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Standards Relating to Juvenile Delinquency and Sanctions

NCJ Number
Date Published
60 pages
These juvenile justice standards defining juvenile delinquency and juvenile sanctions cover jurisdiction, general principles of liability, sanctions, and limits on the type and duration of delinquency sanctions.
The standards recommend complete repeal of all special offenses for juveniles, decriminalization of certain private offenses commonly included in State and local criminal codes (and thus applicable to juveniles by incorporation of those standards), tailoring of certain general principles of criminal law to reflect the special conditions and situations of juveniles, and creation of special grounds of justification and excuse applicable to juveniles. Preliminary principles discuss the purposes of a juvenile delinquency code, burden of proof, and discretionary dismissal. Standards for jurisdictions focus on age, offense, and elimination of uniquely juvenile offenses, and general principles of liability consider mens rea, consent, parental authority, and responsibility. The standards aim at substantial determinacy in delinquency sanctions by (1) describing three types of sanctions: custodial, conditional freedom, and nominal; (2) ranking juvenile offense categories according to the maximum penalties authorized for adult offenders; and (3) limiting the type and duration of sanction according to the category of offense, the prior record of the juvenile, and the severity of the sanction. Standards for limits on type and duration of delinquency sanctions deal with orders imposing sanctions, multiple juvenile offenses, and termination of orders imposing sanctions. Dissenting views are presented. A bibliography is not included.

Date Published: January 1, 1980