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Alabama Youthful Offender Act

NCJ Number
Alabama Law Review Volume: 28 Issue: 2 Dated: (Spring 1977) Pages: 481-525
Date Published
45 pages
In the context of recent court decisions, the provisions of the Alabama Youthful Offender Act are examined and compared with their counterparts in a representative sample of other youthful offender acts.
The aim of the study is to illustrate the strengths of the act and identify weaknesses in need of legislative remedies. Attention is also focused on areas of potential conflict between the Alabama Youthful Offender Act and the Majority Age Act, the Judicial Article Implementation Act, and the Proposed Revised Alabama Criminal Code. Five youthful offender acts were selected for comparison with the Alabama Act: the Model Youth Correction Authority Act, which was first proposed by the American Law Institute in 1940 and has been adopted with variations by at least seven States; the Federal Youth Corrections Act, which was enacted in 1950 and is based largely on the model act; the Model Penal Code provisions for specialized youthful offender treatment, which were approved by the American Law Institute in 1962 and were intended to correct defects in the model act; and the youthful offender provisions of the 1943 New York Code of Criminal Procedure and the 1971 New York Criminal Procedure Law. All of the legislation examined focuses on specialized rehabilitative treatment for young offenders in order to correct what might be immature judgment before it becomes criminal incorrigibility. As indicated by the widespread differences in the various youthful offender acts, however, the experts and the legislatures are in disagreement on many of the particulars of youthful offender treatment. Examination of the Alabama act exposes several provisions that are not in harmony with the policies underlying the act. Of particular concern is the act's failure to provide separate specialized facilities for the treatment of youthful offenders. Also in need of prompt clarification is the confusion surrounding the Act's jurisdictional age limits. Footnotes are provided.