Privacy or Publicity: Media Coverage and Juvenile Proceedings in the United States

By Webb, Patrick | International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, January-June 2008 | Go to article overview

Privacy or Publicity: Media Coverage and Juvenile Proceedings in the United States


Webb, Patrick, International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences


Introduction

Since the mid-1990s, states have established more punitive measures in terms of dealing with young offenders, sometimes punishing them as adults even while the cases remain in juvenile court. Juvenile justice systems have increasingly introduced and perpetuated adult concepts of accountability, retribution and public safety, and placed less importance on helping youth in trouble with the law (Gibeaut, 1999). According to research conducted by Marsha Levick, a lawyer with the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia, studies indicate that by 1997, juvenile proceedings were beginning to look a lot more like the adult system. Juvenile offenders were getting tougher, more adult-style punishments were imposed and the old privacy protections were eroding. In keeping with the trend of increasing punitiveness, juvenile proceedings were open to the public and sometimes to the news media in 30 states. More than 40 states allowed the public release of the juvenile's name, address and photograph. Nearly every state disclosed the juvenile court records to other public agencies, such as schools, and allowed courts to consider prior juvenile records for adult sentencing. Thirty-nine states required juveniles to register as sex offenders (Gibeaut, 1999).

In terms of disclosure and juveniles, what does our present 'punitive' trend indicate? Could it be that the privacy protections which were initially established to protect the juveniles from the publicity are under attack in the name of public interest? What are the arguments which support and oppose the use of media coverage in juvenile proceedings? This investigation will to discuss the complexities and positions associated with the media coverage of juveniles in the United States. In terms of selection criteria, the following information that was selected and examined will cover the past twenty years of legal, sociological, and criminal justice literature. In particular, this investigation will examine various explanations that support and oppose the media coverage of juvenile proceedings. In addition, we will also identify various measures which include the conditional uses of the media in relation to juvenile proceedings.

Arguments against Media Coverage

The history of the juvenile courts and confidentiality

From a historical standpoint the juvenile justice system was created to protect the best interests of juveniles (Ainsworth, 1991). The goal of the juvenile court, under this philosophy, was guidance and rehabilitation rather than determination of guilt or innocence and imposition of punishment. This philosophy was reflected in a 1923 policy statement by the children's bureau of the federal government, which declared that there should be no publicity within in a juvenile court proceeding. The hearings should be private, with no people present other than those directly concerned in the case at hand (Hughes, 1997). Since the early days of the juvenile courts, anonymity had been one of the hallmarks of the juvenile justice process. The juvenile court system's efforts to protect youthful errors form the full gaze of the public and bury them in the graveyard of the forgotten past seemed crucial to the successful rehabilitation of juvenile offenders (Bauers, 1993; San Bernardino County Department of Public Social Services v. Superior Court, 1991). Early architects of juvenile court feared that without confidentiality, the public would brand a child as a criminal and reject him for his behavior, making a healthy readjustment to society difficult (Smith v. Daily Mail Publishing Company, 1979). To the contrary, as we examine the current research literature regarding confidentiality within the juvenile justice system, we see a prevailing trend which desires to diminish such an important and viable attribute within the system.

Minimal punishment and conventional opportunities

Many of the arguments in favor of confidentiality are predicated upon a theory of minimal punishment and rehabilitation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Privacy or Publicity: Media Coverage and Juvenile Proceedings in the United States
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.