Juvenile Justice System

Juvenile Justice
Chapter 14 In Your Textbook
John Massey
Criminal Justice
Before the 1800’s
• Middle Ages
• Children portrayed as little men and
little women
• Infancy ended at age 7.
• Childhood was invisible.
• Adolescence did not emerge until the
Deviance handled informally.
Strict laws governing youth behavior.
Punishment rarely administered.
Children, if punished, were usually
punished by parents.
1800’s & Child Workers
• As late as 1780, children could be convicted and hanged for
over 200 crimes.
• Behavior and control – responsibility of parents
• Physical size and capacity more important than age.
• Child Workers
Boys as young as 6 or 7 began work during Colonial Period.
Running errands, chopping wood
Age 14, family trade.
Social Security and Income
Parens Patriae &
the emergence of adolescence
Legal document, England
King is the “father of the country”
Authority to take child under custody
Intervention between the child and family.
• Emergence of adolescence
Breakup of Colonial Society
Capitalism begins
Immigration, “poor” and “dangerous” classes emerge
Agriculture shifts to Industrialism
Adolescent, Juvenile Delinquency emerges
House of Refuge Movement
Children wandering the streets
6 and 7 year olds convicted in criminal courts & housed with adult
inmates in jails and prisons.
Groups began to emerge to help the children.
Focus to remove children from unhealthy environments
1824, New York
New York House of Refuge
First correctional facility for young offenders in U.S.
Teach reading, writing, math
Enforce moral and religious obligations
Be both corrective and punitive
• 63% of juveniles committed during a 30 year period – Irish
• Only 1 in 73 sent in the first year had been convicted of a
serious offense.
• 63 of the 73 were committed for stealing, vagrancy, etc.
• Working class backgrounds (working poor, poor)
• Fate of the House of Refuge Movement
Best interests of the children were not served
Strict discipline and control
Emergence of refuges in Boston, Philly, Baltimore
Crime and delinquency remained a problem.
Mid 19th Century Reforms
• Complaints about HOR movement.
• Growth of large cities.
• Need for factory/mine workers = children as cheap source
of labor.
• Public School Programs established.
– Kindergarten, Extracurricular activities, Homeroom, Organized
– All taught cooperation, respect for authority and discipline.
– Schools as a Network of Social Control
• Used to prevent and control delinquency
• Teachers, guidance counselors, social workers – all part of the
Fate of Mid 19th Century
Reforms did little to reduce crime.
Used to regulate and control deviants, potential deviants and poor
in general.
Progressive Era opened the way for new forms and new
“Care, Control, and Protection” – Child Saving Movement
Child Savers:
– Upper middle class, upper class whites w/ business and professional
– Goals were to save children from jails and prisons and divert them
from the adult CJ system.
Juvenile Court
• Chicago and Denver – 1899
• 1899 Illinois Juvenile Court Act – removed cases from adult
system and formally established a juvenile court.
• Status offenses
– Vicious or immoral behavior, profane/indecent behavior,
truancy (skipping school), running away, growing up in idleness,
curfew violations.
• Juvenile Court Environment
– Judges were like stern fathers.
– Informal, no need for lawyers
– Cases were not criminal, Children were diagnosed.
20th Century Developments
• Little change between 1920’s and 1960’s in juvenile system.
• The 1960’s brought hope.
• Supreme Court Cases:
In re Gault (1967) – same due process rights as adults
Kent v. US (1966) – right to counsel like adults
In re Winship (1970) – beyond a reasonable doubt like adults
Breed v. Jones (1975) – double jeopardy
McKeiver v. Penn (1971) – does NOT give juveniles right to jury
Issues Today
The Age Question
Are juveniles liable? Can they understand their actions?
Juvenile Gangs
• Juveniles can be transferred to adult court through the use
of a waiver.
• Variety of Sanctions for juveniles: curfews, juvenile
detention, prison, boot camps, etc.