The most commonly used method allowing status offender incarceration is a clause of the JJDPA
known as the Valid Court Order (VCO) exception.
conditions of the JJDPA
; by the 21 st century and as recently as 2016,
(88.) See BENTON ET AL., supra note 85, at 2 (discussing the requirements under the JJDPA
that a status offender be interviewed within 24 hours of being detained by someone who is not a part of the court or law enforcement agency, that the interviewer submit a report to the court that assesses whether less-restrictive settings had been considered, and that the court release the youth from detention pending a violation heating unless it was shown that continued detention was necessary for protective purposes or to assure the juvenile's appearance in court).
Recognizing that status offenders were treated differently from delinquents and denied access to certain legal rights, in 1974 Congress passed the JJDPA
. (118) Among its requirements, the JJDPA
federally mandated the deinstitutionalization of status offenders.
An unfortunate alternative to compliance with the JJDPA
is to try youth as adults.
Regardless of whether the influx of punitive polices has led to a complete erosion of the parens patriae principle, a broader social tension exists concerning the suitability of juvenile court for certain juvenile crimes, as evidenced in taglines such as "adult crime, adult time." To use the framework of the current JJDPA
authorization, this tension is often manifested as an attempt to discriminate between juveniles who are "amenable" to prevention programs and those whose actions demonstrate adult culpability and must be held "accountable." The first approach of the JJDPA
, "quality prevention programs," is associated with the discourse of rehabilitation that marks the advent of the juvenile court.
In 1980, the JJDPA
was amended to exclude juvenile violations of a "valid court order" from the deinstitutionalization requirement for status offenders.
Congress's enactment of the JJDPA
was also motivated in part by the haphazard way in which the federal government had previously been attempting to alleviate the problem of juvenile delinquency.
To offset this increase, the cosponsors proposed a reduction in the spending for the JJDPA
prevention programs from $95 million to $45 million.
Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention "has a broad mandate under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA
) of 1974 to support statewide, data-driven reform of juvenile justice systems to better meet the needs of youth, families, and communities." Id.
Indeed, since the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA
) was passed in 1974, Washington has often played a vital role in setting minimum standards, conducting and disseminating research on best practices, and providing funding to help states and localities improve their juvenile systems.
That question is timely because Congress soon will be reauthorizing the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA