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The Juvenile Justice System

NASW Law Note

The Juvenile Justice System

NASW General Counsel, NASW Legal Defense Fund

ISBN: 978-0-87101-416-0. 2010. Item #4160. 54 pages.


Paperback $22.99

The Juvenile Justice System is part of a series of General Counsel Law Notes written with the support of the NASW Legal Defense Fund.

This Law Note summarizes the broad legal issues relative to social work practice within the juvenile justice system and includes

  • an overview of the historical development of the juvenile justice system in the United States;
  • a review of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA);
  • a summary of the evolution of constitutional due process rights in delinquency proceedings;
  • a discussion of the legal, ethical, and moral issues related to capital punishment and life without parole;
  • a description of state adjudication of juvenile offenders and federal funding thresholds;
  • a summary of the development and distinguishing features of mental health and drug courts; and
  • a discussion of the admissibility of social workers’ testimony in delinquency proceedings.

The Juvenile Justice System offers an introduction to the means by which social workers bring positive change to the juvenile justice system and is not intended as a substitute for consultation with an attorney with regard to state and local laws that are relevant to specific legal questions.

The NASW General Counsel Law Note series provides information to social workers about legal topics of concern to the social work profession. The Law Notes are developed with the support and financial assistance of the NASW Legal Defense Fund (LDF). Contents vary by title, but generally include legal information, civil procedure, contracts, legal methods, and glossaries. Checklists, timetables, case law, and other resources help social workers understand and exercise their legal rights and responsibilities as well as the rights and responsibilities of their clients.