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Public Attitude Toward Juvenile Offenders Changes


During the 1980s, public perceptions about juvenile offenders and the juvenile justice system begin to change dramatically. Offenders increasingly are viewed as predators who needed punishment, and that the juvenile justice system is too lenient. As a result in the 1990s, state legislatures throughout the country take major steps to change how juvenile justice works. Between 1992 and 1997, virtually every state enacts changes in one or more of the following areas:

    • Making it easier to transfer juveniles to the adult criminal justice system.
    • Giving greater sentencing authority to criminal and juvenile courts.
    • Easing or eliminating confidentiality requirements for juvenile proceedings and records.
    • Giving victims a greater role in juvenile proceedings.