This paper proposes a model of juvenile court judges' responsibilities for addressing the youth gang problem in a community.
The primary goals of the juvenile court judge should be to ensure that the youth gang member receives a fair hearing, to protect the community and the youth from violent and serious gang crime should a juvenile court petition be sustained, and to use court orders to create conditions to rehabilitate the gang youth. To protect the community and rehabilitate the youth gang member, the judge should promote a multiple-strategy approach that focuses on the individual case, the structure of the court, community resources, and interagency processes. The court should prioritize and integrate strategies of suppression, opportunities provision, social intervention, community mobilization, and organizational development to deal with individual youth gang cases. This paper identifies certain court processes and situations in which special judicial attention is required. General principles and procedures are suggested, but they should be tailored to the circumstances of each jurisdiction. Topics covered include organizational development and change; court proceedings; certification of youth to adult court; detention and release; court hearings; evidence; sentencing; placement on probation; placement within a correctional institution; use of probation and special court review; community mobilization; selection, training, and education; and research and evaluation.
Report (Technical Assistance)
Date Published: January 1, 1991