The Mental Health Paradigm and the MacArthur Study: Emerging Issues Challenging the Competence of Juveniles in Delinquency Systems
Posted: 27 Aug 2015
Date Written: 2006
Understanding the factors that impact a juvenile’s adjudicative competence in delinquency and criminal proceedings today requires some familiarity with mental illness, mental retardation, and developmental immaturity. Current research and studies shed new light on these factors that juvenile advocates, prosecutors, judges, and policymakers must routinely confront. This article discusses some of the issues involved in competency determinations of juveniles awaiting trial; addressing both the more traditional factors, such as mental illness and mental retardation, and some of the more recent studies and literature identifying developmental immaturity as an emerging basis for challenging the competency of juveniles to stand trial.
Keywords: counsel, delinquency, competency to stand trial, mental health, developmental immaturity, legal ethics, criminal defense
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