Juvenile Justice Volume: 1 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring/Summer 1993 Pages: 1-36
The articles in this issue pertain to the conditions of confinement of juveniles in secure facilities, a juvenile court judge's comments on the challenges facing the Nation's juvenile justice system, and problems related to the recovery and reunion of parentally abducted children.
The first article reports on the results of a 1991 survey to determine conditions of confinement for 984 public and private detention centers, reception centers, training schools, and juvenile ranches in the United States. These facilities held 69 percent of confined juveniles in the United States (65,000 juveniles). Although few facilities were completely free of deficiencies in the areas examined, only a small group failed to meet a large number of assessment criteria. Consequently, investigators concluded that conditions of confinement would not be improved materially by reforming or eliminating a small number of severely deficient facilities. Rather, the study suggested that the significant improvement in conditions would require broad-scale reforms that affect routine practices in most facilities. The second article presents the transcript of an interview with juvenile court judge David B. Mitchell of Baltimore, MD. He favors juvenile judges becoming leaders and advocates for public policies that address the needs of juveniles in their communities and families, a diminished use of waiver of juveniles to criminal court, the use of diversion for juveniles, specialized training for attorneys who practice in juvenile court, and policies that focus on substance abuse among juveniles. The third article reports on a 2-year study (beginning in 1988) to identify the legal, policy, procedural, and practical obstacles to the location, recovery, and return of parentally abducted children and to recommend ways to overcome or reduce them. The study was conducted by the American Bar Association's Center on Children and the Law. The article offers recommendations that address the following problems: resistance to entering parentally abducted children into the FBI's computer database; parents' difficulty in finding knowledgeable and affordable attorneys in separate jurisdictions; and the additional difficulties experienced by parents who are unmarried or lack custody orders, those with joint custodial or noncustodial status, and those who are economically or otherwise disadvantaged.
Date Published: January 1, 1993