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Chapter Summary and Key Concepts

Chapter 14 presents a brief history of the treatment of young people and examines youth crime and the juvenile justice system.

The History of Society and Children

  • Not all ancient societies treated children the same way. In early England, the authority for dealing with children resided with the parents and not the state.

  • In early England the concept of parens patriae meant that the king could intervene in the interests of children.

  • In colonial America, no special system existed for juvenile offenders, and parents were responsible for their children’s actions.

  • The first house of refuge was established in New York City in 1825. Other states designed similar types of institutions over the next 60 years.

  • A major twentieth-century reform was the removal of responsibility for children from the adult criminal court.

  • In 1899, the first juvenile court was established in Cook County, Illinois.

Modern Society and Children

  • Some of the most pressing issues facing young people include violence, alcohol and drugs, sex and sexual abuse, running away, depression, and nihilism.

  • Societal institutions and issues connected to the problem of juvenile crime include school quality, poverty, faulty families, and neighborhood quality.

  • Trends that may influence how society deals with juveniles are a growing elderly population, the privatization of youth programs, the continuing transfer of juveniles to adult criminal courts, and the increasing age of child dependency.

The Juvenile Justice System

  • The juvenile justice system is responsible for children who are incorrigible, dependent, neglected, delinquent, and/or status offenders.

  • The juvenile justice system has its own philosophy, courts, and correctional system.

  • The major differences between juvenile court and adult court are focus on rehabilitation, informal and private hearings, and individualized justice.

  • The stages of the juvenile justice system are entry via referral, prehearing detention, intake, determining jurisdiction, the adjudication hearing, the disposition, and aftercare.

  • Four types of public facilities for juveniles are available in many states: adult prisons, ranches and camps, boot-camp prisons, and traditional training schools.


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