If you have issues viewing or accessing this file, please contact us at NCJRS.gov.
U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
A Juvenile Justice System for the 21 st Centu ry
The growth of violent juvenile crime over the past decade has stirred signifi,ate on the viability and effecof this Nation's juvenile justice system. Between 1988 and 1994, juvenile arrests for violent crimes increased more than 50 percent. These increases have strained the juvenile justice system beyond capacity, from intake and detention to court and correctional services. The result, in many jurisdictions, is a system that does not consistently serve the public safety, hold juveniles accountable, or meet the treatment and rehabilitation needs of each juvenile offender. With generally inadequate funding and fluctuating public support, the juvenile justice system has fallen short of meeting the challenge presented during the past decade. Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice announced new national statistics showing a decline in arrests for juvenile violent crime (6 percent), led by a decline in murder arrests (14 percent), between 1995 and 1996. While this is a promising sign, juvenile violence remains unacceptably high. As the 100th anniversary of the juvenile court approaches, it is time to examine how the juvenile justice system can operate more effectively to reduce juvenile crime, particularly violent crime, and meet system goals. The juvenile justice system needs to be revitalized so that it will ensure immediate and appropriate sanctions, provide effective treatment, reverse trends in juvenile violence, and rebuild public confidence in and support for the system. Since the first juvenile court was established in Chicago, 1L, in 1899, a variety of strategies have been pursued to address the particular issues posed by juvenile offenders. Results have been mixed. Young people need to know that if...