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TITLE 42 > CHAPTER 72 > SUBCHAPTER I > Sec. 5601. Next

Sec. 5601. - Congressional statement of findings


The Congress hereby finds that -


juveniles accounted for almost half the arrests for serious crimes in the United States in 1974 and for less than one-third of such arrests in 1983;


recent trends show an upsurge in arrests of adolescents for murder, assault, and weapon use;


the small number of youth who commit the most serious and violent offenses are becoming more violent;


understaffed, overcrowded juvenile courts, prosecutorial and public defender offices, probation services, and correctional facilities and inadequately trained staff in such courts, services, and facilities are not able to provide individualized justice or effective help;


present juvenile courts, foster and protective care programs, and shelter facilities are inadequate to meet the needs of children, who, because of this failure to provide effective services, may become delinquents;


existing programs have not adequately responded to the particular problems of the increasing numbers of young people who are addicted to or who abuse alcohol and other drugs, particularly nonopiate or polydrug abusers;


juvenile delinquency can be reduced through programs designed to keep students in elementary and secondary schools through the prevention of unwarranted and arbitrary suspensions and expulsions;


States and local communities which experience directly the devastating failures of the juvenile justice system do not presently have sufficient technical expertise or adequate resources to deal comprehensively with the problems of juvenile delinquency;


existing Federal programs have not provided the direction, coordination, resources, and leadership required to meet the crisis of delinquency;


the juvenile justice system should give additional attention to the problem of juveniles who commit serious crimes, with particular attention given to the areas of sentencing, providing resources necessary for informed dispositions, and rehabilitation;


emphasis should be placed on preventing youth from entering the juvenile justice system to begin with; and


the incidence of juvenile delinquency can be reduced through public recreation programs and activities designed to provide youth with social skills, enhance self esteem, and encourage the constructive use of discretionary time.


Congress finds further that the high incidence of delinquency in the United States today results in enormous annual cost and immeasurable loss of human life, personal security, and wasted human resources and that juvenile delinquency constitutes a growing threat to the national welfare requiring immediate and comprehensive action by the Federal Government to reduce and prevent delinquency


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