Juvenile Justice System

Examines failure of punishment-based system & alternative approaches, focusing on community-based controls, truancy citations, role of schools.

Juvenile delinquency is a major social problem in the United States today. It is defined as that behavior on the part of children which may, under the law, subject those children to the juvenile court laws. It is a legal invention of the nineteenth century that did not exist either under the English common law or under early Roman law. Both these legal systems regarded very young children as beyond the reach of the law, and for offenders between the ages of seven and fourteen years provision was made for the determination of the child’s responsibility before the law. Once this determination was made, however, the child was either subject to the same criminal law as were adults or he was beyond its reach .. there were no special juvenile courts (Bliss, 1977, p. 1).

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