Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act

Juvenile Justice And Delinquency Prevention Act

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act

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The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 is a United States federal law providing funds to states that follow a series of federal protections, known as the "core protections," on the care and treatment of youth in the justice system. The four "core protections" of the act are:

  • Deinstitutionalization of Status Offenders (DSO) -- the deinstitutionalization of status offenders and non-offenders requires that youth who are runaways, truants or curfew violators cannot be detained in juvenile detention facilities or adult jails;


  • "Sight and Sound" -- The "Sight and Sound" separation protection disallows contact between juvenile and adult offenders (i.e. if juveniles are put in an adult jail or lock up under the limited circumstances the law allows for, they must be separated from adult inmates);


  • "Jail Removal" -- The "Jail Removal" disallows the placement of youth in adult jails and lock ups except under very limited circumstances;


  • Disproportionate Minority Confinement (DMC) -- The DMC provision requires states to address the issue of over-representation of youth of color in the justice system.


The "DSO" and "Sight and Sound" protections were part of the original law in 1974. The "Jail Removal" provision was added in 1980 in response to finding youth incarcerated in adult facilities resulted in "a high suicide rate, physical, mental, and sexual assault,...
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