Do You Agree That Waivers Help Decrease Criminality Among Adolescents or Does It Increase?
In addition, questionable practices with respect to prosecutorial decision-making in the waiver process have also drawn attention to existing juvenile waiver policies. The consequences and effectiveness of waiving juveniles to criminal court also warrants further examination as current literature points toward negative experiences for youths waived to adult court and a lack of success with reference to the intended objectives of the waiver process.
Id. These institutions proliferated across other cities and states, followed by the first juvenile court being established in Cook County, Illinois, in 1899. Id. Juvenile courts were designed to provide not only rehabilitative functions but also protective supervision for youth. “Juvenile Justice History,” supra. Problems with these early juvenile courts emerged. Judges had broad discretion over their cases without formal hearings, resulting in wide disparities in treatment of juvenile offenders. “Child or Adult? A Century Long View,” supra ; “Juvenile Justice History,” supra. In the 1960s, a series of cases made their way to the U.S. Supreme Court, establishing procedures and due process rights for individuals in the juvenile court system. Id. Ultimately, these decisions led Congress to pass the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act in 1974, which still governs the juvenile justice system. “Child or Adult? A Century Long View,” supra. Through the act, states were offered grants to develop community-based programs as alternatives to institutionalization.
These reforms lowered the minimum age for transfer, increased the number of transfer-eligible offenses, or expanded prosecutorial discretion and reduced judicial discretion in transfer decisionmaking (Fagan and Zimring, 2000; Redding, 2003, 2005).
Juvenile proceedings take place in a closed courtroom, while adult proceedings are typically public. A conviction record is generally sealed for juveniles, while adult records are frequently publicly accessible. Adult penalties tend to be much harsher than the penalties for the comparable juvenile offenses. The juvenile courts tend to be more focused on the rehabilitation of the accused, unlike adult courts which may be focused more on punishment. Sadly, juveniles who serve jail and prison time are much more likely to be assaulted than those serving in juvenile facilities.
Piquero, A.R., Fagan, J., Mulvey, E.P., Steinberg, L., and Odgers, C. 2005. Developmental trajectories of legal socialization among serious adolescent offenders. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 96:267–98.
Glassner, B., Ksander, M., Berg, B., and Johnson, B.D. 1983. A note on the deterrent effect of juvenile versus adult jurisdiction. Social Problems. 31:219–21.
Griffin, P. 2003. Trying and sentencing juveniles as adults: An analysis of state transfer and blended sentencing laws. Pittsburgh, PA: National Center for Juvenile Justice.