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Standards Relating to Prosecution

NCJ Number
Date Published
99 pages
These standards for the prosecution of juveniles cover the organization of the juvenile prosecutor's office, the preadjudication phase, uncontested adjudication proceedings, the adjudicatory phase, the dispositional phase, and postdisposition proceedings.
Because juvenile court proceedings are no longer nonadversarial, the standards recognize that the interests of the state must be effectively represented; to accomplish this, the standards recommend that a prosecutor participate in every proceeding of every case in which the state has an interest. The standards also recognize that while juvenile prosecutors should act as vigorous advocates of the state's interests, they should act within the purpose of the juvenile court by ensuring the best interests of the juveniles. General standards focus on the role of the juvenile prosecutor, conflicts of interest, public statements, and the relationship of the juvenile prosecutor to the community. A section of standards also deals with the relationships of the juvenile prosecutor with other participants in the juvenile justice system. Standards for the preadjudication phase cover intake, withdrawal of petition, investigation, speedy decision, power over dismissal of petition, determination of probable cause, and disclosure of evidence. Topics considered in the adjudicatory phase are speedy adjudication, assumption of traditional adversary role, standard of proof, selection of jurors, opening statement, presentation of evidence, examination of witnesses, closing argument, and comment by the prosecutor after the decision. The permissibility of taking an active role and the duty to monitor the effectiveness of various modes of disposition are considered in standards for the dispositional phase. A bibliography of 38 listings is provided.

Date Published: January 1, 1980