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Juveniles and the Criminal Justice System Videoconference

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 1998
0 pages
Publication Series
This videotape, one in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Teleconference Series, examines major themes and trends related to the transfer of juvenile offenders to adult court and the impact of laws States have enacted to respond to the problem of juvenile violence.
The videotape contains the presentations and discussions at a December 1998 conference on Juveniles and the Criminal Justice System. The conference noted significant increases in juvenile violence fueled perceptions of a juvenile crime epidemic in the early 1990's, and this led to a response by government officials and legislators to respond more effectively to juvenile crime. States enacted laws or developed new policies and programs targeting violent juvenile offenders. These changes altered the legal response to young people who commit violent and other serious crimes. The conference also pointed out most juvenile law violators are handled at State and local levels rather than at the Federal level. Each State's juvenile court is somewhat unique in the way it is structured, in the powers granted to the judge, and in the types of cases it hears. Further, each State has its own juvenile code governing the handling of juvenile offenders. While State law prescribes legal mandates for case processing and key decisions about juvenile offenders, all of this is accomplished at the local level. From arrest and intake to adjudication and court-ordered sanctions, within the context of law and court rules, professionals such as police officers, attorneys, probation officers, and judges are allowed considerable discretion in making case processing decisions. Conference participants discussed the challenges presented to juvenile and criminal justice systems by the increase in the transfer of juvenile offenders; juvenile justice reforms that focus on sentencing, correctional programs and practices, and juvenile crime victims; the rehabilitation and reintegration of juvenile offenders; and juvenile recidivism.

Date Published: December 1, 1998