ERIC Number: ED378508
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Juvenile Justice: Improving the Quality of Care.
This booklet describes the juvenile justice system and offers suggestions for the system's future. The disparate legal context of juvenile justice in the United States reflects Americans' ambivalent feelings toward this branch of justice. What is needed, it is argued, is a developmental perspective where society expects young people to make mistakes and then addresses these actions without exacting full adult court penalties. Profiles of delinquency cases and the characteristics of juvenile delinquents and their backgrounds are examined. Denoting trends in adolescent crime is difficult since only about one-third of all crimes are reported to the police; juvenile arrests, therefore, reflect a tiny fraction of overall delinquent behavior. Arrest records do indicate that minority adolescents comprise a disproportionate share of those incarcerated. Likewise, actions toward female offenders appears unequal with 61 percent of females not incarcerated for delinquent behavior. The situation is further confused by the lack of any standardized measure for recidivism. Once they are detained, juveniles need to have specific problems addressed. Their health care, environmental forces, and other factors require concerted remedies. The federal government can help reform juvenile justice by viewing it as an adolescent health care system, where juveniles' mental and physical health are systematically addressed. (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, Washington, DC.; Jessie Ball DuPont Religious Charitable and Educational Fund, Jacksonville, FL.
Authoring Institution: National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Davis, CA.