urban economics homework
urban economics homework and choose “San Antonio” as the topic city.
Chapter 8 The Juvenile in Court u• judges, at least theoretically, query young defendants seeking to plead guilty in order to as-certain that the pleas are “intelligent,” “voluntary” and “accurate” before accepting them. The balance of the chapter concentrates on juvenile court disposition, or what is in-creasingly given the same label as its criminal court counterpart—sentencing. In a second selection by Barry C. Feld we are introduced to the variety of juvenile court sentencing arrangements, from the traditional indeterminate approach allowing the judge to tailor the disposition to suit the treatment needs of the individual offender, to determinate sentenc-ing structures, mandatory minimum terms of confinement, and other statutory schemes that limit the judge’s discretion by specifying fixed or presumptive sentences based on the seriousness of the offense and the child’s prior record. Feld also reviews the research on ju-venile court sentencing, noting in particular the influence of offense-based factors (i.e., cur-rent offense and prior record) and the race of the child on dispositions. Finally, one of the newest and most controversial twists on juvenile dispositions—blended sentencing—is introduced in the classic discussion, by Patricia Torbet and several of her colleagues at the National Center for Juvenile Justice, of five distinctive “blends” of juvenile and adult sanctions. Similar in some respects to the transfer provisions discussed in Chapter 7, the blended sentencing structures variously authorize a juvenile court judge or a criminal court judge (in cases involving juveniles who have already been transferred to adult criminal court) to impose a sanction involving the juvenile correctional system, the adult correctional system, or both.
No Matter How Loud I Shout
“The first thing you learn about this place,” Deputy District Attorney Peggy Beckstrand says as she conducts a brief tour of the battered juvenile courthouse she helps run, “is that noth-ing works.” It is 8:25 in the morning, a cold winter day, the sky as gray as an old skillet, an in-termittent, muffled roar occasionally filtering into the building from somewhere outside—the steady stream of fat, full jetliners on the final approach to LAX one freeway exit to the Source: Excerpted with permission of Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group from NO MATTER HOW LOUD I SHOUT: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court by Edward Humes. Copyright © 1996 by Edward Humes.
No Matter How Loud I Shout
south. Inside, the locks on the courtroom doors are snicking back, fresh piles of manila-covered court files are being placed on the judge’s benches, lawyers are wading through the hundreds of kids and parents and witnesses gathered in the courthouse today, looking for a client they’ve never met, a witness they’ve never spoken to, a parent who can’t believe his or her child is a criminal, evidence be damned. Dirty mint-green buses with metal cages in-side them are lumbering toward court from LA’s three enormous juvenile halls, carrying boys and girls wearing color-coded county-issue shirts and jeans, the color indicating their proclivity for violence or escape. The baddest kids sport coveralls in neon orange; their par-ents—those lucky enough to have a mom or dad interested enough to attend their court appearances—grip crumpled brown paper sacks with street clothes inside, hoping for an early release. In five minutes, court will be called into session, and the atmosphere is charged with a sweaty, anxious expectation, as if the entire building were a crowded eleva-tor stuck between floors. “We’re drowning,” Beckstrand flatly announces. She looks taller than her five feet six inches, due in part to her textbook posture. Exceedingly pale, with very long, very straight brown-blond hair, Beckstrand, a former Montessori teacher with a ribald sense of humor, enjoys a reputation for toughness that has left her decidedly unloved—and once sued—by her counterpart in the Public Defender’s Office. “Look around,” she says of the chaos swirling in the hallways. “It just isn’t working.” She is not talking about the physical state of the place—the cracked and broken fix-tures or the dysfunctional water coolers that dispense brackish water at body tempera-ture—but of the juvenile system’s broader failings, the constant aura of futility that leaves this career prosecutor regularly muttering about walking away from it all. She is not the only one. Many who work these halls have heard about the new study circulating through the system that shows, among other things, that the Juvenile Court squanders most of its time and energy, focusing on the kids who are beyond redemption while ignoring the chil-dren who could best be helped. “As if we needed a study to tell us the obvious,” she says. Throughout the bureaucracy, everyone is buzzing about this study, expecting—or fearing—that it will bring massive and fundamental reform to a place that has not changed in many positive ways since the 1960s, and shows it. Beckstrand, for one, says she would welcome a shake-up, but she openly doubts the system’s ability to break its tired patterns. Her voice sounds just as tired. “We’re not reha-bilitating these kids, and we’re sure as hell not punishing them. They can get away with murder here, and they know it. The law-breakers are winning, and we—society, those of us who obey the rules—are losing.” A young prosecutor she supervises grabs Beckstrand then, asking her to resolve one of the crises that erupt here hourly, and they disappear into a courtroom together. They pass without a glance a deputy public defender huddled on a bench with the mother of a men-tally ill girl who has been charged with attempted murder after voices in her head instructed her to attack her sister with a machete. The mother is crying and shaking her head as the young lawyer explains why it will be difficult to keep the girl from being transferred to the harsh confines of adult court, due to the severity of the accusations against her and the fact that she is past sixteen years of age. “She really needs help and belongs here in Juvenile, and
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