These juvenile justice standards delineate the characteristics and structure of decisionmaking affecting a juvenile between arrest on criminal charges and final disposition of the case.
These standards are based on the premise that the danger of too much detention of juveniles before trial or disposition currently outweighs the danger, both for juveniles and society, of too much release. By limiting the discretion of officials involved in decisionmaking during this period and by imposing on them the duty to release juveniles or bear the burden of justification for not having done so, the standards aim to reduce the volume, duration, and severity of detention and other curtailment of liberty during the interim period. Separate standards define the interim-period authority and responsibility of police officers, intake officials, attorneys for the juvenile and the state, judges, and detention officials, so as to reflect differences in (1) their respective roles in the interim decisionmaking process; (2) the extent to which the discretion exercised by each is subject to control and review by others; and (3) the time, information, and resources available to each at the time of decision. The standards are intended as guidelines by which to measure the progress of a jurisdiction toward compliance with the stated goals. Detailed specifications are presented wherever possible, so that departures from them will be apparent, and officials can be called to account for them. Appended are a detention administration order by a judge of the Fulton County (Atlanta, Ga.) juvenile court and suggested detention standards from a publication. The dissenting view and a bibliography of 93 listings are provided.
American Bar Association
Date Published: January 1, 1980
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