Juvenile Justice System, The: Delinquency, Processing, and the Law

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  • Edition: 4th
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2004-01-01
  • Publisher: Pearson College Div
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For courses in Juvenile Justice and Juvenile Delinquency. This text provides a complete, up-to-date, in-depth overview of all phases of the contemporary juvenile justice system from a legalistic perspective. It examines the nature of delinquency, classifications of juvenile offenders, alternative explanations for juvenile misconduct, juvenile courts and juvenile rights, and corrections.

Author Biography

Dean John Champion is Professor of Criminal Justice, Texas A & M International University, Laredo, Texas.

Table of Contents


1. An Introduction to Juvenile Justice in the United States.
2. Measuring Delinquency: Types of Offenders and Trends.
3. Theories of Delinquency.
4. An Overview of the Juvenile Justice System.


5. The Legal Rights of Juveniles.
6. Juveniles and the Police.
7. Intake and Preadjudicatory Processing.


8. Prosecutorial Decision Making in Juvenile Justice.
9. Classification and Preliminary Treatment: Waivers and Other Alternatives.
10. The Adjudicatory Process: Dispositional Alternatives.


11. Nominal Sanctions: Warnings, Diversion, and Alternative Dispute Resolution.
12. Juvenile Probation and Intermediate Punishments.
13. Juvenile Corrections: Custodial Sanctions and Parole.
Name Index.
Subject Index.
Case Index.


The Juvenile Justice System: Delinquency, Processing and the Law,fourth edition, is a complete examination of the juvenile justice system. It examines how juvenile offenders are defined and classified and draws on current literature to depict significant stages of juvenile processing. Current juvenile cases are used to illustrate the legal bases for decisions about juveniles. Landmark Supreme Court cases are included, although persuasive decisions from various state courts are presented to show juvenile justice trends. A legalistic perspective is used, therefore, to highlight the different rights juveniles have acquired and how different components of the juvenile justice system relate to them. An integral feature of this book is the distinction between status offenses and delinquent offenses. This difference has significant consequences for all juveniles affected. The history of juvenile courts is described, including crucial events that have influenced the course of juvenile justice. Increasingly, juveniles are extended rights commensurate with the rights of adults. An indication of this trend is the growing use of waivers (certifications or transfers) to criminal court. This option is intended to expose more serious juvenile offenders to more severe punishment forms compared with the possible punishments that juvenile judges may impose. However, the spreading use of waivers has not always achieved the intended result of more severe penalties for juveniles, since many juveniles who are waived to criminal courts receive minimal punishments if punished at all. One explanation is that most juveniles who are transferred to criminal courts are not necessarily the most serious, dangerous, or violent juvenile offenders. A majority of those transferred continue to be property offenders, drug users, public order and status offenders. Once juveniles are waived to the jurisdiction of criminal courts, their age becomes a mitigating factor. Quite often, this factor trivializes the seriousness of their offending and lessens the punishments imposed. Many cases against juveniles are dropped or reduced to less serious charges. Thus, many juveniles who are tried as adults receive sentences that are comparatively less severe than those that would otherwise be contemplated and imposed by juvenile judges. However, one potential penalty that receives increasing attention is the death penalty applied to juveniles. Current case law about imposing the death penalty as a punishment for juveniles is examined, and several juvenile death penalty cases are described. Juveniles are not only classified according to type of offense, but they are also tracked according to the nature of offenses committed across years. Delinquency is defined and measured according to several popular indices, such as the Uniform Crime Reportsand the National Crime Victimization Survey.The fact is that no single resource discloses the true amount of delinquency in the United States. The major components of the juvenile justice system are featured, including law enforcement, prosecution and the courts, and corrections. Corrections is presented in a broad context, with each correctional component described. Correctional strategies ranging from diversion to full-fledged incarceration are featured, together with a discussion of the favorable and unfavorable dimensions of such programs. One interesting feature is a section devoted to recidivism among juveniles, depending upon the nature of the treatment program described. Thus, community-based correctional programs are assessed, together with probation and parole alternatives for managing a growing juvenile offender aggregate. Electronic monitoring and home confinement are described as strategic and technological means of coping with growing numbers of juvenile offenders. Every effort has been made to include the most up-to-date sources, references, a

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