- The Oxford Handbooks in Criminology and Criminal Justice
- The Oxford Handbook of Juvenile Crime and Juvenile Justice
- List of Contributors
- Juvenile Delinquents and Juvenile Justice Clientele: Trends and Patterns in Crime and Justice System Response
- Heterogeneity in Delinquency
- The Victim-Offender Overlap and Its Implications for Juvenile Justice
- Personal Characteristics of Delinquents: Neurobiology, Genetic Predispositions, Individual Psychosocial Attributes
- Adolescent Development, Delinquency, and Juvenile Justice
- Delinquency and Comorbid Conditions
- Predictors of Violent Young Offenders
- Linking Family Processes and Adolescent Delinquency: Issues, Theories, and Research Findings
- Schools and Delinquency
- The Social Side of Delinquent Behavior
- Gang Delinquency
- Communities and Delinquency
- Strain and Delinquency
- Social Learning Theory
- An Emergent Situational and Transactional Theory of Urban Youth Violence
- Legal Socialization and Delinquency
- Understanding Desistance from Juvenile Offending: Challenges and Opportunities
- Delinquency Prevention
- The Elusive Juvenile Court: Its Origins, Practices, and Re-Inventions
- Racial and Ethnic Differences in Delinquency and Justice System Responses
- The Conundrum of Girls and Juvenile Justice Processing
- Competence and Criminal Responsibility in Adolescent Defendants: The Roles of Mental Illness and Adolescent Development
- Policing Juveniles
- The Front End of the Juvenile Court: Intake and Informal versus Formal Processing
- Varieties of Juvenile Court: Nonspecialized Courts, Teen Courts, Drug Courts, and Mental Health Courts
- Procedural Rights in Juvenile Courts: Competence and Consequences
- Restoration, Shame, and the Future of Restorative Practice in U.S. Juvenile Justice
- Probation and Other Noninstitutional Treatment: The Evidence Is In
- Juvenile Corrections: An Overview
- Examining the Effectiveness of Juvenile Residential Programs
- Transfer of Juveniles to Criminal Court
- Youth in Prison and Beyond
- Juvenile Justice Cross-Nationally Considered
- Trends in Juvenile Justice Policy and Practice
Abstract and Keywords
The law has required that adult defendants cannot be tried unless they have an ability to understand and participate adequately in legal proceedings against them. Another legal protection for mentally ill defendants is insanity defense or criminal responsibility laws. Historically these legal protections were not applied to adolescents tried in juvenile court. The purpose of this article is to examine the application of competence and criminal responsibility laws to adolescents, with a focus on some of the challenges that have arisen. It discusses relevant legal standards and the role of mental illness and developmental immaturity and highlights the implications for courts, attorneys, and mental health clinicians. At the present time, many issues pertaining to potentially incompetent and not guilty by reason of insanity adolescents remain undecided. There is a need for further research on the characteristics and needs of these adolescents and appropriate assessment and treatment approaches.
Jodi Viljoen is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology and Law-Forensic Psychology at Simon Fraser University.
Erika Penner is PhD Candidate in Clinical Child Psychology at Simon Fraser University.
Ronald Roesch is Professor of Psychology at Simon Fraser University.
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