the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits states from trying a person as a juvenile and later as an adult for the same crime. In so doing, the Court recognized juvenile court proceedings as criminal proceedings, not social welfare ones (Feld, 1999). Nevertheless, the Court did not grant full criminal procedural entitlements to juveniles. In McKeiver v. Pennsylvania (403 U.S. 528 ), the Court held that juveniles were not entitled to a trial by jury, arguing that the juvenile court proceeding was not the fully adversarial process found in criminal courts. Some critics of the juvenile court argue that, given the punitive changes in juvenile justice legislation since the 1971 decision, the only remaining procedural differences between juvenile and adult criminal courts are access to juries and access to counsel (Feld, 1993). The lack of access to juries may have consequences for the outcome of a trial because judges and juries may decide cases differently. There is some evidence that juvenile court judges may be more likely than juries to convict. For example, a study by Greenwood et al. (1983) of juvenile justice administration in California compared the conviction rates of similar types of cases in juvenile and adult courts, concluding that it “is easier to win a conviction in the juvenile court than in the criminal court, with comparable types of cases” (Greenwood et al., 1983:30-31 cited in Feld, 1999). Furthermore, judges try hundreds of cases every year and consequently may evaluate facts more casually and less meticulously than jurors who focus on only one case. Judges may have preconceptions of the credibility of police and probation officers and of the juvenile in question. In contrast, jurors hear only a few cases and undergo careful procedures to test bias for each case. Also, judges are not required to discuss the law and evidence pertinent to a case with a group before making a decision, and they are often exposed to evidence that would be considered inadmissible in a jury trial (Feld, 1993, 1999).
From their inception, juvenile courts had authority not only over children and adolescents who committed illegal acts, but also over those who defied parental authority or social conventions by such acts as running away from home, skipping school, drinking alcohol in public, or engaging in sexual behavior. These children and adolescents were deemed to be out of control and in need of guidance. Criticism of treating these status offenders (whose acts were considered problematic only because of their status as children) the same as children and adolescents who had committed criminal acts grew during the 1960s. The juvenile courts also had jurisdiction over abused and neglected children who had committed no offense. In the 1960s, many states revised their delinquency laws to move status offenders and nonoffenders into new nondelinquent categories, such as Persons, Children, or Minors in Need of Supervision (referred to as PINS, CHINS, and MINS). In 1974, in response to reported abuses in