The United States Dual Court System And Its Historical Developments

887 words - 4 pages

The United States Dual Court System and its Historical Developments

The United States court system is divided between two administratively separate parts. The first was established in early colonial times. The original thirteen colonies had established their own individual court systems based off the English system (The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed., 2007). According to an article “Early Development of the United States Court System US Courts in the Early Republic” written by Martin Kelly “In 1789 Article Three of the US Constitution stated that "[t]he judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may ...view middle of the document...

This statute was known as Mass. Probation Act of 1880 (Net Industries, 2012).
During the mid-19th century U.S. prisons were extremely over crowded. There was a strong need to make room for new offenders. American penal reformers knew of parole type reforms used in the European prison systems and referenced these systems to find a solution to their own problems (American Probation and Parole Association, 2010). In 1876 Zebulon Brockway a superintendent at a new youth reformatory, the Elmira Reformatory in New York created the first parole type system in the United States (Brown, 2007). Convicts would be released under supervision if the convict’s behavior was deemed good by the warden of the facility. Through this new system it would alleviate the overcrowding in prisons, encourage good behavior, and further focus our courts attentions on rehabilitation rather than retaliation (Net Industries, 2012).
As the progressivism movement focused on overcrowding and rehabilitation it also became aware of adult felons being incarcerated with juveniles and how that affected them. This fueled the creation of facilities strictly for children. The first of its kind was in 1825 known as the House of Refuge in Ney York (Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, 2003). Progressivism was a child-centered movement, and juvenile justice became their center focus. In the 1890s powerful promoters of the progressivism moment pushed for the separation of juvenile offenders and their adult counterparts in the court systems (Net Industries, 2012). In 1899, Cook County, Illinois, established the first juvenile court. In 1925, only two states did not have a juvenile court system in place (Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, 2003).
The progressive era from the late 19th century and early 20th century...

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