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Forum on Deinstitutionalization - Selected Readings on Children in Adult Jails and Lockups

NCJ Number
Date Published
89 pages
This compendium of recent literature and research on children in adult jails and lockups is intended for use by individuals and organizations seeking to eliminate the practice.
The first of the compendium's eight articles argues that removing juveniles from adult institutions should be a national priority. It states that this effort should be based on three precepts: objective criteria for placing juveniles in a residential program, use of the least restrictive setting possible, and consideration of the juvenile's needs. The second article analyzes the relationship between lawsuits and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). Lawsuits, which should be used as a strategy of last resort, may be based on lack of effort at deinstitutionalization, on lack of sight and sound separation of juveniles and adults, and on inadequate monitoring. An Office of Juvenile Justice and Deliquency Prevention position paper recommends amending the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act to require removal of children from adult jails and institutions. In the next article, the National Coalition for Jail Reform endorses the goal that no child should be held in an adult jail and presents data supporting this position. The following essay examines the jailing of children in Florida, based on a survey of the State's 211 county and municipal jails. A rationale and operating procedures for a juvenile services center that would provide comprehensive intake services is presented in another article. The seventh paper is followed by a citizens' action guide to effect removal of children from adult jails. In the final contribution, a U.S. Congressman presents a series of questions and answers regarding a proposed JJDPA amendment requiring that juveniles not be detained in jails and lockups.