Juvenile Justice System
Taxpayers save $2 million for each child who is
prevented from beginning a life of crime
20% of teens live in poverty
50% of teens will witness a divorce
40% of teens grow up without a father
70% of long term prison inmates grew up in broken
It costs society $39,000/year to keep a youth in a
Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among teens
1 teen commits suicide every 100 minutes
70 percent of girls in the juvenile justice system have
histories of physical abuse
Girls under 18 are the fastest growing segment of the
juvenile justice population.
SOURCES: Vanderbilt University; the Office of Juvenile
Justice and Delinquency Prevention; American Youth Policy
Forum; and the Coalition for Juvenile Justice.
Young offenders will not be detained in a juvenile facility as long as
they meet regularly with a probation officer and live up to the terms of
their probation (e.g. avoid illegal conduct, attend school or hold down
a job). Probation typically lasts for a year, but can be longer
An official who receives, reviews, and processes cases in which a
young person is alleged to have committed an offense. The
intake officer can recommend either handling the case informally
or scheduling the case for a hearing in juvenile court. The intake
officer may also provide referrals for juveniles and their families to
other community agencies.
Youth who engage in behavior—breaking curfew, running away
from home, truancy—which if committed by adults, would not be
considered criminal. In other words, it is the youth's minor status
which makes the action a violation of law.
C.H.I.P.S , J.I.P.S
Child in need of protection and services
Children can be found to be in need of supervision for behaviors such
as being out of control and truancy without necessarily committing a
Children can be found to be in need of assistance if the child’s parents
or guardian’s are unable or unwilling to give necessary and proper care
to the juvenile
GUARDIAN AD LITEM
If a child is under 12 or the court has special reasons for concern about a
child, the court will
appoint a guardian ad litem (GAL) for the child. The GAL is a private
attorney who has contracted
with Dane County to serve as GAL in juvenile cases. The parents do not
have to pay for the GAL.
The GAL acts as a lawyer for the child, but instead of always advocating for
what the child wants, the
GAL advocates for what is best for the child.
A hearing held if a juvenile is considered dangerous or his/her well-
being is threatened at which time the court decides whether the
juvenile should be detained or released from custody. Analogous to a
pre-trial release or bail hearing.
A hearing held to determine whether or not the child will be
found to be delinquent. Analogous to an adult criminal trial.
If the juvenile is found to be delinquent, the judge will hold
this hearing to review the juveniles history and determine
what action the court will take. Analogous to adult criminal
If youth complete conditions for 6-12 months, all charges will be
Independence of a minor from his or her parents before reaching
age of majority (18).
Repetition of criminal behavior.
Removing a youth found to have committed an offense from the home and
placing him or her elsewhere for a specified period of time, such as in a
juvenile or other facility.
Control, supervision, and care exercised over youth after they leave
community-based programs or are released from juvenile
facilities. Aftercare may include probation, counseling, enrollment in
a community program, or other forms of treatment. Aftercare
services are designed to support young people's return to their
families and communities and to lessen the chance that they will get
in trouble again.
Juvenile vs. Adult
Juvenile Justice System Adult System
Delinquent Act Crime
Adjudication Hearing Trial
Found Delinquent Convicted/Guilty
Runaway, Abuse, or Emergency
Neglect Shelter State Juvenile
Youth Arrested Intake Detention Adjudicatory Disposition
Or Detained Officer Hearing Hearing Hearing
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5
The steps can end at
any time once a teen
Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act
Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders. This requirement specifies that non-secure alternatives
must be found for juveniles who are charged with or who have committed acts that would not be
against the law if committed by an adult.
Sight and Sound Separation. This requirement states that juveniles being securely detained must
be “sight and sound” separate from adult detainees (including trusties).
Jail Removal. This requirement stipulates that no juvenile shall be detained or confined in any adult
jail or lockup. The following exceptions are made:
Juveniles accused of a crime may be held for up to six hours for processing.
Juveniles awaiting a court hearing may be locked up to 6 hours prior to and up to 6 hours after the
hearing to facilitate the hearing process and transport to placement.
Juveniles waived to adult court may be detained because they are no longer under the jurisdiction of
the JJDP Act.
Disproportionate Minority Confinement. If the number of juveniles from minority groups who are
confined in secure detention facilities exceeds the proportion such groups represent in the general
population, then such confinements should be addressed .
Mental Health Programs
Every day only 1/3 of youth who need Between 50 to 75 percent of incarcerated
mental health interventions receive youth have diagnosable mental health
Youth suicides in juvenile detention and
Twenty percent of all youth experience correctional facilities are more than four times
mental health problems to varying greater than youth suicides in the general
degrees during childhood. public.
Suicide is the third leading cause of Incarcerated African American youth are less
death for 15-to-24-year-olds. likely than their white peers to have previously
received mental health services.
Every year, mental health disorders cost Nearly 60 percent of female juvenile offenders
the United States more than $150 billion had symptoms that were diagnosed as an
for treatment, social services, disability Anxiety Disorder, as compared to 32 percent
payments, lost productivity and among boys.
Facts to Consider
Latinos represent the country’s largest minority •Delinquent girls have often experienced physical,
group. With a population over 35 million, they emotional and sexual abuse, as well as have family
problems. Many suffer from physical and mental
comprise 12.5% of the national population.
disorders and/or endure academic failure.
•Forty to 73 percent of girls in the juvenile court
Currently, 35% of Latinos are under age 18. They system have been physically abused. In the
comprise 17% of the national youth population. general United States population, 26 percent of
teenaged girls report physical abuse.
Twenty-one percent of married Latinos with •Girls are three times more likely than boys to be
children lived in poverty in 1997, compared with sexually abused, and sexual abuse has been
six percent of white and nine percent of black recognized as a cause of mental health disorders.
families. Sexual abuse is also related to increased truancy,
prostitution and violence, among other destructive
More Latino youth (11.4%) ages 12-17 use illicit
drugs than their white (10.9%) or black (10.7%) •In early adolescence, the incidence of depression
peers rises significantly among girls, but not among boys;
depression is a much stronger predictor of
delinquency for girls than boys.