Introduction: Issue, Policy, Problem:
States are legislating juvenile justice policy at a remarkable pace. An analysis of proposed and enacted legislation between 2005 and 2007 suggests that over a thousand juvenile justice measures have been introduced in state legislatures in the past several years, resulting in more than 300 new laws and policies. In the late 1980s, juvenile crime, especially violent crime, began to increase dramatically (Snyder and Sickmund 1999). In1994, the juvenile justice and delinquency prevention act was amended to enforce significant changes to the traditional philosophy and approach of the juvenile court (Lawyershop.com). The expansion of transfer laws and the creation of mandatory minimum sentences for commission of serious, violent, and gang-related crimes, drug offending, and gun-related offenses were now a priority to help break a long standing pattern of allowing juveniles off the hook when they have committed crimes which allowed them to serve very little or no time at all. Minimum detention standards were also put into place in some states. With these detention standards in place, it would put the juvenile justice system in line with the adult (criminal) system.