juvenile justice

Parens Patriae
The State as Parent
Children as “miniature adults” prior to 1899
1899 formation of Juvenile Court
Embodied the concept of parens patriae
The state would function as the ultimate parent—in the best interests of the child
The downside of parens patriae
Few procedural protections for juveniles
Procedural protections were viewed as an impediment to rehabilitation
The Pre-Juvenile Court Era (1600-1898)
Juveniles treated and punished like adults
The Juvenile Court Era (1899-1966)
The development of the world’s first juvenile court
Recognition that juveniles are different than adults
The Juvenile Rights Era (1967-1979)
U.S. Supreme Court decisions which gave juveniles procedural rights in adjudication proceedings
The Crime Control Era (1980-Present)
Era of getting tough on juvenile delinquents
Fear of the juvenile “superpredator
Terminology (Adult versus Juvenile)
Arrested versus taken into custody
Charged versus petitioned
Trial versus an adjudication hearing
Sentencing versus disposition
Parole versus aftercare
Juvenile Defined
Someone under 18 is simplistic
Each state determines, usually by law, at what age a person is considered a juvenile and what age they become an adult for justice purposes
Called the “upper age of jurisdiction” or the oldest age a juvenile court has authority over a youth.
Anyone over that age must usually be dealt with in adult court
upper age
Most states set the upper age at 17, meaning a juvenile becomes an adult for justice purposes at 18
Some states set it as low as 16 (17 adult) or even 15 (16 adult)
Delinquency Defined
Is an “act committed by a juvenile that, if committed by an adult, would be a criminal act”
Core delinquency offenses
Crimes against persons
Crimes against property
Drug law violations
Offenses against public order
Status offenses
Acts which are only prohibited for juveniles in some states may be delinquency offenses in other states
Examples are truancy and smoking
The Juvenile Justice System has jurisdiction over juveniles in a variety of situations
Status offending, such as instances indicating a need for supervision
Dependency and neglect cases
Family situations involving children such as child visitation and divorce proceedings
Intake officers decide
Whether to petition the youth for an adjudication hearing
Whether to divert the youth informally
Which option to use depends on:
Amount and quality of evidence
Prior arrests of youth
Probation status
Seriousness of current offense
And others…
The equivalent to an adult trial
Usually less formal than adult trials and considered civil in nature
The more serious the alleged offense, the more formal the process becomes and hence, more “adultlike”
Usually decided by a judge
Guilt is established by the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt in delinquency cases
No constitutional right to jury trial or public trial
States may give juveniles these rights by law
The role of plea bargaining and juvenile guilty pleas
The equivalent of sentencing in the adult system
The second stage in a bi-furcated (two step) process
Usually conducted a few days to a few weeks after adjudication
Rationale is to give the judge time to review the case and offer a proper and informed disposition
Time for the pre-disposition report
The role of probation officers and the pre-disposition report
Many dispositions available to juvenile court judges
The harshest being secure institutionalization in state school or a juvenile correctional institution
The most common being juvenile probation
Sometimes called parole
A period of supervised release in the community before outright discharge from supervision
Only for juveniles who have been institutionalized in state school
If non-compliant with requirements, a juvenile’s parole may be “revoked”
The juvenile may then be sent back to institutionalization and paroled again
The Devil and Delinquency
Prior to the 1700’s, the dominant view was that “criminal behavior” occurred because of “temptation” or being “possessed” by the devil
“Trial by ordeal” was designed to test whether the individual was under the influence of the devil or would be protected by God
classical school
– human beings rationally weighed the costs and benefits of committing a crime
Theorized a system of punishments where the costs of committing a crime outweighed the benefits of that crime
To deter crime, punishment should be swift, certain and severe but must also be proportionate to the crime committed
Certainty was said to be most important
Determinism school
the causes of delinquency are predetermined to the individual or environmental factors. Crime is not the result of choice and free will
Positivism school
a perspective of thought in which causes of behavior can be measured and observed
positive school
– application of scientific principles to the study of crime
Cesare Lombroso
proposed that criminals were biologically inferior or different than non-criminals
born criminals that could be recognized through certain physical characteristics or “stigmata
study of the shape and contours of the skull to classify/predict delinquency
developed maps of the skull and explanations for certain behaviors
muscular persons with big bones and strong bodies
Believed to be more prone to delinquency
soft and round body types
tall and thin body types
Genetic Influences
Crime is transmitted or inherited through bad genes
Twin and adoption studies and nature versus nurture
– desire for things, primitive instinct
part of the personality that organizes and decides between choices and alternatives
super ego
– a person’s conscience, which suppresses impulses
Social Disorganization Theory
Shaw and McKay theorized that crime and delinquency was the result of a socially disorganized environment
Social Disorganization Theory
Slum conditions, high residential mobility, high population density, poverty and severe social deterioration prevent community identity and cohesion
These factors led to the loss of informal social control and social disorganization
Strain Theory
Merton’s Social Structure and Anomie
Robert Merton and the American Dream
Strain or Anomie – result of a disjuncture between the goals and mean structure in society
Adaptations to Strain
Conformists (adaptations of strain theory)
– accepts the goals and the means
Innovators (adaptations of strain theory)
accepts the goals but rejects the legitimate means and opts for illegitimate means
Ritualists (adaptations of strain theory)
– rejects the goals but accepts the means
Retreatists (adaptations of strain theory)
rejects both the goals and the means
Rebels (adaptations of strain theory)
– rejects both the goals and the means and by replacing them with new goals and means
Sutherland’s Differential Association Theory
Criminal behavior is learned through communication with primary influences
A person becomes delinquent because of an exposure to more definitions favorable to violation of law than unfavorable
Definitions are rationalizations and attitudes for or against criminal behavior
May vary in frequency, duration, priority and intensity
Much more than a theory of “bad companions”
Agnew’s General Strain Theory
Failure to achieve positively valued goals
Removal of positive stimuli
Presentation of negative stimuli
Amount of strain
recency, duration, magnitude, and clustering
Some “strain” is worse than others, depending on the above
Social Bonding and Control Theory
answer why everyone does not commit crime. Hirschi states it is because people are bonded to society
Attachment – to parents, schools and peers
Commitment – degree to which an individual is invested, if they have a “stake in conformity”
Involvement – in conventional activities
Belief – extent to which individuals subscribe to general laws and rules
Delinquency occurs when the bonds to society are weakened or broken
Conflict Theory
Crime and delinquency are a result of conflict between those who have power and those who do not
Powerful entities vs. certain populations in society
Gottfredson and Hirschi’s General Theory of Crime
Crime and delinquency result from low self-control by parental failure to monitor children, recognize problem behavior, and punish properly
Moffitt’s Dual Taxonomy
Two types of delinquents:
Life-course persistent – delinquent/anti-social throughout life-course
Delinquency and problem behavior is stable through life
Adolescence-limited – in rebellion to authority, but grow out of it
Delinquency is temporary and situational
Sampson and Laub’s Crime and the Life Course
Trajectories, transitions, and turning points
Social capital – a reason to avoid crime
A person may be on the path of criminality when certain events, or transitions, occur and become turning points that redirect an individual on to a non-criminal path
Uniform Crime Report (UCR)
Crimes reported and arrests made by 17,000 law enforcement agencies policing 95% of U.S. population
Part I offenses – most serious person and property offenses
Most likely to be reported to police
Part II offenses – most other offenses, except traffic violations
Hierarchy rule and other problems with UCR in measuring juvenile crime
National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS)
Counts crimes reported and arrests made for 46 categories of crime and their subdivisions
Tracks 53 specific pieces of information about each criminal incident
More detailed than UCR, but remains a supplement, not a replacement to it
Self-Report Data
Surveys to juveniles about their behavior
If you want to know about offending—ask the juvenile
Monitoring the Future (MTF) – surveys about 50,000 8th-12th graders
Youth may lie, forget, or exaggerate their behavior
Victimization Data
Surveys individuals about victimization they have experienced
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) – survey about 160,000 individuals a year. Collects crimes committed against an individuals and households
Does not survey individuals under 12 years of age
Delinquent behavior
any act that if committed by an adult would be considered a crime
Status offending
conduct that is prohibited only for minors
Dependency and neglect
conduct (or lack of conduct) of a youth’s parents
Dependency is where parents want to take care of their children but cannot
Neglect is where parents can take care of their children but choose not to
Probable cause
the facts and circumstances within a police officer’s knowledge…are sufficient in themselves to warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief that an offense has been or is being committed
written order from a court, based on probable cause, allowing an officer to arrest a person
Who Determines Probable Cause?
A neutral and detached judge
A police officer
Establishing Probable Cause
An officer may use any “trustworthy” information:
Hearsay, informant information, anonymous tips
Victim reports, firsthand knowledge, experience
Combination of any
Arrests of Juveniles
Child has committed a delinquent act
Child is suffering from an illness, injury or may be in danger
There is “reasonable suspicion” to believe the youth is a runaway or child in need of supervisi
Legal Factors Influencing Juvenile Arrests
Seriousness of the offense
Frequency of the offense
Prior or current involvement with the juvenile justice system
Recently released from institutionaliza
Extralegal Factors Influencing Juvenile Arrests
Protective factor
Chivalry factor
Socioeconomic Status
Other Factors Influencing Juvenile Arrests
Family situation
Victim or citizen complaint
Departmental style/policy
Peer associations
Individual characteristics
Juvenile system characteristi
Stop and Frisk
Terry v. Ohio (1968)
a police officer may stop an individual if they have a “reasonable suspicion” that criminal activity is afoot
Reasonable suspicion – degree of proof that is less than probable cause
Frisk – protective pat-down search of outer clothing to search for weapons if the officer reasonably suspects the person is armed and dangerous
Searches and Seizures
Young age is not an absolute bar to consent
Voluntary – not the result of coercion of deprivation
Totality of circumstances
Juvenile’s age, maturity level and experience in the juvenile justice system
Police search and seizure with parental consent
United States v. Matlock (1974) – a third party can consent to a warrantless search of a premise where there is common authority
Parents may not be able to give consent if the child is paying room and board
New Jersey v. T.L.O (1985)
– public school officials only need “reasonable grounds” to search a student and his or her possessions
Cason v. Cook (1987)
– searches by school officials, with police assistance, only need reasonable grounds to search
In this case, officer was a liaison officer
Rules differ for city policy officers not in school capacity
Miranda Wording and Juveniles
Four rights that suspects must be informed of when under “custodial interrogation”
Right to remain silent
Any statements made can be used against them
Right to counsel
If they cannot afford counsel, they will receive a court-appointed lawyer
A juvenile’s diminished capacity to understand Miranda
The fifth Miranda warning
Yarborough v. Alvarado (2004)
Should a juvenile’s age and experience be considered in making a “free to leave” custody determination?
Court said “no”
Implications for Juveniles
The Supreme Court ruled that an evaluation of a juvenile’s age and experience by police officers is not required to determine custody
A Juvenile May Waive Miranda Rights: The Totality of Circumstances Test
Waiver – intentional relinquishment of a known right or remedy
Intelligent waiver – a suspect knows what he or she is doing and is competent to waive legal rights
Voluntary waiver – one that is not the result of a threat, empty promise, or force but is made of the suspect’s free will
Waiver must be “intelligent and voluntary” under the totality of circumstances
Totality of circumstances
Evaluation of the juvenile’s age, experience, education, background and intelligence
Evaluation of the understandings of the warnings given, the nature of the 5th amendment rights, and the consequences of waiving those rights
Per Se Rules and Juvenile Waiver
Parent or interested adult presence may be required before waiver
Lawyer presence may be required before waiver
Refusal to Waive Miranda Must be Clear and Unambiguous
The burden is on the juvenile to clearly state his or her desire to not participate in a custodial interrogation
Kirby v. Illinois (1972) and U.S. v. Wade (1967)
Suspects do not have a constitutional right to have counsel present during a lineup unless formally charged
must include at least five people of the same sex and dressed in the same type of clothing with a random selection of person
Media, Juveniles, and the Police
The Supreme Court ruled that publishing the name and the photograph of a juvenile was constitutional as long as the information was obtained legally
Adjustment (as in informal adjustment)
): Refers to the process of dealing with a delinquency referral informally. The case is “adjusted” which means that the youth is offered diversion in lieu of facing an adjudication hearing.
Critical stage
Stages where incriminating evidence may be obtained from a suspect. Defendants have a right to a lawyer and are protected from self-incrimination at all critical stages.
Delinquency petition
A formal complaint or request, typically from a prosecutor, asking the juvenile court judge to adjudicate a youth delinquent. A delinquency petition may contain information about the alleged crime and other information such as the juvenile’s prior record.
Delinquency referral
A notice to an intake officer that a juvenile has engaged in delinquent conduct. Delinquent referrals typically come from police officers, but some states allow school officials, parents, and general citizens to directly make a delinquency referral to an intake officer.
Another name for informal adjustment or informal processing. Diversion refers to the process of “diverting” youth from the formal juvenile justice system by offering them an informal way to resolve their delinquency referral
Formal diversion
A type of diversion where youths are required to do more than remain violation free during a specified adjustment period. Formal diversion typically includes community service, restitution, or attendance in a counseling program.
Informal diversion
: A type of diversion where youths are required only to remain violation free during a specified period of time. Youths are not required to attend to other stipulations such as community service as they are with formal diversion.
is a screening process of all delinquency referrals after arrest. Determine which cases will be informally adjusted and which cases will be petitioned to the juvenile court.
Intake conference
An informal meeting typically between intake officers, the juvenile, and his or her parents. Are intended to be informal and information gathering so the intake officer can make an informed decision whether to adjust the youth’s case or file a delinquency petition.
Intake Officers
Usually a probation officer or prosecutor who screens all delinquency referrals for their legal merit. Intake officers make decisions on which cases will be dealt with informally versus cases that will be petitioned to the juvenile court.
Occurs when juveniles who would not have been petitioned to juvenile court are placed on diversion. Diversion is intended for youths who would have formerly been petitioned in the absence of a diversion program.
Waiver petition
A petition or request by an intake officer or prosecutor asking the juvenile court judge to consider that the case be heard in adult not juvenile court. Juvenile court judges typically make final decisions on petitions to waive a juvenile. Waiver petitions are usually based on offense seriousness.