Within th? scop? of this r?s?arch, w? will ?laborat? on pros?cuting juv?nil?s and analyz? juv?nil? justic? syst?m. On? criticism r?garding th? us? of th? t?rm “syst?m” is that it impli?s a coordinat?d ?ffort, with agr??m?nt on purpos?s. Whil? th?r? is a conspicuous lack of coordination in th? juv?nil? justic? syst?m, for ?xplanatory purpos?s juv?nil? justic? will b? consid?r?d a syst?m, alb?it on? wh?r? th? individual compon?nts som?tim?s work at cross purpos?s, or at count?r purpos?s. Th?s? compon?nts includ? law ?nforc?m?nt ag?nci?s (th? polic?), courts, and corr?ctional ag?nci?s and organizations.
It is fairly accurat? to charact?riz? th? juv?nil? court as th? c?nt?rpi?c? of th? juv?nil? justic? syst?m – sinc? in som? ways, onc? th? court was cr?at?d, th? “syst?m” d?v?lop?d around it. Th? juv?nil? court did not spring sudd?nly full-blown onto th? Am?rican justic? sc?n?. In fact, it is possibl? to vi?w th? juv?nil? court as th? culmination of s?v?ral c?nturi?s of jurisprud?ntial ?volution (Malcolm 2007).
In th? Unit?d Stat?s two particular ?v?nts substantially contribut?d to th? cr?ation of a s?parat? juv?nil? court. First, th? Industrial R?volution of th? mid-to-lat? 1800s transform?d Am?rica from a rural, agrarian ?conomy to on? incr?asingly bas?d on manufacturing and h?avy industry. Along with th? Industrial R?volution, th? Unit?d Stat?s ?xp?ri?nc?d much immigration from ?urop? (both ?ast?rn and w?st?rn ?urop?an countri?s) and from Asia. Th?s? immigrants provid?d labor, oft?n at th? low?st possibl? pric?s, to fu?l th? mov?m?nt toward an industrial ?conomy. Th?s? immigrants also brought with th?m childr?n who oft?n roam?d th? str??ts of th? industrial citi?s. Conc?rn ov?r immigrant childr?n committing crim? and living dissolut? liv?s l?d many progr?ssiv? r?form?rs to s??k ways to aid th?s? childr?n (Malcolm 2007).
Th? s?cond major ?v?nt, th?r?for?, was th? Progr?ssiv? mov?m?nt (Malcolm 2007). Th?s? individuals and groups w?r? much conc?rn?d about th? quality of lif? in Am?rica’s citi?s, and from th?s? ?fforts ?volv?d what has com? to b? known as th? “child saving mov?m?nt” (Malcolm 2007). Whil? th?r? ar? various int?rpr?tations of th? “child sav?rs’” motiv?s (Malcolm 2007), cl?arly th?r? w?r? philanthropic soci?ti?s and associations in many citi?s giv?n ov?r to improving th? liv?s of low?r-class immigrant childr?n–?sp?cially thos? coming into contact with th? law (Malcolm 2007).
Appar?ntly th?r? w?r? two ?xplicit motivating factors in th? child saving mo?m?nt: (1) a d?sir? to instill “prop?r” civic and moral valu?s in youngst?rs, and (2) a concomitant d?sir? to mitigat? th? law’s oft?n harsh tr?atm?nt of childr?n. It was a common practic?, in fact, for courts not to distinguish b?tw??n childr?n and adults in d?t?rmining th?ir d?gr?? of culpability, as w?ll as th? s?v?rity and plac? of th?ir punishm?nt (Malcolm 2007). This m?ant, of cours?, that childr?n w?r? punish?d comm?nsurat? with adults and, at tim?s in th? sam? prisons and jails.
As a r?sult of th? courts’ harsh tr?atm?nt of childr?n, “child sav?rs” such as Jan? Addams and Julia Lathrop f?lt strongly that ag? should b? a mitigating circumstanc? b?for? th? law. Thus, a uniqu? bl?nding of jurisprud?nc? and th? social w?lfar? philosophy r?sult?d in th? founding of th? juv?nil? court in Cook County, Illinois in 1899 (Malcolm 2007). Juv?nil? court proc?dur?s hav? contribut?d to chang? from th? mid-1970s through th? 1980s, and th?r? hav? b??n two lin?s of criticism. On? group of p?opl?, prop?rly charact?riz?d as mod?rn “child sav?rs,” b?li?v? that juv?nil? courts hav? b??n and continu? to b? ?ntir?ly too punitiv?. Th?s? p?opl? want to r?affirm th? r?habilitativ? philosophy (Malcolm 2007). Th? s?cond group, whil? not n?c?ssarily larg?r, has b??n vocal in its criticisms of juv?nil? court l?ni?ncy. Th?s? “crim? control” critics hav? b??n h?ard, and th? r?sult has b??n that th? g?n?ral natur? of juv?nil? court chang?s has b??n in th? dir?ction of mor? punitiv? or “just d?s?rts” ori?nt?d dispositions.
Juv?nil? corr?ctions can b? thought of as compris?d of thr?? s?gm?nts: probation, incarc?ration, and parol? (or aft?rcar?). Th? uniqu? f?atur? of juv?nil? probation, how?v?r, is that unlik? adult probation it is oft?n a judicial function. Adult probation and parol? offic?s, typically, ar? part of th? stat? corr?ctions apparatus. In oth?r words – th?y ar? ?x?cutiv? functions. By contrast, in many stat?s juv?nil? probation offic?s ar? attach?d to th? juv?nil? courts and th? juv?nil? court judg?s ar? r?sponsibl? for s?l?cting juv?nil? probation offic?rs (JPOs), ?sp?cially th? chi?f JPO.
In som? ways, juv?nil? corr?ctional faciliti?s ar? r?lativ?ly r?c?nt innovations in criminal justic?; most hav? ?xist?d for about 100 y?ars. How?v?r, som? of th? pr?cursors of corr?ctional institutions ?xist?d ?v?n b?for? th?r? w?r? juv?nil? courts. For ?xampl?, in 1825 th? first hous? of r?fug? was op?n?d in N?w York City by th? Soci?ty for th? Pr?v?ntion of Paup?rism (Malcolm 2007). This facility and oth?rs lik? it first app?ar?d in th? 1820s to th? 1850s, and w?r? d?sign?d to hoous? childr?n who w?r? orphan?d, abandon?d, or d?stitut?. Also includ?d in th? populations of hous?s of r?fug? w?r? childr?n who w?r? law violators.
Th?s? hous?s of r?fug? and similar faciliti?s oft?n w?r? op?rat?d by privat? philanthropi?s and r?ligious groups. Th?y sought to instill in th?ir r?sid?nts “appropriat?” (middl?-class) valu?s r?lating to disciplin?, hard work, and ?ducation (Malcolm 2007). ?arly privat? involv?m?nt in juv?nil? corr?ctions s?t th? ton? for programs to follow (Malcolm 2007). Th? guiding philosophy b?hind th?s? ?arly institutions (on? which has carri?d ov?r to mod?rn juv?nil? corr?ctions) was r?g?n?ration, r?storation, or mor? commonly r?habilitation.
Mod?rn corr?ctional programs fall broadly into two cat?gori?s: noninstitutional and institutional (Malcolm 2007). Noninstitutional, or community-bas?d, programs includ? arrang?m?nts such as traditional probation and parol? and a vari?ty of oth?r div?rsion and nonincarc?rativ? alt?rnativ?s. Institutional corr?ctions, whil? ?mploying faciliti?s with a rang? of s?curity l?v?ls, is fr?qu?ntly thought of in t?rms of stat? training schools for both mal? and f?mal? adjudicat?d d?linqu?nts. In most instanc?s, th?s? institutions ar? simply juv?nil? prisons. Th?y d?tain youngst?rs in s?cur? s?ttings for som? pr?d?t?rmin?d amount of tim? or until th?y ar? “cur?d.” Curr?ntly, th? tr?nd in juv?nil? corr?ctions is toward f?w?r and small?r corr?ctional faciliti?s. Th? mov?m?nt toward d?institutionalization, ?sp?cially of status off?nd?rs, has had a significant impact on s?cur? juv?nil? plac?m?nts (Malcolm 2007). How?v?r, th? d?cr?as? in s?cur? plac?m?nts has, for th? most part, b??n offs?t by incr?as?s in nons?cur?, community-bas?d programs (Malcolm 2007).
Aft?r th?y hav? b??n confin?d in a corr?ctional facility, most youths sp?nd som? tim? und?r community sup?rvision. It is not unusual for this proc?ss to b? call?d parol?, as in th? adult syst?m, but som? stat?s pr?f?r to distinguish juv?nil? sup?rvision by charact?rizing it as “aft?rcar?.” What?v?r th? lab?l, th? proc?ss of community-bas?d sup?rvision and surv?illanc? is ?ss?ntial in aiding juv?nil?s’ r?int?gration. Juv?nil? parol? offic?rs assist th? youth and th? family in r??stablishing ti?s in th? hom?, school, and n?ighborhood. Som? ?ffort may b? mad? as w?ll to h?lp old?r youths find ?mploym?nt, job training, or to b?gin th? proc?ss of ?stablishing ind?p?nd?nt living arrang?m?nts (Malcolm 2007). Juv?nil? parol?, unlik? juv?nil? probation, t?nds to b? a stat? gov?rnm?nt function, at tim?s op?rating in conjunction with adult probation and parol?.