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Juvenile Justice - Session 2 (From Conference of Criminal Justice Reform - The Proceedings, P 29-56, 1984, Patrick B McGuigan and Teresa L Donovan, ed. - See NCJ-95909)

NCJ Number
P B McGuigan, T L Donovan
Date Published
A transcript is provided of a conference session on juvenile crime and juvenile justice.
Statistics on juvenile crime are presented: about 40 percent of those arrested for serious crimes and about 20 to 25 percent of those arrested for violent crimes are juveniles. Data indicate that 7 to 9 percent of all juveniles commit as much as 50 percent of serious crimes; most of these offenders later become career criminals. Attention is focused on the role of juvenile courts, and on the contentions of the President and of the Supreme Court in 1967 that juvenile courts were failures. Juvenile courts were criticized for failing to protect juveniles from overzealous intervention, failing to provide needed rehabilitative services, and failing to decrease and prevent crime. Since then, juvenile courts have become stripped-down versions of criminal courts. Most of the major treatises written on the juvenile court process argue that it is a disaster and should be eliminated. The question of whether the juvenile courts are too soft is addressed, and attention is focused on programming for the hardcore offender. The need for such programs to have accountability is emphasized, and more individualized programs for hardcore offenders are recommended. Additionally, the importance of removing target offenders from the juvenile justice system is noted, and examples of States that have begun to try juveniles as adults for certain offenses are provided.