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7 Crim. Just. Pol'y Rev. 1 (1995)

handle is hein.journals/cjpr7 and id is 1 raw text is: 


CJPR, VOL. 7, NO. 1/95, pp. 1-26
©IUP






How Parents can Affect the Processing
of Delinquents in the Juvenile Court



Joseph B. Sanborn, Jr., Ph.D.
University of Central Florida

Abstract

    Parents play a critical role in juvenile court proceedings. Nevertheless,
precisely what parents should do in this forum has been ignored in the
literature. In this study 100 personnel (judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys
and probation officers) from three juvenile courts (urban, suburban and rural)
were interviewed to determine how parents impact the proceedings and to
identify  problems created by their participation. The data suggest that
solutions to these problems will be difficult, and perhaps impossible, to
implement.


I. Introduction: The Problem in Perspective

    Parents would seem to be significant actors in the juvenile court process.
Incredibly, however, most contemporary textbooks ignore the connection
between these individuals and the juvenile court (see, e.g., Binder, Geis and
Bruce 1988; Bortner 1988; Cox and Conrad 1991; Drowns and Hess 1990; Lotz,
Poole and Regoli 1985; Rogers and Mays 1987; Siegel and Senna 1994;
Simonsen 1991; Whitebread and Lab 1990).
    Juvenile justice literature has focused upon the parents in three contexts',
only the first of which has involved empirical research. Grisso and Ring
(1979) examined the dynamics of parents' interaction with their children during
the police interrogation stage. They found that many parents encouraged
youths to surrender their rights to silence and to counsel. (Id.: 213; see, also,
Grisso and Pomicter 1977). Relatedly, other research has disclosed that
juveniles do not fully comprehend the nature and significance of their
constitutional rights (Ferguson and Douglas 1970; Grisso 1980, 1981; Holtz
1987).
    Other commentators have observed that the legislatures and courts have
divided in determining the standards that should control the police during

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