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New Report Finds Incarceration for ‘Status Offenses’ Still Widespread

April 28, 2015 Comments off

New Report Finds Incarceration for ‘Status Offenses’ Still Widespread
Source: Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ)

More than half of U.S. states allow children to be detained for repeated nonviolent “status offenses” such as skipping school, running away from home or possession of alcohol, a new report says.

The revelation comes more than 40 years after the landmark Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) stipulated that in states receiving federal juvenile justice grants, no child should be locked up for such minor transgressions. They’re called status offenses because they are considered crimes owing only to a youth’s status as a juvenile.

The provision of the 1974 JJDPA calling for “deinstitutionalization” of status offenders had led to a marked decline in detention of these youths.

But the JJDPA, the main federal juvenile justice law, was amended in 1980 to include an exception allowing judges to confine a youth adjudicated guilty for a status offense if the child had violated a “valid court order” not to repeat the offense.

The report, Status Offenses: A National Survey, by the Washington-based Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ), showed most of the cases of children being detained for status offenses occurred in just a handful of states. But judges can still detain repeat status offenders under the exception in 26 states and Washington, D.C.

Reducing Harms to Boys and Young Men of Color from Criminal Justice System Involvement

April 20, 2015 Comments off

Reducing Harms to Boys and Young Men of Color from Criminal Justice System Involvement
Source: Urban Institute

Boys and young men of color are overrepresented in all aspects of the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems, at considerable cost to those involved, their families, and their communities. This overrepresentation is most acute for African Americans, although other communities of color are also affected. This paper reviews systemic, institutional, and community policies and practices that greatly impact the life chances of boys and young men of color. Policy and practice changes that would reduce criminal justice engagement and that would reduce the harms caused to communities of color from criminal justice engagement are identified and suggestions are made for developing more evidence of effectiveness for initiatives in this area.

Prosecution, Transfer, and Registration of Serious Juvenile Sex Offenders

April 7, 2015 Comments off

Prosecution, Transfer, and Registration of Serious Juvenile Sex Offenders (PDF)
Source: Office of Justice Programs

States vary widely between their applicable ages of criminal responsibility, circumstances in which a juvenile will automatically be prosecuted in adult criminal court (legislative waiver), and when the decision to try a juvenile in adult court is vested either in the prosecuting attorney (prosecutorial waiver) or a judge (judicial waiver). Any survey of sex offender registration and notification requirements applicable to juveniles is incomplete without a more thorough analysis of the systems of charging, adjudication, disposition, transfer, and/or sentencing which might apply to a serious juvenile sex offender.

This overview paints a broad picture of the state of the law in the United States regarding these issues, and then takes a look at the relevant provisions regarding sex offender registration and notification for juveniles adjudicated delinquent in juvenile court of serious sex offenses.

States that limit or prohibit juvenile shackling and solitary confinement

March 31, 2015 Comments off

States that limit or prohibit juvenile shackling and solitary confinement
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

State legislatures and courts across the country also are reexamining the practice of placing juveniles in solitary confinement and shackling youth during court appearances without first assessing each juvenile’s individual behavior.

Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2014 National Report

March 25, 2015 Comments off

Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2014 National Report
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (DoJ)

Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2014 National Report is the fourth edition of a comprehensive report on juvenile crime, victimization, and the juvenile justice system. The report consists of the most requested information on juveniles and the juvenile justice system in the U.S. Developed by the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the report draws on reliable data and relevant research to provide a comprehensive and insightful view of young offenders and victims, and what happens to those who enter the juvenile justice system in the United States. The report offers to Congress, state legislators, other state and local policymakers, educators, juvenile justice professionals, and concerned citizens-empirically based answers to frequently asked questions about the nature of juvenile crime and victimization and about the justice system’s response.

CDC Grand Rounds: Preventing Youth Violence

February 27, 2015 Comments off

CDC Grand Rounds: Preventing Youth Violence
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

Youth violence occurs when persons aged 10–24 years, as victims, offenders, or witnesses, are involved in the intentional use of physical force or power to threaten or harm others. Youth violence typically involves young persons hurting other young persons and can take different forms. Examples include fights, bullying, threats with weapons, and gang-related violence. Different forms of youth violence can also vary in the harm that results and can include physical harm, such as injuries or death, as well as psychological harm. Youth violence is a significant public health problem with serious and lasting effects on the physical, mental, and social health of youth. In 2013, 4,481 youths aged 10–24 years (6.9 per 100,000) were homicide victims (1). Homicide is the third leading cause of death among persons aged 10–24 years (after unintentional injuries and suicide) and is responsible for more deaths in this age group than the next seven leading causes of death combined (Figure) (1). Males and racial/ethnic minorities experience the greatest burden of youth violence. Rates of homicide deaths are approximately six times higher among males aged 10–24 years (11.7 per 100,000) than among females (2.0). Rates among non-Hispanic black youths (27.6 per 100,000) and Hispanic youths (6.3) are 13 and three times higher, respectively, than among non-Hispanic white youths (2.1) (1). The number of young persons who are physically harmed by violence is more than 100 times higher than the number killed. In 2013, an estimated 547,260 youths aged 10–24 years (847 per 100,000) were treated in U.S. emergency departments for nonfatal physical assault–related injuries (1)

Juvenile Court Statistics 2011

December 30, 2014 Comments off

Juvenile Court Statistics 2011 (PDF)
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Juvenile Court Statistics 2011 describes delinquency cases handled between 1985 and 2011 and petitioned status offense cases handled between 1995 and 2011 by U.S. courts with juvenile jurisdiction. National estimates of juvenile court delinquency caseloads in 2011 were based on analyses of 910,063 automated case records and court-level statistics summarizing an additional 51,569 cases. Estimates of status offense cases formally processed by juvenile courts in 2011 were based on analyses of 80,837 automated case-level records and court-level summary statistics on an additional 6,285 cases. The data used in the analyses were contributed to the National Juvenile Court Data Archive (the Archive) by more than 2,400 courts with jurisdiction over 85% of the juvenile population in 2011.

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