Juvenile Justice System in the 20th Century

Topics: 20th century, Juvenile delinquency, Children Pages: 2 (581 words) Published: July 19, 2012
Davina Fisher
Juvenile Justice System 20th Century
Professor Deborah White
Strayer University
6 April 2012

Juvenile Justice System 20th Century
The first juvenile court in this country was established in Cook County, Illinois, in 1899. Illinois passed the Juvenile Court Act of 1899, which established the Nation's first juvenile court. The British doctrine of parens patriae (the State as parent) was the rationale for the right of the State to intervene in the lives of children in a manner different from the way it intervenes in the lives of adults. The doctrine was interpreted to mean that, because children were not of full legal capacity, the State had the inherent power and responsibility to provide protection for children whose natural parents were not providing appropriate care or supervision. A key element was the focus on the welfare of the child. Thus, the delinquent child was also seen as in need of the court's benevolent intervention (Shay Bilchik) 1999.

The Juvenile Court was created in the early 20th century on the philosophy that children are inherently different from adults and it is the state’s responsibility to protect and rehabilitate young offenders (www.cjcj.org). The Juvenile Justice System was made up of three different models. The Traditional Model (1899 – 1960s) was brought on by the Illinois Juvenile Court Act of 1899. This law was established so juveniles can be tried separately from adults and that records be kept separately (Taylor, Robert & Fritsch, Eric 2011).

The Due Process Model of Juvenile Justice (1960s – 1980s) moved away from the idea that a child was property (Taylor, Robert & Fritsch, Eric 2011). A child was recognized as a person with rights under the Due Process Model. The Juvenile Justice System was getting out of hand as was not fulfilling its mission to rehabilitate juveniles. Criticisms of the juvenile justice system and the due process revolution resulted in reforms in both substantive and...
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