According to Lawlor, Connecticut has "developed a flexible approach geared toward immediate intervention and proven results" (Lawlor). He explains that not every teenaged car thief with a record of several arrests should be sent to prison, just as not every 10-year-old first time truant needs to be simply sent home to his parents (Lawlor). The decision marked the latest ruling in a decade-old class action civil rights lawsuit filed by several residents in Connecticut's juvenile detention centers, who claimed the centers were so overcrowded and understaffed that the youths were not receiving adequate protection, care, or medical and mental health treatment (Hellwege).
The state of Connecticut has sole responsibility for all probation, adult and juvenile, and all graduated sanctions programs are operated by the state or by private, non-profit organizations funded by the state (Lawlor). For more than twenty years, the term 'juvenile' in the state of Connecticut refers to only youths under the age of sixteen; youths who are sixteen years and older are treated as adults for all crimes (Lawlor). In 1995, before the graduated sanctions were implemented, the most serious violent juveniles were the focus of the juvenile court, and all other cases were for the most part ignored. There were 222 offenders in Connecticut's secure juvenile facility, 356 in court ordered community placements, and 122 at home on parole supervision (Lawlor). In 1999, after the graduated sanctions network was in place, an additional 1,052 juvenile offenders were supervised in various programs through the state; 226 were in the state's secure juvenile facility, 454 in court ordered community placements, and 217 at home on parole supervision (Lawlor). According to Lawlor, these offenders would have been ignored by the system four years earlier. Connecticut is monitoring and evaluating its programs and soon expects to have the first longitudinal study of rates of recidivism and other success indicators for the programs and the youth offenders they supervise (Lawlor).
In May 2002, a federal district court judge in Connecticut ruled that the state's neglect of mentally ill and traumatized children being held in its juvenile detention centers violates their Fourteenth Amendment right to ...
According to plaintiff attorney Martha Stone of the Center for Children's Advocacy, which is affiliated with the University of Connecticut School of Law at Harford, the three juvenile facilities were so overcrowded and understaffed that the youths lacked adequate medical care, sanitation, education, heath services (Hellwege). Under the order, the state's Department of Family Services agreed to improve conditions and to do so in a timely manner (Hellwege). One case heard concerned a 13-year-old boy who had tied a towel around his neck in a suicide attempt but was forced to wait seven weeks for admission to the state's psychiatric hospital (Hellwege). The lawsuit was filed in 1993, yet there had been little improvement made during the nine years (Hellwege).
Juvenile sentencing is a serious issue, however the debate over punishment verse rehabilitation is likely to continue for decades to come.
Bilchik, Shay. "Sentencing juveniles to adult facilities fails youths and society."
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Feld, Barry C. "Abolish the juvenile court: youthfulness, criminal responsibility, and sentencing policy. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. September 22, 1997. Retrieved November 30, 2006 from HighBeam Research Library.
Grisso, Thomas. "The evolution of adolescence: a developmental perspective on juvenile justice reform. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. September 22, 1997. Retrieved November 30, 2006 from HighBeam Research Library.
Hellwege, Jean. "Federal judge rules Connecticut juvenile…
The decision marked the latest ruling in a decade-old class action civil rights lawsuit filed by several residents in Connecticut's juvenile detention centers, who claimed the centers were so overcrowded and understaffed that the youths were not receiving adequate protection, care, or medical and mental health treatment (Hellwege).
Juvenile Crime Issues in the Criminal Justice System Similar to the concept of childhood, the legal idea of the juvenile justice system or status is relatively new. In the United States, the juvenile court system was established approximately 200 years ago with the first juvenile court instituted in 1899. Before the inception of the first juvenile court, children and the youth were regarded as small adults and were therefore prosecuted and
" (Potter, 1999) Supreme Court finally strikes down juvenile executions On Mar. 1, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down once and for all juvenile executions in the United States, abandoning nations such as Nigeria, Congo, China, Pakistan and others whose records of human rights abuse are staggering. The 5-4 decision reverses the death sentences of about 70 juvenile murderers and bars states from seeking to execute minors for future crimes. The executions, the
Sentencing Juveniles Juvenile Delinquent Sentencing Two factors that should be considered when sentencing a juvenile offender According to Sandborn (2009), there is substantively little difference between the perceptions of a juvenile of the nature of court proceedings with those of an adult: both can understand that the concepts of a jury, defense attorney, and judge. Supposedly, teens are capable of doing so as young as thirteen (Sandborn 2009: 153). However, merely understanding the
When a lawyer who has never been disciplined represents a juvenile, chances of accepting a plea are high. This is because the lawyer is likely to negotiate for a lesser sentence (Grigorenko, 2012). The current juvenile court system allows youth offenders to be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. This is like declaring these youths as people who are irredeemable. Evidently, youths have the capability to change. Moreover, a system
In principle, the United States should follow international treaties only if it is a signatory to that specific treaty. However, the Supreme Court of the United States cannot ignore international standards completely either. There are several reasons for this. The world is becoming more and more globalized. Large numbers of immigrants have flocked to the United States in the last several decades and likewise American military and the FBI increasingly
This is particularly important when making decisions about court processes and sentencing practices in the juvenile court. The ability of youth to recognize that sanctions will drastically increase in the adult system is ample reason to justify the use of punishment in the juvenile system. Under a model that focuses on punishment, sentencing will need to be harsh enough to deter the youth from continued behavior but not so harsh