The juvenile justice system

There is definitely controversy over the juvenile justice system, and on whether or not they should focus more on rehabilitation or punishment. I feel that all states should continue to expand their focus on hardening up the juvenile justice system, by including punishment as the deterrence rather than rehabilitation.

I feel the juvenile justice system should focus on punishment. If a juvenile wants to act out in such a horrible way, and make the conscious decision like an adult, they should be tried and treated as an adult. Far too many times people are too lenient or put a lighter sentence on a juvenile because they are so young, and they feel bad for them for whatever reason. If the punishment isn't harsh enough they don't learn from their mistake, they more than likely feel as if they've pulled a fast one, and will probably repeat the same crime or worse. I don't think that severe punishment should apply to every situation, but under certain circumstances they should be treated as adults.

The juvenile justice system is very distinct from the adult criminal system, the two share similar functions and goals. Both systems function to rehabilitate the offender, incapacitate the criminal, deter future criminal conduct by the offender (as well as others) and serve the exaction of retribution and expiation for the offense.” Exact quotation from http://licensedefense.com/pages/defending.asp This is plagiarism.

There are currently factors that that a juvenile judge must consider before trying a juvenile in adult court. The factors are: the seriousness of the offense, the maturity level of the juvenile, previous record (if any), and the likelihood that the juvenile would be rehabilitated under the juvenile system. Now many state laws allowed for an increase in transfers of juvenile defendants from juvenile court to adult court due to increased severe crimes.

I do feel that the juvenile justice system does have some major shortfalls, but do not feel it should be abolished. Implementing the change of more focus on punishment will rehabilitate juvenile offenders more effectively. The harsher sentences or punishments are for those of serious crimes or repeat offenders. Imposing an adult sentence will show them their crime is not a joke, and will be less likely to re-offend.

The best option for a successful juvenile justice system would be a blended option, also with a transfer of jurisdiction to adult court. This would include rehabilitation, punishment, and deterrence. Although this would be a costly option because it slows the process down because of the case by case analysis. Not only does the transfer of jurisdiction impose a tougher more serious sentence, but it also sends a message to the person that serious wrong doing has taken place. It also makes public knowledge, it's not like the juvenile court proceeding which are confidential. So at the end of the process you can feel completely humiliated, this is a good thing.

Harsher punishments and sentences will help violent offenders off the streets, making it safer for all in the community. This will hold juvenile offenders held accountable for their criminal behavior. These changes are a more aggressive policing of juveniles, “easier to treat a juvenile who has committed certain offenses as an adult, moving decision making about where to try a juvenile from the judge to the prosecutor or the state legislature, changing sentencing options, and opening juvenile proceedings and records.” http://books.nap.edu/books/0309068428/html/154.html See Turnitin Report. Juvenile courts and state youth corrections systems responsible for the control and treatment of delinquent youths have been significantly affected by increases in violent crime.

“Polls show that Americans are unhappy with the juvenile justice system as it is, most believe rehabilitation programs for juveniles are not successful, others believe the punishments juveniles receive should be the same as those given adults, and majority think juveniles who commit two or more crimes should receive the same sentencing as adults. Surprisingly a majority also advocate the death penalty for juveniles who commit murder.” http://heritage.org/Research/Crime/BG1097.cfm People are seeing the increased crime rates amongst youngsters and do not like it.

Sadly statistics what statistics/what source??show that: homicides by juveniles have more than quadrupled between 1984 and 1994, the per capita arrest rate for juvenile weapons offenses has doubled between 1987 and 1993, more sex related crimes, more gangs, more juveniles becoming involved in drugs (using and selling),amongst many more horrific and startling crimes and offenses.

When a juvenile court case reaches the juvenile probation department, an intake officer will decide whether to dismiss it, handle it informally, or hear it formally. When making this decision the officer reviews the facts surrounding the case and decides if there's enough information to try the youth. If the court has received sufficient evidence to hear the case, a decision will be made as to whether the juvenile case should be heard formally or informally. If the information available is insufficient, the case will be dropped. http://www.lawyershop.com/practice-areas/criminal You referenced this source, why did you not cite to it. We have discussed the importance of this before.

I could finish pointing out all the sources that you did not quote, but you can do so by reviewing the Turnitin Report. I am very disappointed that after discussing this problem with you at the beginning of the course, that you chose not to cite to any source in your paper. Please refer to the Turnitin report for the rest of the issues with this paper. As I have told you before every time you use material from a source and do not cite to it you are committing plagiarism.

Currently police officers (law enforcement) can warn offenders, cite and release offenders, detain or arrest juvenile offenders, and transport offenders to juvenile hall. If a youth is suspected of committing a status or delinquency offense, the police are frequently the first to intervene. Police have a fair amount of discretion in determining how best to respond to the situation. If punishment were to the be the main focus of the juvenile justice system there would need to be more law enforcement hired, they would also need to be updated on the procedures concerning this. They would have a more active role to play. Police officers would play a bigger more active role in protecting the community and bringing delinquents to justice. Using police forces more effectively and integrating innovative community police work with the efforts of community leaders and other agencies in the criminal justice system, and create or enhance crime analysis units within local police departments. There would be a need for more police integration, acknowledgment, and participation in order for harsher punishment to be successful.

Court processes would become more involved, and could become more costly. More personnel would need to be hired, laws and rules would have to be amended, and additional training would need to take place. Offenses would not be taken lightly, and the seriousness would be self evident. Fine tune the intake process to make it easier on the courts, without allowing too many delinquents to be set free. There would be more involvement on their end.

Currently the probation departments decide whether or not to accept and book juvenile offenders into juvenile hall, they make recommendations on whether juveniles should be adjudicated in juvenile court or tried as adults, recommend placement options -home, foster care, county incarceration, or youth authority, and supervise juveniles in the community and in juvenile detention centers. If the focus of the juvenile justice system were on punishment, there would be a need for more probation officers, and with stricter rules. They would need to enforce the rules more seriously and no let a juvenile slide even on the slightest foul up. They would need to be even more active in the process and ensure all is done correctly. There wouldn't be much room for error, unlike now. There would need to be funding and grants for more useful means of further deterrence.

Corrections facilities would need to expand to be able to hold more juvenile delinquents. There would be a significant increase in the amount of youngsters committed in there. The rehabilitation programs house in these facilities would need to be more structured and severe. They would probably face the issue of overcrowding, at pace quicker than expected.

Community treatment is based on the idea that the offender is not a threat to the community and has a better chance of rehabilitation there. If punishment were the primary focus of the juvenile justice system, there would be little to none community service. It would probably be on a part time basis with law enforcement supervision. The end result may be more embarrassment for the juvenile as it would draw more attention. This would be more of an option after time was served and they were ready to be released. This would change quite drastically with the implementation of punishment. Community based treatment does not provide enough punishment.

A lot of funds would need to be shifted into prevention programs, but in the end these programs are more cost efficient than most other programs, and they reduce crime rates amongst juveniles. Programs that have been quite successful are: Big Brothers and/or Big Sisters, after school programs (mentoring and tutoring), and others that are out there. There will also need to be new programs developed. Most of these programs are already in place, but they would need to be realigned and become tougher.

There are definitely arguments that are against punishment being the main focus of the juvenile justice system. Those who are against it do not think that punishment is the answer or the solution. It does not allow more individualized treatment or individualized programs. They believe that this is not a successful means; they are only encouraging more crime and acting out. This is not a source or form or treatment and does not provide the needed help. They believe that these youths are disabled, and seem to make excuses for juveniles. They are not allowed a second chance to clean up their act with help and their record becomes public which hinders them from prospering and exhibits embarrassment for them. They are generally in favor of community based treatment. They feel that being treated and tried as an adult is demeaning, and not sensitive enough, and far too harsh.

I understand all the points that are raised against severer and harsher punishments, but this is not to be implemented on every crime or for juvenile. This measure is just to tighten up the loose ends, make the juvenile system more successful, show there are sever consequences to severe actions, and to reduce severe and violent crimes. This is a crazy world we live in today, times have changed and will continue to change. Right now is the time to take advantage of the ever failing juvenile justice system and make it better. The purpose of the system is to punish, deter, and rehabilitate. For the most part right now, the system only rehabilitates, which is not teaching anyone any life lesson. If someone falls victim to violence, no matter the age, it shouldn't be taken lightly. That is why the system is failing today; too many excuses are made for why the individual is committing these violent acts, and too much leniency is exhibited. This very well may not be the perfect solution, but at least they pay for their crimes and realize it's a serious matter. If you pretend to be an adult you have to accept al consequences to your actions, no matter what they age. Even at a young age you can rationalize right from wrong in just a few seconds. I am in favor of harsher and stricter punishment.

References

Chamberlin, C. NOT KIDS ANYMORE: A NEED FOR PUNISHMENT AND DETERRENCE IN THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM. Retrieved on January 29th, 2010, from http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/law/lwsch/journals/bclawr/42_2/04_TXT.htm

LawyerShop.Com. A Typical Juvenile Delinquency Case. Retrieved on January 29th, 2010, from http://www.lawyershop.com/practice-areas/criminal-law/juvenile-law/cases/

Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO). Juvenile Crime--Outlook for California Part V. Retrieved on January 29th, 2010, from http://www.lao.ca.gov/1995/050195_juv_crime/kkpart5.aspx

Siegel, L. J. & Welsh, B. C. (2005). Juvenile delinquency: The core. (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth

Urban Institute Justice Policy Center. Youth, Guns, and the Juvenile Justice System. Retrieved on January 29th, 2010, from http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/410417_youth_guns.pdf

Wootton, J. & Heck. R. How State and Local Officials Can Combat Violent Juvenile Crime. Retrieved on January 29th, 2010, from http://www.leaderu.com/socialsciences/juvenile.html

123HelpMe.Com. "Can We Reduce the Rate of Juvenile Crime and Violence?." Retrieved on January 29th, 2010, from http://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=19865