Latin term meaning "father of his country." According to this legal philosophy, the government is the guardian of everyone who has a disability, especially children, and has a legal duty to act in their best interests until they reach the age of majority.
For juvenile offenders, the equivalent of sentencing for adult offenders. The theory is that disposition is more rehabilitative than retributive. Possible dispositions may be dismiss the case, release the youth to the custody of his or her parents, place the offender on probation, or send him or her to an institution or state correctional institution.
The temporary care of a child alleged to be a delinquent or status offender who requires secure custody, pending court disposition.
A practice in which the juvenile court waives its jurisdiction over a juvenile and transfers the case to adult criminal court for trial. In some states, a waiver hearing is held to determine jurisdiction; in others, juveniles may be automatically waived if they are accused of committing a serious crime such as murder.
The hearing in which a decision is made to waive a juvenile to the criminal court. Wavier decisions are based on such criteria as the child's age, any prior offense history, and the nature of the offense.
Decision of judge ordering an adjudicated and sentenced juvenile offender to be placed in a correctional facility.
Illegal behavior that targets the security of computer systems and/or the data accessed and processed by computer networks.
Walnut Street Jail
In 1790, a separate wing of Philadelphia's Walnut Street Jail was built to house convicted felons. This was the forerunner of the secure correctional system in the United States.
A view of corrections holding that convicted offenders are victims of their environment who need care and treatment to transform them into valuable members of society.
Illegally acquiring personal information, such as bank passwords and credit card numbers, by masquerading as a trustworthy person or business in what appears to be an official electronic communication, such as an email or an instant message. The term comes from lures used to "fish" for financial information and passwords.
Using the Internet, email, or other electronic communications devices to stalk or harass another person.
Inmate Social Code
An unwritten code of behavior; passed from older inmates to younger ones, that gives guidelines for appropriate inmate behavior within the correctional institution.
The loosely defined culture that pervades prisons and has its own norms, rules, and language.
The early release of a prisoner from imprisonment, subject to conditions set by a parole board. Depending on the jurisdiction, inmates must serve a certain portion of their sentences before becoming eligible for parole. The conditions of parole may require the individual to report regularly to a parole officer to refrain from criminal conduct, to maintain and support his or her family, to avoid contact with other convicted criminals, to abstain from alcohol and drugs, to remain within the jurisdiction, and so on. Violations of the conditions of parole, in which case the individual will be returned to prison. The concept behind parole is to allow the release of the offender to community supervision, where rehabilitation and readjustment will be facilitated.
A prison treatment program that allows inmates to be released during the day to work in the community and returned to prison at night.
Make-believe family (pseudo-family)
In women's prisons, some inmates adapt by creating substitute family groups with faux father, mother, and siblings.
Assimilation into the separate culture in the prison that has its own set of rewards and behaviors. This loosely defined culture that pervades prison has its own norms, rules, and language. The traditional culture is now being replaced by a violent gang culture.
A state or federal correctional institution for incarceration of felony offenders for terms of one year or more.
A place to detain people awaiting trail, to serve as a lockup for drunks and disorderly individuals, and to confine convicted misdemeanants serving sentences of less than one year.
A community-based correctional facility that houses inmates before their outright release so that they can become gradually acclimated to conventional society.