The juvenile court's power to waive jurisdiction which entails the transfer of juvenile offenders to adult courts presents a topic of longstanding controversy. It's rationale, one of protection of the public, has been labeled by the authors as untenable. Moreover, it is asserted that waiver of jurisdiction in such cases contravenes the very cornerstone of the juvenile court process--the doctrine of parens patriae. Three methods of transfer are seen to exist--legislative, prosecutorial, and judicial. Focusing on the latter, the authors posit an argument advocating the abrogation of the concept of waiver. Justification for this proposition is seen to flow from a presently inadequate and inappropriate adult system. It is theorized that the integration of juvenile offenders into the adult process produces adverse labeling, and enhances the likelihood of physical and emotional trauma. Additionally, it is suggested that requiring juvenile courts to hear cases that would otherwise be transferred would eliminate arbitrary decision- making in that regard, and would facilitate the diversion of status offenders to forms of treatment other than institutionalization.
John Gasper and Daniel Katkin
A Rationale For The Abolition Of The Juvenile Court's Power To Waive Jurisdiction ,
7 Pepp. L. Rev.
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