There is an increased problem in American society regarding juvenile delinquents. Persons less than 16 years of age cannot be adjudicated criminals and nearly 80% of persons convicted of serious crimes a adults were previous convicted of a lesser offense. However, these criminals were only previously considered juvenile delinquents and not adjudicated criminals. Rehabilitation has been the main focus when dealing with juvenile delinquency and juvenile courts have operated under the theory of 'best interests of the child' and 'parens patriae'. Unfortunately, family court hearings used to determine juvenile delinquency now contain the stigma of criminal proceedings rendering the theory of juvenile courts nearly dead. The problem is caused by these courts' inability to carry out their purposes and many new solutions are being proposed to fight this issue. Community based rehabilitation centers, quasi-judicial panels, expanding categories of juvenile delinquency, and creating more appropriate placement facilities are all proposed plans. While there are budgetary concerns, it is essential to proceed to try and solve the problem while keeping the best interests of the child at heart.
The Juvenile Offender - Where can we send him?,
2 Fordham Urb. L.J. 245
Available at: http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ulj/vol2/iss2/2