Chapter 13 presents a brief history of the treatment of young people and examines juvenile delinquency and the juvenile justice system.

Topic: The Juvenile Justice System

  • A major 20th-century reform was the removal of responsibility for children from the adult criminal court.
  • In 1899, the first juvenile court was established in Cook County, Illinois.
  • The juvenile justice system is responsible for children who are incorrigible, dependent, neglected, delinquent, and/or status offenders.
  • The juvenile justice system has its own philosophy, courts, and correctional
  • The major differences between juvenile court and adult court are a focus on rehabilitation, informal and private hearings, and individualized justice.
  • The stages of the juvenile justice system are entry via referral, pre-hearing detention, intake, determining jurisdiction, the adjudication hearing, the disposition, and aftercare.
  • Four types of public facilities for juveniles are available in many states: adult prisons, ranches, camps, and traditional training schools.

Topic: Issues in Juvenile Justice

  • The juvenile justice system is the institution of last resort; therefore, it looks more ineffective than the school, family, or community.
  • A small percentage of youth, however, are long-term, chronic, and consistent law violators. According to one landmark study, less than 7 percent of the juvenile population was responsible for 52 percent of all delinquent offenses.
  • One predictor of chronic delinquency is belonging to a youth gang. Regardless of the perceived growth and diffusion of youth gangs, they remain a particular problem in the largest cities, where there are contested neighborhoods, a critical mass of disenfranchised youth, and a long tradition of gang activity.
  • The types of institutions available for juvenile delinquents vary widely across the United States. Juveniles who are convicted in criminal court typically remain in juvenile facilities until they reach their state’s age of adulthood, usually between 18 and 21, and then are moved to adult facilities.
  • All states have provisions for trying juveniles as adults.