Other Free Encyclopedias » Law Library - American Law and Legal Information » Crime and Criminal Law » Juveniles in the Adult System - Judicial Waiver And Individualized Sentencing, Legislative Offense Exclusion And Prosecutors' Choice Of Forum, Youth Crime And "get Tough" Politics

Juveniles in the Adult System - Conclusion

criminal court justice immature

Since 1992, nearly half the states have expanded their lists of excluded offenses, lowered the ages of eligibility for exclusion from sixteen to fourteen or thirteen years of age, or granted prosecutors more authority to transfer cases to criminal court. Increasing numbers of younger offenders charged with serious crimes find themselves in criminal court. Excluded offense and direct file laws symbolize a fundamental change in juvenile justice jurisprudence and policies from rehabilitation to retribution. The overarching themes of the various legislative amendments include a shift from individualized justice to just deserts, from treatment to punishment, and from immature delinquent to responsible criminal. These trends in waiver policy reflect a legal reformulation of the social construction of "youth" from innocent, immature, and dependent children to responsible, autonomous, and mature offenders. "Get tough" criminal sentencing policies provide no formal recognition of youthfulness as a mitigating factor. Once youths make the transition to criminal court, judges sentence them as if they are adults, impose the same sentences, send them to the same prisons, and even inflict capital punishment on them for the crimes they committed as children.

Juveniles in the Adult System - Bibliography [next] [back] Juveniles in the Adult System - Youthfulness, Proportional Punishment, And The Death Penalty

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