St. Mary's Law Journal


The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (Act) was passed by the United States Congress on September 7, 1974. The Act amended the Federal Juvenile Delinquency Act (FJDA) which had been virtually unchanged since its enactment in 1938. The Act sets up a procedural framework for the treatment of minors who are within the jurisdictional reach of a federal court due to the commission of an act which contradicts a federal criminal statute. With a thorough understanding of the original FJDA and its amendments, benefits, required procedures, and a juvenile’s constitutional rights, counsel for a juvenile offender in federal court will be able to effectively advise, counsel, and represent the individual. Examination of the Act will be helpful to the practicing bar in providing a framework to assist them in counseling their juvenile clients and explaining the juvenile offender’s numerous rights, benefits, and procedural operations prior to a juvenile delinquency hearing in federal district court.


St. Mary's University School of Law