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					              Give Your Assessment of the philosophy behind your
              state’s approach to Judicial Waiver


“To provide a program of supervision, care and rehabilitation to juvenile youths”
Alabama
• Since the 1970’s most state legislatures saw
  an increase in juvenile crime
• Then in the 1990’s there was a sharp decrease
  in overall crime rates by juveniles
• This also includes Alabama where the rate of
  juvenile crime has decreased over the past
  five years
                  However…
• Even though Alabama saw a decrease in juvenile
  crime there was an increase in the violent crimes
  by these juveniles

• From 1977, 9% of juvenile crimes were for
  violent offenses. In 2003, this rate rose to 15%.

• This is the same as the national average of
  juvenile arrest rates for violent crimes at 15%.
                  Statistics
• Alabama total population is 4,447,100 people,
  with roughly 1.1 million of whom are juveniles
• U.S. is roughly 303,824,680 people , 70 million
  of whom are juveniles under the age of 18
• Population wise roughly 25% of their
  population’s are juveniles and 15% of the
  juveniles arrested are arrested for violent
  offenses
        Why transfer juveniles?
• Legislature wants to punish criminals who
  commit violent offenses harshly in the
  criminal court.

• With the rates of violent offenses increases
  amongst juveniles it shows that waiving them
  to the criminal court isn’t fixing the problem
  of deterring violent offenses.
     Is waiving juveniles working?

• Waiving juveniles to
  criminal court over the past
  30 years could be directly
  impacted to the decrease in
  overall crime rates,
  however, waiving juveniles
  to criminal court is could
  also lead to increases in
  violent offenses by these
  juveniles.
       Alabama’s Waiver Process
• 2 main types utilized:
   – Judicial/Discretionary
     Waiver
   – Statutory Exclusion
   “Once an Adult, Always an
     Adult”
              Judicial Waiver
• The juvenile judge has the authority to waive
  the juvenile court jurisdiction and transfer a
  case to the criminal court
  – Requested by the Prosecuting attorney and
    granted by the court following a hearing
  – Minimum age of 14 years old
  – Criminal offenses
 What occurs in the transfer hearing?
• Factors specified by the statute considered
  including probation records
• Transfer will be made if:
     • It is the best interest of the child and the general public
       to continue through criminal proceedings
     • If probable cause is provided implicating the child in the
       alleged crime
     • There is no legal grounds to support mental instability
       or prove the individual is committable to an institution
           Statutory Exclusion
• Alabama laws exclude individuals fitting
  specified criteria from being defined as a
  “child” for purposes of juvenile jurisdiction
• Juvenile charged with such offenses are
  treated as an adult from the beginning of the
  judicial process
• Minimum age of 16
Statutory Exclusion-Specified Offenses
• Class A felonies or those requiring any of the
  following elements:
  – The use of a deadly weapon
  – Causing of death or serious injury
  – The use of dangerous weapons/instruments
    against any number of public officials or
    employees, police officers, correctional officers,
    judges, prosecutors, probation officers, jurors,
    witnesses, teachers, or Alabama public school
    employees
                       Cont…
• Capital Offenses: First
  Degree murder or
  murder with certain
  circumstances such as
  multiple, intentional,
  gun involvement,
  repeated offense, or
  rape
• Drug related offences:
  drug trafficking
 “Once an Adult, Always an Adult”
• When a transfer occurs to adult court by a
  criminal conviction or adjudication of a youth
  offender, the juvenile court jurisdiction is
  permanently terminated.
   How Juveniles get involved in the
               system
• -Every county in Alabama has a juvenile
  court
• -a delinquent can be defined as a child
  under the age of eighteen who has
  committed an offense, which would
  otherwise be called a crime if they were an
  adult
                  Continued..
• Any individual such
  as a law enforcement
  officer, parent,
  neighbor, or relative,
  who has knowledge
  of a juvenile who has
  committed a
  delinquent act, or is in
  need of supervision,
  may file a complaint
  with the juvenile court
- After the complaint is filed, a juvenile
  intake officer, also known as a probation
  officer, reviews the complaint to verify its
  validity and decides whether a formal
  petition needs to be filed with the court
- The child and parents are informed of their
  rights
- The parents have the right to be made
  parties in all juvenile court action taken
- If the juvenile is detained, the hearing
  must be held within seventy-two hours of
  detainment.

- When the hearing is held, the judge must
  determine whether the juvenile can be
  released to the care of his parents, or
  whether he should be held in a detention
  center or shelter.
              Informal Adjustment
- The intake officer may hold off with filing a formal petition, and
  with consent from the parent and child, hold formal counseling
  with the intake officer or other appropriate persons which in
  some cases may be the judge
- the parents or guardians can consent to place the juvenile
  temporarily with someone other than the parents for up to six
  months.
- The intake officer has the choice to terminate the informal
  adjustment and dismiss the juvenile without further
  proceedings, or terminate the informal adjustment process if
  the juvenile fails to attend scheduled counseling or receives
  information which shows evidence that this is not in best
  interest of the child.
- The informal adjustment can also be terminated if the juvenile
  or parent wishes to no longer participate in the process.
      CHINS and Consent Decree
- At any time after a petition is filed in the case of
  delinquency of a juvenile or child in need of
  supervision (CHINS), the juvenile court may
  suspend proceedings and may allow the child to
  be supervised under a consent decree.

- The consent decree is an arrangement made
  between the juvenile, the parents and the judge,
  where the juvenile is placed on probation for six
  months under certain terms and agreements. If
  the terms and conditions are broken, the case will
  proceed.
                     Hearings
- In Alabama, all juvenile proceedings are closed to
  the public
- Those present at the hearing include the judge,
  the juvenile, the juvenile’s defense attorney, the
  juvenile’s parents or guardians, the district
  attorney, the victims of the offense, and the
  juvenile’s probation officer.
- Testimonies will be taken
- The judge will decide at the end of the hearing if
  the facts in the petition are true and the child is
  delinquent or in need of supervision, or if the
  allegations are false which will result in a dismissal
  of the case.
   - If the juvenile is found to be a serious
        juvenile offender by committing a
     delinquent act which would have been
    classified as a Class A felony as an adult
   (felony resulting in serious physical injury,
  felony involving force, or a felony involving
      a deadly weapon) then the juvenile is
   required to spend a minimum of a year in
   the Department of Youth Services facility.
- At the end of the year the Department will
         determine extension of the term
       commitment or release of the child.
                Post Hearing
- If the Juvenile is found to be delinquent or in
  need of supervision, the court will hold a
  disposition hearing
- The court may require the juvenile to
  complete community service, be placed on
  probation, or pay restitution and/or be
  referred to the Department of Youth Services
- The court may require the juvenile to
  complete community service, be placed on
  probation, or pay restitution. The juvenile
  may be referred to the Department of Youth
  Services
• Ashley Jones, and her 16 year old boyfriend,Geramie
  Hart Murdered her Grandfather and Aunt, and
  brutally harmed and tortured her Grandmother and
  10 year old sister.
• After Ashley and her boyfriend killed her
  family, they went to the Parkway Inn in
  Roebuck, where police arrested them.
• Ashley was found guilty in a criminal court on
  two accounts of capital murder and two
  accounts of attempted murder.
• Ashley is sentenced to life in prison without
  parole.
                          Works Cited
•   National Center for Juvenile Justice. 2006. "Alabama." State Juvenile Justice
    Profiles. Pittsburgh, PA: NCJJ. Online. Available:
    http://www.ncjj.org/stateprofiles/.
•   JJustice.org - home. 13 Apr. 2009
    <http://www.jjustice.org/pdf/Advances%20in%20Juvenile%20Justice%20Refor
    m%202007-2008.pdf>.

•   The National Center for State Courts - Home Page. 13 Apr. 2009
    <http://www.ncsconline.org/wc/CourTopics/ResourceGuide.asp?topic=JuvJus>.
•   National Criminal Justice Reference Service. 13 Apr. 2009
    <http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/180864.pdf>.
•   Prison Fellowship. 13 Apr. 2009
    <http://www.pfm.org/media/justicefellowship/Docs/JJDPA%20Fact%20Book.p
    df>.

				
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posted:12/31/2011
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