by: careful selection and interview of youth eligible for safe custody; intensive monitoring and surveillance; small number of cases receiving individual support; strict rules on compliance and curfew; contact at night and on weekends; verification of compliance at home and school; the involvement of community resources in support; and, if necessary, prompt accommodation in a safe place. Land and colleagues (1998) found that programs provided less restrictive options for ensuring detention in a cost-effective manner without compromising public safety. More than three-quarters of the cases handled by alternative programs managed to escape safe detention. The vast majority (80-90%) of cases that failed in the alternative program and were remanded in custody involved violations of technical programs, not new crimes. Less than 5% of all alternative placements committed new crimes during the program. A number of studies of incarcerated adolescents have found that the prevalence of psychiatric disorders diagnosed through structured interviews or clinical assessments is three to five times higher than in the general youth population (Chiles et al., 1980; Davis et al., 1991; Eppright et al., 1993; Hollander and Turner, 1985; Lewis et al., 1987; McManus et al., 1984a; McManus et al., 1984b; Miller et al., 1982; Shelton, 1998; Steiner et al., 1997; Timmons-Mitchell et al., 1997). Behavioural problems have occurred in over 80% of incarcerated adolescents (Davis et al., 1991; Eppright et al., 1993; Hollander and Turner, 1985; Timmons-Mitchell et al., 1997). This finding is not surprising because the criteria for a diagnosis of behavioural disorder include delinquent and criminal behaviour such as absenteeism, arson, theft, burglary and trespassing, and assault. Other psychiatric disorders observed among incarcerated and incarcerated youth include depressive disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and psychotic disorders.
Studies also report multiple personality disorders, particularly borderline personality disorder, in incarcerated adolescents than in the general youth population. At least half of juvenile inmates also report drug abuse (Davis et al., 1991; Timmons-Mitchell et al., 1997). Very few programs address the unique needs and problems of women offenders. In a meta-analysis of prevention and intervention programs for youth, the author reported that only 8% of programs were primarily for girls (Lipsey, 1992). When women are included in juvenile justice, they have fewer opportunities than boys. While delinquent girls share some problems with delinquent boys, they also have unique problems, including higher rates of childhood sexual victimization and depression (see Chapter 3) and more important and central parenting roles. But programmes are rarely specifically tailored to girls` needs and experiences. Juvenile courts dealt with nearly 1.8 million crimes5 and 162,000 status-related offences in 1996 (Stahl et al., 1999).
Figures 5-2 and 5-3 show how criminal offences and offences are committed. Status offences were dealt with by the courts in 1996, the latest year for which data are available. A total of 56 per cent of offences referred to juvenile courts in 1996 were formally processed (requested) by the court; That is, these cases were on the official calendar of the courts in response to the submission of a petition, complaint or other legal instrument. Over the past 10 years, the percentage of cases has increased (from 47 per cent in 1986 to 56 per cent in 1996) for all adolescents, regardless of age, race or sex. However, criminal offending cases involving older adolescents, men and Blacks are more likely to be claimed than those involving younger adolescents, women and Whites or other races (Stahl et al., 1999). The formal handling of cases can arguably be seen as punishment rather than release or diversion to other systems. As a result, the increase in formal contact with young people who come into contact with the police or are referred to juvenile court can be interpreted as an increasingly punishable system. The first juvenile court in the United States, authorized by the Illinois Juvenile Court Act of 1899, was established in Chicago in 1899. The law gives the court jurisdiction to try neglected, dependent and delinquent children under the age of 16. The court focused on rehabilitation, not punishment.
Court records should be confidential to minimize stigma. The law requires the separation of minors from adults when they are incarcerated and prohibits the detention of children under the age of 12 in prisons. The law also provides for the informal nature of proceedings before the courts. The idea of the juvenile court spread rapidly. Until 1925, there was an operational juvenile court in all states except Maine and Wyoming (Schlossman, 1983). Between 1985 and 1997, the number of offenders under the age of 18 admitted to state prisons more than doubled, from 3,400 in 1985 to 7,400 in 1997 (Strom, 2000). And 61 percent of under-18s sent to state prison in 1997 had been convicted of a violent crime. Juveniles arrested for violent crimes are more likely to end up in state prison today than in 1985. In 1997, 33 juveniles per 1,000 arrested for violent crimes were sentenced to imprisonment, compared with 18 per 1,000 in 1985.
However, almost two-fifths of youth sent to state prisons in 1997 were not there for violent offences – 22% had been convicted of a property offence, 11% of a drug offence, and 5% of a public order offence (Strom, 2000). A grand jury hears the evidence against the accused presented by the prosecutor and decides whether there is enough evidence to bring the accused to justice. If the grand jury finds sufficient evidence, it submits to the court an indictment, a written statement of the essential facts of the offense charged against the accused. In San Quentin and Folsom prisons in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.14 Between the 1870s and 1930s, middle adolescents were interned in San Quentin and Folsom prisons, but in very small numbers and percentages. The highest proportions were observed in the 1870s to 1890s, when 3.7% of inmates were between the ages of 14 and 17. With the creation of the California Juvenile Court in 1903 and the reform of juvenile schools (see Schlossman, 1989, for historical details), minors under the age of 18 were completely eliminated from Folsom in the 1910s. Teenagers under the age of 16 were eliminated from San Quentin, and 16- and 17-year-olds dropped to less than 1% of the prison population in the 1910s and after. This percentage is comparable to the percentage of juveniles incarcerated in adult prisons nationally (Strom, 2000). For example, in North Dakota, if a child or youth is convicted of sexual assault, the court must notify the child`s director. Youth records, fingerprints and photos are increasingly being integrated into central repositories. In some states, juvenile records are kept in a separate centralized system, but in others they are merged with the centralized penal system, including sex offender registries (Torbet et al., 1996; Torbet and Szymanski, 1998). Direct file of the Public Prosecutor`s Office.
The laws of 15 states designate a category of cases that may be heard either in the juvenile court or in the criminal court (i.e. juvenile courts and criminal courts have joint or concurrent jurisdiction) (Griffin et al., 1998). In these States, the prosecutor has the power to decide before which court the case should be submitted; The juvenile judge does not intervene in the decision. State laws vary widely in terms of the category of offenses, the age of the child, the seriousness of the offense, and the extent of the child`s juvenile offense, which must be considered in deciding where to file a complaint. Some researchers have raised concerns about some cases brought before juvenile courts. As noted above, the absence of a right to a jury trial can have consequences for the outcome of a trial. It is also about the legal representation of young people. As in adult court, minors have the right to be represented by a lawyer. However, the majority of states allow young people to decide independently whether they want to waive their rights to a lawyer without having recourse to a lawyer prior to the decision (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1995b). This practice contradicts the assumption that children are different from adults and should be treated differently from adults, as it implies that adolescents can make the decision « voluntarily and intelligently », although studies suggest that adolescents are not as competent as adults to give up their rights in a « conscious and intelligent » way (domain, 1993: 31).