Copyright
United States. Congress. House. Committee on the J.

Treatment of juveniles in the criminal justice system : hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, July 14, 1994 online

. (page 1 of 16)
Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JTreatment of juveniles in the criminal justice system : hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, July 14, 1994 → online text (page 1 of 16)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


y H . a~ &^ J L



/ai/(f^-



KF

. i. t a.

1995



TREATMENT OF JUVENILES IN THE
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM



HEARING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON
CRIME AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



JULY 14, 1994



Serial No. 85



GOVT,

DEPOSIT




RECEIVED



APR t 2.J3



80ST :)N PUBLIC ilBRARY

GOVERNA ENT DOCUMENTS r-EPARTMl;.-;



HAMPDEN UW UBRART



ftiiiLcQ ftjl lliy U^y m IM L&mhlttee on the Judiciary



85-752



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1995



KF
97S3
.T71
1995



TREATMENT OF JUVENILES IN THE
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM



HEARING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON
CRIME AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED THIRD CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION



JULY 14, 1994



Serial No. 85



GOVT,

DEPOSir




RECEIVED



K- R ? 3 P^S




BOST )N PUBLIC ilSRARY

GOV£RN^ ENT DOCUMENTS rSPARTMt;;;



HAMPDEN LAW UBRART



f'fiiiteil Aji Lliy uye W tflfi ITBBRflffeeon the Judiciary



85-752



U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1995



Congress



DON EDWARD
JOHN CONYEl
ROMANO L. M
WILLIAM J. HI
MIKE SYNAR,
PATRICL\ SCH
DAN GLICKM/
BARNEY FRA^
CHARLES E. S
HOWARD L. Bl
RICK BOUCHE
JOHN BRYAN!
GEORGE E. SA
CRAIG A. WAS
JACK REED, R
JERROLD NAD
ROBERT C. SC'
DAVID MANN,
MELVIN L. WA
XAVIER BECEI



KF 97 SS .T71 1995
United States.

House. Camnrittee on the
Treatuvent of juveniles in

the criminal justice system



DATE DUE







































































































DON EDWARD,
JOHN CONYEF
ROMANO L. M
DAN GLICKMA
GEORGE E. SA
CRAIG A. was:
DAVID MANN,



HAMPDEN LAW LIBRARY

50 State St, P.O. Box 559

Springfield, MA 01102-0559

(413) 748-7923



DEMCO



CONTENTS



HEARING DATE



Page
July 14, 1994 1

OPENING STATEMENT

Schumer, Hon. Charles E., a Representative in Congress from the State
of New York, and chairman, Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Jus-
tice 1

WITNESSES

Krisberg, Dr. Barry, president, National Council on Crime and Delin-
quency 12^

Loughran, Edward J., director, Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, National Juve-
nile Justice Project 145

Mitchell, David B., judge, Circuit Court for Baltimore City 90

Murphy, Patrick, Cook County public guardian 75

Reinharz, Peter, chief. Family Court Division, New York City Law Depart-
ment •••• • ••••••; '40

Thomberry, Dr. Terence P., professor, School of Criminal Justice, and direc-
tor, Rochester Youth Development Study, the University at Albany 121

Wallace, Jo-Ann, director. Public Defender Service for the District of Colum-
bia 55

Wilson, John J., Acting Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delin-
quency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice 5

LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING

Krisberg, Dr. Barry, president. National Council on Crime and Delinquency:

Prepared statement 133

Loughran, Edward J., director, Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, National Juve-
nile Justice Project: Prepared statement 147

Mitchell, David B., judge, Circuit Court for Baltimore City: Prepared state-
ment 92

Murphy, Patrick, Cook County public guardian: Prepared statement 77

Reinharz, Peter, chief. Family Court Division, New York City Law Depart-
ment: Prepared statement 43

Thomberry, Dr. Terence P., professor. School of Criminal Justice, and direc-
tor, Rochester Youth Development Study, the University at Albany:
Prepared statement 118

Wallace, Jo-Ann, director. Public Defender Service for the District of Colum-
bia:

Length of incarceration for releases from the California Youth Authority

and California Department of Corrections, 1992 115

Prepared statement ••••• 57

Wilson, John J., Acting Administrator, Oflice of Juvenile Justice and Delin-
quency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice: Prepared statement 9

APPENDIX
Material submitted for the hearing 165

(III)



TREATMENT OF JUVENILES IN THE
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM



THURSDAY, JULY 14, 1994

House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice,

Committee on the Judiciary,

Washington, DC.

The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room
2226, Raybum House Office Building, Hon. Charles E. Schumer
(chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.

Present: Representatives Charles E. Schumer, Romano L.
Mazzoli, F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., and Steven Schiff.

Also present: Representative Robert Scott.

Staff present: David Yassky, counsel; Melanie Sloan, assistant
counsel; Rachel Jacobson, secretary; Victoria Shabo, secretary; and
Andrew Cowin, minority counsel.

OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN SCHUMER

Mr. Schumer. The hearing will* come to order. The Chair has re-
ceived a request to cover this hearing in whole or in part by tele-
vision broadcast, radio broadcast, film, photography or other simi-
lEir methods. In accordance with committee rule 5, permission will
be granted unless there is objection.

Without objection.

Good morning, everybody. Today we are here to discuss one of
the most serious problems affecting our criminal justice system,
which is juvenile crime.

By reading newspaper headlines or watching the evening news,
you would think we were living in Clockwork Orange come to life.
Neither Stanley Kubrik nor Steven King could have dreamed up
more heinous crimes or more vicious killers than those stalking our
streets today.

Just last month in Brooklyn, half a mile from my home, a 15-
year-old killed a high school drama teacher for his bike; the teacher
was shot in the back while trying to get away.

Last year in New York, a 15-year-old looked out his apartment
window, pointed his .22 and fired, killing a 64-year-old grand-
mother, a pillar of the community, who just happened to be passing
by.

Last December in Texas, five gang members shot at some teens
who would not let them pass on a mall escalator. In the ensuing
hysteria, a man eating in the food court was killed.

(1)



And in 1992, a Florida teenager shot three people and stabbed
another person in a fast food restaurant leaving one person dead.
The reason he gave: He had "a boring day."

On a highway in Washington, DC, a 19-year-old leaned out of his
car window and shot and killed a woman traveling in another car.
He explained: I felt like killing somebody.

Kids will kill for leather jackets, for tennis shoes, for jewelry, and
for no reason at all.

The statistics are frightening. Close to one-fifth of all violent
crime, one-fifth, is committed by kids under 18. Between 1987 and
1992, the number of arrests of juveniles increased by 150 percent,
twice the increase for persons 18 years of age and older. Even more
alarmingly, juvenile arrest for murder increased by 85 percent,
compared with 21 percent for those 18 and older.

The estimated 122,900 violent crime arrests of juveniles in 1991
was the highest number in history, with 23,400 arrests for murder,
6,300 arrests for forcible rape, 44,500 arrests for robbery, and
68,700 arrests for aggravated assault.

Juveniles' use of guns in homicides increased from 64 percent to
78 percent between 1987 and 1991. During this time juvenile ar-
rests for weapons violations increased 62 percent. In 1991, the
nearly 50,000 juvenile weapons arrests accounted for more than
one in five weapons arrests.

In 1990, one in five high school students reported carrying a.
weapon somewhere within the past month. One in twenty had car-
ried a gun.

Now, we can all remember a time when a juvenile delinquent
was a kid who skipped school, smoked cigarettes, or maybe threw
eggs at cars.

Today, juvenile delinquents are carjackers, rapists and mur-
derers.

Our laws need to reflect the problems we are facing, and it has
become apparent that our method of dealing with juveniles who
break the law isn't working. Laws originally designed to deal with
kids charged with graffiti are now being applied to kids charged
with murder.

Our society must appropriately punish juveniles who commit se-
rious crimes. Kids, like adults, need to understand that if you com-
mit a crime, you will do time.

But what sentences are reasonable for juveniles who commit seri-
ous crimes? Will longer sentences actually deter juveniles from
committing crimes? Should a 12-year-old who commits armed rob-
bery receive the exact same sentence as a 24-year-old?

Should a 15-year-old be convicted under a three-time-loser provi-
sion spend the rest of his life in jail?

These are questions for which we need answers. And in a series
of upcoming hearings we will try to answer them. But I do know
that punishment alone will not solve the problem. We need to re-
member that most juveniles who commit crimes will end up back
on the streets. Therefore, we have to learn how effectively to reha-
bilitate these kids. We can't leave them to prey upon new victims.
I don't believe that people, especially young kids, are not the
rehabilitable. We just don't know what works now.



So we have to explore the reasons why juvenile crime is burgeon-
ing. What are we doing wrong as a society that we are raising 12-
and 13 -year-old murderers? How do we determine which children
are at risk of becoming criminals and how do we stop it?

Any solution to the juvenile crime problem must be double-edged:
We need to prevent juvenile crime from occurring in the first place,
and then when a crime does occur, we need to apply appropriate
sanctions both to keep dangerous criminals off the streets and to
deter others from committing similar crimes.

We have convened today^s hearing so that the experts from
around the country can advise us as to how we should address the
Nation's juvenile crime problem. I hope the information we glean
from these experts will allow us to create smart, thoughtful, and
workable legislation to reform our laws as they relate to juveniles.

I will close on a note of urgency. The statistics I mentioned ear-
lier are terrible, but they are nothing compared to what we may
expect to see in the future if we do not gain control of this problem.

By the year 2005, the number of 15- to 19-year-olds, the most vi-
olence-prone age group, will increase by 23 percent. We need to
contain the juvenile crime problem now, before we create another,
larger generation of young criminals. With this hearing, we hope
to begin to tackle this problem.

Mr. Sensenbrenner.

Mr. Sensenbrenner. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to com-
mend Mr. Schumer and the majority staff for putting together this
important hearing on juvenile justice and for assembling such an
impressive group of witnesses. We should certainly be concerned
about the growing number of children who commit crimes, and the
outdated justice system that deals with them.

Nevertheless, I am a bit apprehensive. I get the feeling that
sometime after this testimony, maybe not tomorrow or maybe not
next week, but at some point someone will draft Federal legislation
purportedly aimed at solving the problem. If we have learned one
thing during the 30-year failure of Great Society programs, it is
that Congress doesn't solve social problems, it makes them worse.
That is why I introduced a crime bill that will cut the personal in-
come tax by 2 percent and send that money, about $55 billion over
the next 5 years, back to the States. The States can spend the
money on cops, prisons, prosecutors, or they can rebate the taxes
back to the taxpayers to use as they see fit.

When it comes to crime we should ask ourselves this question:
Who knows better how to stop crime, the local cops and prosecu-
tors, or a bunch of Congressmen sitting in Washington? The an-
swer is obvious, and it isn't Congress. So even if this distinguished
panel comes up with what seems like excellent ideas, and even if
we all agree that they are excellent, I would resist putting them
into Federal law. Ours is a big country and as distinguished as the
witnesses are, and as intelligent as some Congressmen may be, we
would still be better off letting the people throughout America and
the thousands of towns and cities and counties and in the 50 States
figure out how best to protect themselves.

Most important, we should cut the size of this bloated, overgrown
Federal Government so that they can afford to protect themselves.

Thank you.



Mr. SCHUMER. Thank you, Mr. Sensenbrenner.

Mr. Schiff.

Mr. Schiff. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to join my rank-
ing member, Congressman Sensenbrenner, in commending you for
holding this hearing. I agree that we can expect to hear from a
very impressive group of witnesses here today on this important
issue.

I have to, however express some concerns of my own. The first
is, you made numerous references, Mr. Chairman, in your opening
remarks to the use of firearms in crime. This suggests to me the
importance of holding a hearing that I have requested of you since
November on the subject of the Federal Government enforcing cur-
rent gun control laws.

I think not only this administration, but the previous two admin-
istrations, have not been strong enough in that enforcement, and
I can't understand why my request that — especially to you as a gun
control proponent — has gone unanswered in all of these months.

Second of all, I have a concern that although holding a hearing
is valid, I am really becoming concerned that Congress is becoming
nothing more than a discussion society and a photo opportunity
session on important issues. I think the testimony will come out
that the Federal Government basically does very little in the area
of juvenile crime prosecutions, and our role may well be to support
the local government in this area. The pending crime bill, both the
House and the Senate versions, include important support for State
and local government on this issue, as Congressman Sensen-
brenner has just emphasized, and has included an expansion of the
Federal role to work together.

But the crime bill isn't happening. We have not passed a crime
bill in the 3V2 years that I have been on the Judiciary Committee,
despite all of the carnage that is happening all around us.

And I do not want to take away from the importance of a hear-
ing. I don't want to suggest that a hearing has no place. I think
it does. But to have a series of hearings and to believe that that
in some way, all by itself, is accomplishing something, I think is
deceiving ourselves and, worst of all, deceiving the country.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.

Mr. ScHUMER. I thank the gentleman.

Just two brief things. First, as I mentioned to the gentlenian, I
believe our staffs are talking. I am interested in that hearing, I
think it is a good idea. I had said to the gentleman a long time ago
we would do it after the crime bill is finished, and hopefully the
crime bill will be finished by the August recess; but we will have
the hearing by the August recess regardless as to whether the
crime bill passes or not.

The second thing I would say is that if we pass this crime bill,
we will have had the Federal Government do more to fight crime
than at any time in history. To pass the crime bill, we held a series
of hearings on all of the bill's different ramifications. I believe that
helped us get a crime bill when in the past as the gentleman men-
tioned, no one could pass a crime bill. I hope that we can do the
same in the juvenile justice context.

The one place I have somewhat of a different thrust than my col-
leagues is that, I don't think my constituents care who accepts or



solves the crime problem, the local, State, or Federal governments.
The localities who are responsible for 95 to 98 percent of the crime
fighting have not been doing the greatest job. Otherwise, our con-
stituents wouldn't list crime as the No. 1 issue.

I personally have no problem, seeing that the Federal Grovem-
ment gets fully involved. It drives me crazy to know that people are
being mugged out there yet here in Washington we are having ar-
guments where people say we shouldn't do it, because someone else
will do it, despite the fact that we know dam well that someone
else is not fixing the problem. So that is just a different point of
view.

I would like now to call our first witness today, John Wilson.
Please come forward.

Oh, Mr. Scott, would you like to make an opening statement?

Mr. Scott. No, thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. SCHUMER. OK. Our first witness today will be John J. Wil-
son. He is the Acting Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Jus-
tice and Delinquency Prevention of the Justice Department.

Mr. Wilson, your entire statement will be read into the record,
and you may proceed as you wish.

STATEMENT OF JOHN J. WILSON, ACTING ADMINISTRATOR,
OFFICE OF JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVEN-
TION, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Mr. Wilson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I am pleased to have
this opportunity today to share with the subcommittee some of my
views on the problem of juvenile crime in our country and the re-
sponse of our juvenile and criminal justice systems. I also want to
address the measures that the Department of Justice is taking that
are designed to reduce violence by and against our Nation's youth,
and to improve the juvenile justice system.

I have submitted my full statement for the record with three doc-
uments which I would like to have included in the record. They are
OJJDP's comprehensive strategy to address serious violent and
chronic delinquency, a draft of the National Council on Crime and
Delinquency's report entitled, "Graduated Sanctions for Serious,
Violent and Chronic Juvenile Offenders," and an OJJDP bulletin
on the subject of "How Juveniles Get to Criminal Court."

At this time, I will briefly summarize my statement and then
would be pleased to respond to questions.

Today, the juvenile justice system in the United States stands at
a crossroads. The public is deeply concerned over increasing juve-
nile violence. We are also seeing sharp increases in juvenile victim-
ization. This is particularly significant because the research clearly
illustrates a link between juvenile victimization and subsequent
violent delinquency.

The chairman has noted some alarming juvenile crime statistics,
and I am going to briefly mention some others.

The FBI's 1992 Uniform Crime Report indicates that juveniles
accounted for 2.3 million arrests or 16 percent of the total arrests.
They accounted for one of every eight violent crimes; this includes
homicides, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults.



What is scaring the American pubUc, as the chairman noted, is
that the violence rate has increased significantly over the past 5
years, up 47 percent overall between 1988 and 1992 with the lead-
ing crime being murder, which is up 51 percent for juveniles. Yet
it is important to remember that most youths are law-abiding, solid
citizens. Less than one-half of 1 percent of all 10- to 17-year-olds
in the United States were arrested for a violent crime in 1992.

It is a small core, about 15 percent of high-risk youth, who ac-
count for 75 percent of the serious and violent juvenile crime and
on whom we need to focus.

In 1992, 1 of every 13 juveniles aged 12 to 17 was a violent crime
victim, accounting for 1.55 million victimizations, a 23.4-percent in-
crease over 1987. These youth, who represent only 10 percent of
the population, account for 25 percent of the violent crime victims.
In addition, an estimated 2.9 million children were reported abused
or neglected in 1993. Studies by Thomberry and Widom confirm
that abused children are twice as likely to become delinquent of-
fenders and that juveniles exposed to physical violence begin of-
fending earlier and are more involved in violent offending.

In 1993, it was estimated that over 1,300 children died as a re-
sult of child abuse or neglect, and as a member of the U.S. Advi-
sory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, I am sad to say that the
subject of our report for this year, on which we are currently hold-
ing hearings around the country, is child fatalities and child fatal-
ity review teams.

Why have violent crimes committed by and against juveniles in-
creased in recent years? The first factor that I believe is significant
is the negative impact of a variety of social changes that have oc-
curred over the past two decades. It is reflected in the withdra^yal
of juvenile resources and services from less affluent communities
and individuals in American society. It is reflected by increases in
the number of children living in poverty, by decaying cities with in-
adequate health and educational systems, substandard housing,
and a lack of job training and employment opportunities. Services
to support families and youth are often the first to be cut from
State and local budgets.

A second factor is family demographics, including a rampaging
divorce rate and more and younger unmarried mothers. The trend
toward single-parent households primarily headed by young women
and the great majority of whom must work full time to make ends
meet, has resulted in children who are given less parental atten-
tion and greater opportunities for engaging in at-risk behavior.

Third, the number of firearms on our streets has increased mark-
edly with guns being freely available to juveniles.

Fourth, we are seeing an increased presence of youth gangs, even
in smaller communities, around the country.

And the fifth factor is drugs. Juvenile arrests for heroin and co-
caine offenses are up dramatically, particularly from minority
youth.

States have reacted in a number of ways. A large number of ju-
veniles are being transferred or waived to the criminal justice sys-
tem. An estimated 9,700 juvenile delinquency cases were trans-
ferred to criminal court through judicial waivers in 1991; another



17,000 cases were direct-filed in criminal couri: by prosecutors in

1990.

In addition, some 176,000 cases involving youth under the age of
18 are tried in criminal court each year because they are defined
as adults under State laws that establish an age less than 18 as
the upper limit of original juvenile court jurisdiction.

Finally, a few thousand more juveniles are estimated to be tried
in criminal court each year under excluded offense statutes.

While recent legislative trends indicate that the States are in-
creasing their use of waiver and transfer mechanisms as a means
of getting tough on juveniles, there is a danger of losing sight of
the rehabilitative goals and capabilities of the juvenile justice sys-
tem. The trend to sending a larger number of juveniles to the
criminal justice system should be of concern because of its potential
impact on our ability to rehabilitate many thousands of young peo-
ple who can become productive members of our society.

I am concerned that waivers and transfers to criminal court of
large numbers of juveniles is a practice that may not be serving its
intended purposes. The wholesale transfer of juveniles to criminal
courts may not, in fact, offer the public protection in the long run
or result in increased accountability for juvenile offenders. My full
statement cites a number of studies on this issue.

States have experimented with a variety of responses to serious,
violent, and chronic delinquency. The juvenile justice system in this
country continues to be overburdened and lacks sufficient resources
to provide basic delinquency prevention, treatment, and rehabilita-
tion services to kids. Until those resources are available. States
may need to consider a dual approach to serious, violent, and
chronic offenders, continuing the practice of transferring those seri-
ous and violent offenders for whom there are no programs or serv-
ices while a system of graduated sanctions and a continuum of pro-
gram options is being developed.

While I believe there are no quick fixes to escalating juvenile vio-
lence, we can address this problem systematically and successfully.
The Clinton administration has called for a balance among crime
prevention, enforcement, and corrections in the crime bill. The At-
torney General has stressed the need for early intervention, calling
for family preservation programs, preventive medical care for chil-
dren and pregnant women, Educare programs for children of work-
ing parents, conflict resolution and drug education programs in
public schools, full service schools for at-risk youth, and truancy
prevention programs. The focus is on preventing youth crime and
violence from beginning its deadly cycle.


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Committee on the JTreatment of juveniles in the criminal justice system : hearing before the Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice of the Committee on the Judiciary, House of Representatives, One Hundred Third Congress, second session, July 14, 1994 → online text (page 1 of 16)