ChangeAs theNationmoves intothe 21stcentury, thereductionof juvenilecrime, violence, andvictimizationconstitutes one ofthe most crucial challenges of the new millennium. To meet thatchallenge, reliable information is essential. Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 NationalReport offers a comprehensiveoverview of these pervasive problemsand the response of the juvenile justicesystem. The National Report bringstogether statistics from a variety of sourceson a wide array of topics, presenting theinformation in clear, nontechnical textenhanced by more than 350 easy-to-readtables, graphs, and maps.Shay Bilchik, AdministratorThis Bulletin series is designed to give readersquick, focused access to some of the most criticalfindings from the wealth of data in the National Report.Each Bulletin in the series highlights selected themesat the forefront of juvenile justice policymaking andextracts relevant National Report sections (includingselected graphs and tables).Administrator’s MessageIn 1899, when the first proceeding of a juvenile courtconvened in Chicago, it is unlikely that those in thecourtroom were aware of the momentous impact oftheir actions. Yet, that beginning provided the foundation for how our Nation deals with juvenile offenders.A century ago, the focus of the juvenile justice systemwas on the juvenile offender—rather than the offense—and that remains largely true today. The juvenilecourt system is based on the principle that youth aredevelopmentally different from adults and moreamenable to intervention. At its best, the juvenilecourt balances rehabilitation and treatment withappropriate sanctions—including incarceration,when necessary.The Illinois statute also gave the court jurisdictionover dependent, neglected, and delinquent children.This understanding of the link between child victimization, family disorder, and the potential for childvictims to become offenders without early andeffective intervention continues to be an importantpart of the juvenile court philosophy.This Bulletin provides a thorough, easily understooddescription of the development of the juvenile justicesystem in the United States. It also uses the mostcurrent data available to look at where we are headed,and it examines the recent trend of transferring certainjuvenile cases to adult criminal court.Contrary to what some people believe, today’s U.S.juvenile justice system is not an “easy out” that givesa meaningless slap on the wrist to violent youth. Noris it a breeding ground for gangs, drugs, and adultcrime. Instead, the juvenile justice system providesyouthful offenders and their victims with a comprehensive, yet balanced approach to justice. Probation,treatment, and restitution are widely used. For mostjuveniles who enter the system, this approach works:54 percent of males and 73 percent of females neverreturn to juvenile court on a new referral.Certainly, there are areas in the juvenile justice systemthat need improvement. For example, the systemneeds to prepare to handle more female offenders andoffenders under the age of 13, two groups whosenumbers are increasing. Still, the roots of the juvenilejustice system remain strong and need to be supportedby all those committed to improving the lives of ourchildren. At OJJDP, we intend to continue our effortsto strengthen the juvenile justice system and achievethe goals for which the juvenile court was firstestablished.Shay BilchikAdministrator

The juvenile justice system was founded on theconcept of rehabilitation through individualized justiceEarly in U.S. history, childrenwho broke the law were treatedthe same as adult criminalsThroughout the late 18th century,“infants” below the age of reason(traditionally age 7) were presumedto be incapable of criminal intentand were, therefore, exempt fromprosecution and punishment. Children as young as 7, however, couldstand trial in criminal court for offenses committed and, if foundguilty, could be sentenced to prisonor even to death.The 19th-century movement thatled to the establishment of the juvenile court in the U.S. had its roots in16th-century European educationalJohn Augustus—planting theseeds of juvenile probation(1847)“I bailed nineteen boys, from 7 to 15years of age, and in bailing them itwas understood, and agreed by thecourt, that their cases should becontinued from term to term for several months, as a season of probation; thus each month at the callingof the docket, I would appear incourt, make my report, and thus thecases would pass on for 5 or 6months. At the expiration of thisterm, twelve of the boys werebrought into court at one time, andthe scene formed a striking andhighly pleasing contrast with theirappearance when first arraigned.The judge expressed much pleasure as well as surprise at their appearance, and remarked, that theobject of law had been accomplished and expressed his cordialapproval of my plan to save andreform.”2reform movements. These earlier reform movements changed the perception of children from one of miniature adults to one of persons withless than fully developed moral andcognitive capacities.As early as 1825, the Society for thePrevention of Juvenile Delinquencywas advocating the separation of juvenile and adult offenders. Soon, facilities exclusively for juvenileswere established in most major cities. By mid-century, these privatelyoperated youth “prisons” were under criticism for various abuses.Many States then took on the responsibility of operating juvenilefacilities.The first juvenile court in thiscountry was established in CookCounty, Illinois, in 1899Illinois passed the Juvenile CourtAct of 1899, which established theNation’s first juvenile court. TheBritish doctrine of parens patriae(the State as parent) was the rationale for the right of the State to intervene in the lives of children in amanner different from the way it intervenes in the lives of adults. Thedoctrine was interpreted to meanthat, because children were not offull legal capacity, the State had theinherent power and responsibilityto provide protection for childrenwhose natural parents were not providing appropriate care or supervision. A key element was the focuson the welfare of the child. Thus,the delinquent child was also seenas in need of the court’s benevolentintervention.Juvenile courts flourished for thefirst half of the 20th centuryBy 1910, 32 States had establishedjuvenile courts and/or probationservices. By 1925, all but two Stateshad followed suit. Rather thanmerely punishing delinquents fortheir crimes, juvenile courts soughtto turn delinquents into productivecitizens—through treatment.The mission to help children introuble was stated clearly in thelaws that established juvenilecourts. This benevolent mission ledto procedural and substantive differences between the juvenile andcriminal justice systems.During the next 50 years, most juvenile courts had exclusive originaljurisdiction over all youth under age18 who were charged with violatingcriminal laws. Only if the juvenilecourt waived its jurisdiction in acase could a child be transferred tocriminal court and tried as an adult.Transfer decisions were made on acase-by-case basis using a “bestinterests of the child and public”standard, and were thus within therealm of individualized justice.The focus on offenders and notoffenses, on rehabilitation andnot punishment, had substantialprocedural impactUnlike the criminal justice system,where district attorneys selectcases for trial, the juvenile courtcontrolled its own intake. And unlike criminal prosecutors, juvenilecourt intake considered extra-legalas well as legal factors in decidinghow to handle cases. Juvenile courtintake also had discretion to handlecases informally, bypassing judicialaction.1999 National Report Series

Some juvenile codes emphasize prevention and treatment goals,some stress punishment, but most seek a balanced approachThere is much variation in the wayState statutes define the purposes oftheir juvenile courts. Some declaretheir goals in exhaustive detail, evenlisting specific programs and sentencing options; others mention onlybroad aims. Most States seek to protect the interests of the child, the family, the community, or a combinationof the three. Nearly all States also include protections of the child’s constitutional and statutory rights. ManyStates have amended their purposeclauses, reflecting philosophical shiftsor changes in emphasis in the overallapproach to juvenile delinquency. Several states have purposeclauses that are modeled on theone in the Standard JuvenileCourt Act. The Act was originallyissued in 1925, but the most influential version was preparedin 1959. The declared purposewas that “each child coming within the jurisdiction of the courtshall receive.the care, guidance,and control that will conduce tohis welfare and the best interestof the state, and that when he isremoved from the control of hisparents the court shall secure forhim care as nearly as possibleequivalent to that which theyshould have given him.” In several other States, the pur-pose clause is based on the language contained in the LegislativeGuide for Drafting Family and Juvenile Court Acts, a publication issued in the late 1960’s. The Guidedeclares four purposes: (a) “toprovide for the care, protection,and wholesome mental andphysical development of children”involved with the juvenile court;(b) “to remove from children committing delinquent acts the consequences of criminal behavior, andto substitute therefor a program ofsupervision, care and rehabilitation;” (c) to remove a child fromthe home “only when necessaryfor his welfare or in the interestsof public safety;” and (d) to assureall parties “their constitutional andother legal rights.” As of the end of 1997 legisla-tive session, in 17 States, the juvenile court purpose clause incorporates the language of thebalanced and restorative justicephilosophy, emphasizing offenderaccountability, public safety, andcompetency development.Source: Authors’ adaptation of Griffin’s Frequently asked questions: Juvenile court purposeclauses. State profiles [web site]. Pittsburgh, PA: NCJJ.In the courtroom, juvenile courthearings were much less formalthan criminal court proceedings. Inthis benevolent court—with the express purpose of protecting children—due process protections afforded criminal defendants weredeemed unnecessary. In the early juvenile courts, and even in some tothis day, attorneys for the State andthe youth are not considered essential to the operation of the system,especially in less serious cases.December 1999A range of dispositional options wasavailable to a judge wanting to helprehabilitate a child. Regardless of offense, outcomes ranging from warnings to probation supervision totraining school confinement couldbe part of the treatment plan.Dispositions were tailored to “thebest interests of the child.” Treatment lasted until the child was“cured” or became an adult (age21), whichever came first.As public confidence in thetreatment model waned, dueprocess protections wereintroducedIn the 1950’s and 1960’s, many cameto question the ability of the juvenile court to succeed in rehabilitating delinquent youth. The treatmenttechniques available to juvenile justice professionals never reached thedesired levels of effectiveness. Although the goal of rehabilitationthrough individualized justice—thebasic philosophy of the juvenile justice system—was not in question,professionals were concerned aboutthe growing number of juvenilesinstitutionalized indefinitely in thename of treatment.In a series of decisions beginning inthe 1960’s, the U.S. Supreme Courtrequired that juvenile courts become more formal—more like criminal courts. Formal hearings werenow required in waiver situations,and delinquents facing possible confinement were given protectionagainst self-incrimination and rightsto receive notice of the chargesagainst them, to present witnesses,to question witnesses, and to havean attorney. Proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” rather than merely “apreponderance of evidence” wasnow required for an adjudication.The Supreme Court, however, stillheld that there were enough “differences of substance between thecriminal and juvenile courts . . . tohold that a jury is not required inthe latter.” (See Supreme Court decisions later in this Bulletin.)Meanwhile Congress, in the JuvenileDelinquency Prevention and ControlAct of 1968, recommended that children charged with noncriminal (status) offenses be handled outsidethe court system. A few years later,3

Congress passed the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Actof 1974, which as a condition forState participation in the FormulaGrants program required deinstitutionalization of status offenders andnonoffenders as well as the separation of juvenile delinquents fromadult offenders. (In the 1980 amendments to the 1974 Act, Congressadded a requirement that juvenilesbe removed from adult jail andlockup facilities.) Community-basedprograms, diversion, and deinstitutionalization became the banners ofjuvenile justice policy in the 1970’s.The core requirements of the Juvenile Justice and DelinquencyPrevention Act primarily address custody issuesThe Juvenile Justice and DelinquencyPrevention Act of 1974, as amended,(the Act) establishes four custodyrelated requirements: In the 1980’s, the pendulum beganto swing toward law and orderDuring the 1980’s, the public perceived that serious juvenile crimewas increasing and that the systemwas too lenient with offenders. Although there was substantialmisperception regarding increasesin juvenile crime, many States responded by passing more punitivelaws. Some laws removed certainclasses of offenders from the juvenile justice system and handledthem as adult criminals in criminalcourt. Others required the juvenilejustice system to be more like thecriminal justice system and to treatcertain classes of juvenile offendersas criminals but in juvenile court.As a result, offenders charged withcertain offenses are excluded fromjuvenile court jurisdiction or facemandatory or automatic waiver tocriminal court. In some States, concurrent jurisdiction provisions giveprosecutors the discretion to filecertain juvenile cases directly incriminal court rather than juvenilecourt. In some States, some adjudicated juvenile offenders face mandatory sentences.4 The “deinstitutionalization of statusoffenders and nonoffenders” requirement (1974) specifies that juvenilesnot charged with acts that would becrimes for adults “shall not beplaced in secure detention facilitiesor secure correctional facilities.”The “sight and sound separation”requirement (1974) specifies that,“juveniles alleged to be or found tobe delinquent and [status offenders and nonoffenders] shall not bedetained or confined in any institution in which they have contactwith adult persons incarceratedbecause they have been convictedof a crime or are awaiting trial oncriminal charges.” This requiresthat juvenile and adult inmatescannot see each other and no conversation between them is possible.The “jail and lockup removal” requirement (1980) states that juveniles shall not be detained or confined in adult jails or lockups.There are, however, several exceptions to the jail and lockup removal requirement. Regulationsimplementing the Act exempt juveniles held in secure adult facilitiesif the juvenile is being tried as acriminal for a felony or has beenconvicted as a criminal felon. Inaddition, there is a 6-hour graceperiod that allows adult jails andlockups to hold delinquents temporarily until other arrangements canbe made. Jails and lockups in ruralareas may hold delinquents up to24 hours under certain conditions.Some jurisdictions have obtainedapproval for separate juvenile detention centers that are collocatedwith an adult jail or lockup facility. The “disproportionate confinementof minority youth” requirement(1992) specifies that States determine the existence and extent ofthe problem in their State and demonstrate efforts to reduce it where itexists.Regulations effective December 10,1996, modify the Act’s requirements inseveral ways: Clarify the sight and sound separation requirement—in nonresidentialareas brief, accidental contact isnot a reportable violation. Permit time-phased use of nonresidential areas for both juveniles andadults in collocated facilities. Expand the 6-hour grace period toinclude 6 hours both before and after court appearances. Allow adjudicated delinquents to betransferred to adult institutions oncethey have reached the State’s ageof full criminal responsibility, wheresuch transfer is expressly authorized by State law.The revised regulations offer flexibilityto States in carrying out the Act’s requirements. States must agree to comply with each requirement to receiveFormula Grants funds under the Act’sprovisions. States must submit plansoutlining their strategy for meeting therequirements and other statutory planrequirements. Noncompliance withcore requirements results in the loss of25% of the State’s annual FormulaGrants program allocation.As of 1998, 55 of 57 eligible States andterritories are participating in the Formula Grants program. Annual Statemonitoring reports show that the vastmajority are in compliance with the requirements, either reporting no violations or meeting de minimis or othercompliance criteria.1999 National Report Series

The 1990’s have been a time ofunprecedented change as Statelegislatures crack down onjuvenile crimeFive areas of change have emergedas States passed laws designed tocrack down on juvenile crime. Theselaws generally involve expanded eligibility for criminal court processingand adult correctional sanctioningand reduced confidentiality protections for a subset of juvenile offenders. Between 1992 and 1997, all butthree States changed laws in one ormore of the following areas: Transfer provisions—Laws madeit easier to transfer juvenile offenders from the juvenile justicesystem to the criminal justicesystem (45 States).Sentencing authority—Laws gavecriminal and juvenile courts expanded sentencing options (31States).Confidentiality—Laws modifiedor removed traditional juvenilecourt confidentiality provisionsby making records and proceedings more open (47 States).In addition to these areas, there waschange relating to: Victims rights—Laws increasedthe role of victims of juvenilecrime in the juvenile justice process (22 States).Correctional programming—Asa result of new transfer and sentencing laws, adult and juvenilecorrectional administrators developed new programs.The 1980’s and 1990’s have seen significant change in terms of treatingmore juvenile offenders as criminals. Recently, States have been attempting to strike a balance in theirjuvenile justice systems among sys-December 1999From 1992 through 1997, legislatures in 47 States and the Districtof Columbia enacted laws that made their juvenile justice systemsmore aColoradoConnecticutDelawareD. of sMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriChanges inlaw or court ew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth est VirginiaWisconsinWyomingChanges inlaw or court CCSCCCCCS*T Transfer provisions, S Sentencing authority, C ConfidentialitySource: Authors’ adaptation of Torbet et al.’s State responses to serious and violent juvenile cri

E O F JUST I C E P R O G R A M B S J N I J OJJ D P B J S O V C U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention 1999 National Report Series Juvenile Justice Bulletin Shay Bilchik, Administrator DECEMBER 1999 Juvenile Justice: A Century of Change As the Nation moves into the 21st century .

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