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the provisions regarding the court's disposition of a child by eliminating the permission to commit to any institution that may care for children within or without the State and substituting specific permission to commit to the Georgia State Reformatory, to the Georgia Training School for Girls, or to any other State institution already existing or hereafter to be established for the correction, reformation, or protection of children.
Outside of the two counties having juvenile courts there was formerly no special procedure in regard to delinquent minors, but certain provisions (not juvenile-court laws) permitted commitment of destitute, abandoned, and neglected children by the ordinary of the county; by the mayor, recorder, or other magistrate; or by the judge of the superior court or of a court of record.
1916 No 575 p 58 amending 1915 No 210 p 35. Compare Code 1914 (Civil) ss 2849, 2850, 2862.
Louisiana.-Provisions concerning procedure in juvenile cases are made State wide in their application. These formerly applied only to parishes containing an incorporated town of more than 7,000 population, unless the governor issued a proclamation extending them to a parish not in this classification, after receiving an application from the police jury of such parish. [Federal census of 1910: Fifty-three parishes without incorporated town or city of more than 7,000; 7 parishes with such town-Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Iberia, Orleans, Ouachita, Rapides.]
1916 A 13, adopted by popular vote Nov 7, 1916, repealing s 5 of art 118 of State constitution.
Maryland.-Provision is made for the organization of a "circuit court sitting in juvenile causes," with a specially designated judge, in each county of the State outside of Baltimore city. A special magistrate sitting in juvenile causes had been previously provided for Baltimore city, and the new law, State wide except for Baltimore city, follows closely the provisions of local laws passed in 1914 for Baltimore County and Harford County. It is not required that such a "circuit court sitting in juvenile causes" shall be organized, but the judges of each judicial circuit shall decide for the counties within their circuit. When such a court is organized it has jurisdiction exclusive of justices of the peace in all cases of trial or commitment to any juvenile institution of any dependent, delinquent, or neglected boy under 20 or girl under 18 years of age and plenary jurisdiction to hear and determine all cases of such children and to provide for their control and maintenance until they are 21 years of age. The definition of children subject to provisions of the act includes a child" who is feeble-minded or otherwise mentally deficient." The former procedure in regard to minors now brought under the jurisdiction of this act is changed by expressly giving to any resident
of the county or any agent of a society incorporated for the care of children the right of petition to initiate proceedings in cases of delinquent, dependent, or neglected children. Hearings and trials are to be conducted without regard to technicalities of procedure. No justice of the peace in any county in which a circuit court sitting in juvenile causes has been organized shall commit to jail any child under 14 years of age; such children if unable to give bail shall be committed, pending trial by the juvenile court, to the care of a probation officer or to the custody of some society or institution organized for the care of children.
A circuit court sitting in juvenile causes is required to keep separate records of juvenile cases, and to appoint one or more probation officers, either men or women, except that two adjacent counties may with the consent of the judges of their circuit or circuits arrange for a joint probation officer to serve both counties. The duties of probation officers specifically include taking charge of children before or after trial as the court may direct.
A minor charged by petition with a criminal offense may pray jury trial, but pending information, indictment, or trial by criminal procedure the juvenile court retains its powers over his person.
A circuit court sitting in juvenile causes has authority to leave at his home on probation any child whom it deems dependent, delinquent, or neglected, or to place him under custody of some agency or in an institution, State or otherwise, and to change its disposition of the child at its own discretion. The agency or institution to which a child is committed has the right to place him in a family home and in this case must visit him at least once in three months and report to the court. The court may require the parent or other person legally charged with the support of any dependent, neglected, or delinquent child to pay, in full or in part, the cost of maintaining the child and may assess against him the cost of proceedings. The cost of proceedings may not be assessed against the petitioner unless the court is satisfied that the case was instituted through prejudice or without reasonable grounds. Costs, except as thus specifically provided, are to be met by the county commissioners.
Any person willfully contributing to delinquency or dependency of a child or willfully neglecting a child for whose care or support he or she is responsible is guilty of a misdemeanor and "shall be fined or imprisoned, or both." [But compare 1916 C 674, summarized on page 32.]
The act expressly states that it confers additional powers and jurisdiction on the circuit courts and is not a substitute for other powers possessed by these courts under existing general or local laws. It repeals all laws or parts of laws in conflict with its provisions to the extent of the conflict but no further.
Power to commit to various institutions for delinquent minors was formerly lodged with circuit courts and with justices of the peace, except in certain counties where it was otherwise ordered in local laws. Under the new act justices of the peace retain their jurisdiction in counties for which no juvenile court is organized, and in these counties the forms of commitment by justices of the peace are not to be affected. A former provision for commitment of minors who are without proper guardianship (including definitions corresponding to present definitions of dependent and neglected children) gave jurisdiction to circuit courts and to justices of the peace concurrently, except in certain counties where it was otherwise ordered in local laws.
1916 C 326. See A C 1911 v 3 (1914) art 27 ss 343, 345, 414, 415, 418, 476, 477, 513-520, 540-550, 568-570, 589-591, 593-595, 602, 611-613, 616–622. Also A C 1911 v 1 (1911) art 42 ss 18-20. Compare 1916 C 674. For local laws, Baltimore County and Harford County, see 1914 C 171, 367.
Massachusetts.-Certain provisions concerning the trial and commitment of delinquent children, which are State wide in their application except as they have been specifically superseded by the Boston juvenile-court law, are amended. Juvenile cases must now be heard in rooms not used for criminal trials, and unless a separate juvenilecourt room is provided, hearings shall, so far as possible, be in chambers. The court has power to exclude all persons who have no direct interest in the case. The former provisions applying outside of Boston stated only that the juvenile session should be separate from the sessions for criminal trials, and should so far as practicable be held in a room not used for such trials; private hearings were not provided for.
The State-wide provisions concerning juvenile cases appealed to superior court are amended to require a juvenile session of the superior court with a separate trial list and docket. No decision shall be rendered in such cases until the superior court is supplied with report of any investigation made by a probation officer of the lower court.
In the case of delinquent boys under 15 and girls under 17 the court is to commit to the Lyman School for Boys or the State Industrial School for Girls, not, as formerly, until 21, but until discharged by the trustees, and in no case for a longer period than until the child attains the age of 21 years. [This change in the juvenile-court law apparently corresponds to an earlier statute providing that the board of trustees of industrial schools "may grant an honorable discharge to any person in their custody who, in its opinion, for meritorious conduct is worthy and deserving of such a discharge, and whom the trustees believe to be permanently reformed."]
The definition of contributory delinquency on the part of an adult is strengthened. The court, however, is now given authority to release adult on probation or to suspend sentence. In Boston the juvenile court is to have concurrent jurisdiction with the municipal court in complaints against adults under this section.
1916 C 243 amending 1906 C 413 ss 5, 6, 8, 13. Compare 1906 C 489; 1915 C 113.
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New Jersey. Provisions regarding the use of court records of juvenile delinquents are amended. The former provisions concerning the use of such records in evidence are retained, except that where formerly the record might be offered as evidence in a subsequent criminal action in any juvenile court, now this clause is omitted and provision is made that "record may be used in evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding within two years after the discharge from any institution to which defendant may have been committed by juvenile courts." The act further provides that the record of a juvenile delinquent shall be destroyed at the close of his probationary period or at the expiration of two years after his discharge from an institution, unless in the meantime he is convicted of an offense. [This act amends section 2 of act, p 477, Acts of 1903, contained in C S 1910 v 2 (Criminal Procedure) s 207 p 1887, and both the amended and amending acts refer to records of the judge of the court of common pleas sitting as a juvenile court. An intervening act (1912 C 353), creating a separate court to be known as a juvenile court in first-class counties (Federal census of 1910: Essex, Hudson, and Passaic Counties), makes no provision as to the subsequent use of records as evidence in proceedings, or as to the destruction of records, and it is not clear whether or not the new law (1916 C 212) applies to these first-class counties.] 1916 C 212 amending C S 1910 v 2 (Criminal Procedure) s 207 p 1887. See also 1912 C 353, especially s 23.
New York. The law concerning the children's court in Syracuse is amended by adding a specific provision that all trials in that court shall be held by the justice without jury. Provisions concerning jurisdiction of the court and of the justice thereof are reworded.
1916 C 487 ss 1 and 3 amending 1910 C 676 ss 1, 2, 24, 30.
Porto Rico.-Any juvenile-court judge may require the physicians employed in the sanitation service or in any insular penal institution to make, without charge, such physical or mental examinations of children brought before the court as he may deem necessary. The judge may also hear the report of any other physician. The court may order commitment of children to a public institution upon the occurrence of a vacancy; formerly it had authority only to "recommend the commitment" to such institutions. The confinement of
neglected children in places where delinquent children are confined is permitted when "absolutely necessary"; formerly such confinement was prohibited without exception. No delinquent children are to be confined in the boys' or girls' charity schools.
1916 No 10 amending 1915 No 37.
See also Juvenile courts, pp. 35 to 40, and Miscellaneous provisions affecting defective, delinquent, and dependent children, Maryland, p. 53.
Kentucky. A separate house of reform for girls is provided, with a board of managers to consist of two men and three women appointed by the governor and serving without compensation. This house of reform will receive any girl between 10 and 18 years of age committed to it by a court, but no girl shall be so committed who has a contagious disease or is a paralytic or appears to be feeble-minded, epileptic, or insane. It is the duty of the court to have the girl examined by a physician before commitment. If within six months after any girl is committed it develops that she has a contagious disease or is epileptic, insane, feeble-minded, or a paralytic, she may be returned to the county from which she was committed. Commitment shall be made for an indeterminate period, subject to parole at the discretion of the superintendent and board of managers; and the board has authority to place a girl in a suitable home subject to supervision by an agent of the institution. Certain earlier provisions applying to the house of reform at Greendale, to which girls as well as boys were formerly committed, are by the present act made applicable to the new house of reform for girls. The juvenile-court law, in effect since 1908, contains special provision for caring for diseased children coming under its jurisdiction.
1916 C 85. Compare St 1915 ss 331e.8, 2095b.
The office of court matron for police courts in first-class cities [Federal census of 1910, Louisville only] is created. The matron is to be appointed by the police judge at a salary of $75 per month. She must have had experience and training in social work, and her duties include the investigation of histories, surroundings, character, and habits of all women and girls brought before the court and the supervision of those "under suspended sentence until final disposition of charge." [She will be concerned only with girls and women 18 years of age and over, since the juvenile court has jurisdiction over delinquent girls under 18 years of age.]
1916 C 3 amending St 1915 C 89 (ss 2774-3716) by adding s 2928b. See also St 1915 s 331e.