Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Youth Corrections Act 1950
Darcy J. Purvis
The U.S. Congress enacted the Youth Corrections Act (YCA) in 1950 during an era when the “rehabilitative ideal” was the main focus of the juvenile justice system. The act established a system for the treatment and rehabilitation of offenders under the age of 22 who were convicted of crimes in the federal system or in the District of Columbia. The main purpose of the legislation was to expand federal judges' sentencing discretion so that they could tailor punishment to the rehabilitative needs of individual young offenders. Juveniles who qualified under the guidelines usually had to have little or no criminal history, although certain mitigating circumstances could also be introduced. The intent was that YCA offenders would receive lesser sentences; would be kept apart from hardened criminals, either in prison facilities or on probation; and would receive training in job skills and life skills through work and academic programs, psychological counseling, ...