Juvenile Justice Reform: DOJ Report on Delays in Case Processing

juvenile-justice-reform_delays-in-youth-justice_skeletonDid you know that juveniles don't have the right to a speedy trial under the U.S. Constitution? (Adults do.)
But given teens' developmental need for a clear connection between their behavior and its consequences -- not to mention the importance of addressing the needs of victims -- it's important for their cases to be processed as quickly as possible. 
Yet the time it took juvenile courts to process cases went up by 10% between 1995 and 2004, even though the number of cases dropped eight percent during the same time period. Obviously, that's not good. 
What's going on? For answers, check out a new Department of Justice (DOJ) report, Delays in Youth Justice, by Jeffrey Butts, Gretchen Ruth Cusick, and Benjamin Adams. It was produced under the auspices of the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago.

Here's a quick summary:

"[The] study reviews the literature on court processing delay and the types of delay that most often affect delinquency cases in juvenile and family courts. It places the concept of court delay in a legal, social, and organizational context and describes the wide range of approaches used to prevent or control unwanted delay, including legislation, court rules, and professional standards. The analysis also describes the results of three case studies conducted in juvenile courts in the American Midwest: Hamilton County (Cincinnati, Ohio); Kent County (Grand Rapids, Michigan); and Peoria County (Peoria, Illinois). These jurisdictions were selected because they each used a different approach to controlling and reducing unwanted juvenile court delays and they were all regarded as effective by their peers ..."

The report's definitely worth a look. Talk about a juvenile justice reform all of us can support ...
Photo from the Powerhouse Museum Collection.

Updated: February 08 2018