All participants in a model system—including youth, victims, and families—receive fair and unbiased treatment. Real-life juvenile justice systems aiming at the broad goal of fundamental fairness will not all look alike. But all will present certain characteristic features and practices:
Nondiscrimination-Decision-making is free of bias.
- Use of structured guidelines to limit arbitrary decision-making at all stages
- Monitoring of differential impact of decisions on minorities
- Gender-appropriate, developmentally appropriate, culturally competent interventions
- Minority recruitment, hiring, participation in planning and policy-making
Due process-Procedures give the accused a fair chance to be heard and understood.
- Access to counsel
- Continuity of representation through all stages
- Realistic caseloads
- Prompt trials/timely process
- Specialized professional training
Inclusion-Views and concerns of victims, family members, and others who have a valid stake in the just resolution of each case are respected.
- Open hearing practices
- Mechanisms (plain-language notification, courtroom orientation, interpreters, etc.) that encourage broad hearing participation
- Scheduling practices that reserve adequate blocks of time for inclusive hearings
- Victim notification, accommodation, and advocacy