Skip to content

Juvenile Justice

The first juvenile justice court was established in 1899 in Chicago, Illinois. Until that time juveniles accused of crimes were treated as adults. The juvenile justice system evolved with the goals to protect the public but also rehabilitate juveniles through prevention, community programs, and education with juveniles remaining in the least restrictive environment possible.

The focus is more on alternative sentences that keep the juvenile out of jail, such as probation, parole, and diversionary programs. Juveniles are not arrested for crimes but are detained for "delinquent acts." They could be tried as adults if these acts are "very serious" and sentenced to the adult system. In South Carolina juveniles are 17 years old or younger and maintain the same basic rights as adults. These include the right to an attorney, cross examine witnesses, right to notice of charges, and the right not to self-incriminate.

Adults 18 or older may also expunge their juvenile records if they have successfully completed sentence(s) or were charged with a status offense. If they have no additional charges, their records may be expunged as outlined in SC Code 20-7-1335.


Amazon Says: 2007 Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award presented by the American Society of Criminology2007 American Society of Criminology Michael J. Hindelang Award for the Mo more...
Amazon Says: 2007 Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award presented by the American Society of Criminology2007 American Society of Criminology Michael J. Hindelang Award for the Most Outstanding Contribution to Research in CriminologyBy comparing how adolescents are prosecuted and punished in juvenile and criminal (adult) courts, Aaron Kupchik finds that prosecuting adolescents in criminal court does not fit with our cultural understandings of youthfulness. As a result, adolescents who are transferred to criminal courts are still judged as juveniles. Ultimately, Kupchik makes a compelling argument for the suitability of juvenile courts in treating adolescents. Judging Juveniles suggests that justice would be better served if adolescents were handled by the system designed to address their special needs. less...
Amazon


Amazon Says: Throughout U.S. history, attitudes toward young people have vacillated between fear of and fear for. These attitudes impact social programs for youth, including the system of more...
Amazon Says: Throughout U.S. history, attitudes toward young people have vacillated between fear of and fear for. These attitudes impact social programs for youth, including the system of juvenile justice. Attitudes are shaped by the socio-political and cultural cliimate of the times, and can be traced back to colonial times. However, changing mores and values often create confusion and conflict, resulting in ineffective strategies for preventing and responding to juvenile delinquency. Tracing the history of juvenile justice back to the pre-colonial era through the present day, Finley sheds light on just how we arrived where we are in terms of juvenile justice. She connects the competing attitudes about young people to the social, economic, and political changes of a given era, and offers recommendations for establishing more effective and more humane policies toward juveniles in the justice system.Early America is known for its harsh treatment of young people, most notably, the stubborn child laws, which authorized use of the death penalty for children who defied their parents. Yet, even then, many people held more nurturing attitudes toward youth. Thus originated the mixed messages in the U.S. regarding juvenile delinquency and the hodgepodge of approaches that follow. The establishment of the juvenile justice system, founded on the concept of parens patriae, or the state as parent, would seem to have settled the debate over how juvenile offenders should be treated. In reality, however, there remains much controversy over how best to handle juvenile offenders, especially those who commit the most serious offenses. While some still maintain juveniles are developmentally different and should be treated in ways consistent with these differences, others are dismayed at what they feel to be a system that is too lenient and that leads to higher juvenile crime rates and more serious offenses.With the advent of three strikes laws, curfew laws, boot camps, and referring juveniles to adult courts, and subsequently assigning them to adult prisons, many question just how we got to this place in juvenile justice. Here, Finley offers the history behind the controversial goals and development of the juvenile justice system, providing detailed descriptions of the major trends in juvenile justice. Addressing the most current aspects of the controversy, she also sheds light on issues of race, social class, and gender. Offering recommendations for addressing the weaknesses and confusion in the system, Finley offers a unique and compelling perspective on controversial subject. less...
Amazon


Rethinking Juvenile Justice by Elizabeth S. Scott
Amazon Says: What should we do with teenagers who commit crimes? Are they children whose offenses are the result of immaturity and circumstances, or are they in fact criminals? “Adult more...
Amazon Says: What should we do with teenagers who commit crimes? Are they children whose offenses are the result of immaturity and circumstances, or are they in fact criminals? “Adult time for adult crime” has been the justice system’s mantra for the last twenty years. But locking up so many young people puts a strain on state budgets—and ironically, the evidence suggests it ultimately increases crime. In this bold book, two leading scholars in law and adolescent development offer a comprehensive and pragmatic way forward. They argue that juvenile justice should be grounded in the best available psychological science, which shows that adolescence is a distinctive state of cognitive and emotional development. Although adolescents are not children, they are also not fully responsible adults. Elizabeth Scott and Laurence Steinberg outline a new developmental model of juvenile justice that recognizes adolescents’ immaturity but also holds them accountable. Developmentally based laws and policies would make it possible for young people who have committed crimes to grow into responsible adults, rather than career criminals, and would lighten the present burden on the legal and prison systems. In the end, this model would better serve the interests of justice, and it would also be less wasteful of money and lives than the harsh and ineffective policies of the last generation. less...
Amazon

Print

Comment about this page...