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Predisposition Report: Maintaining the Promise of Individualized Juvenile Justice: A Reprint from “Federal Probation”
Joseph W. Rogers (au)
This article seeks to preserve the predisposition report (PDR) from diminution & the dismal fate of the presentence report (PSR) as depicted by John Rosencrance (1985; 1988). Utilizing 15 years experience as an adult probation officer, ethnographic field methodology, & grounded theory, Rosencrance concludes that individualized justice in the criminal courts is simply a “myth.” He found the presentence investigation to be ceremonial, predictable, & of dubious value. This article focuses on the juvenile court’s predisposition report (PDR). From its 1899 founding in Cook County, IL, the juvenile court has stood for individualizaiton of justice, the personal welfare of children, & their social psychological well-being. In contrast to the adult criminal proceedings which historically have been adversary, punitive, & universalistic, the juvenile courts have been governed by the principle of “parens patriae/in loco parentis,” petitions filed on behalf of (not against) youths, & individualized treatment. To pursue this mission, the probation officer’s casework investigation & PDR were deemed crucial. In this light, this important tool seems worth preserving & upgrading. Illus.
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