Juvenile Justice Essay

1. Describe the different models/eras of the Juvenile Justice System and which model to you agree with and why? The Juvenile Justice System has been marked by many shifts in thinking concerning how to treat juveniles. Before the twentieth century, Juveniles were considered property and were treated the same as adults in the criminal justice system. The move away from viewing children just as property to viewing them as those in need of protection happened during Europe’s Renaissance period.

The Industrial Revolution brought early child labor laws and programs designed to alleviate the ill of urbanization are precursors to the juvenile justice system of today. In the sixteenth and seventeenth century the concept of rehabilitation began in puritan America. In 1823, houses of refuge were created to take in all children who were neglected, abused, or delinquent. The concepts of parens patriae and in loco parentis served as the foundation for interventions such as houses of refuge.

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Into the late 1800’s and early 1900’s a call for reform led to the creation of the juvenile justice system in the United States by the child savers. The early Juvenile Justice system was founded on the belief that the state could and should as in loco parentis under parens patriae. In the late nineteenth century the juvenile justice system’s purpose was to determine cause, diagnose illness, and prescribe treatment. The Juvenile Justice system became part of the United States legal system with the passage of the Illinois Juvenile Court Act of 1899.

There are three different models of juvenile justice that have taken place since the 1900’s. The first is the traditional model which lasted from 1899 till the 1960’s. During the time of this model the goal of the juvenile justice system was the prevention of future delinquency through treatment and rehabilitation. It was felt that juveniles were not capable of the same mens rea as adults, and they were not as intellectually, socially, or morally developed as adults. Delinquency was thought to be caused by the neighborhood, poverty, urban decay, the family, and child rearing practices.

It was believed that the state could and should act in loco parentis, and was able to decide what was in the best interest for the child, and due process was unimportant and would hinder the treatment process. The level of discretion used as this time was very broad and widespread. This model was all about rehabilitation and providing juveniles with a second chance, so therefor, records were held to very strict confidentiality standards. The next model that came along in the 1960’s and lasted until the 1980’s was the due process model.

The due process changes in the juvenile justice system moved away from the idea that a child was property, and began to recognize them as a person with rights and protections. Now the juvenile courts had to provide juveniles with due process. The role of the due process was heightened due to the need to protect juveniles from abuses in the system. The goal of this system was the prevention of future delinquency, rehabilitation, and protection of a juvenile’s rights. The Punitive model began in the 1980’s and is still present today.

Under this model, the function of the system has shifted from rehabilitation to assessing the level of hard to society from the actions of a juvenile and imposing the necessary level of punishment to deter the juvenile from future delinquency. According to the punitive model certain juveniles are just a culpable as adults, and delinquency is a matter of a juvenile choosing to commit a crime. The role of the state became to act in loco parentis for the best interest of society. The ultimate goal is to prevent future delinquency through punishment, incapacitation, deterrence, and holding juveniles accountable.

I personally agree with the model we use today, which is the punitive model. I feel like the goal should be to protect society first and then figure the best way to help the delinquent. If that means putting a child murderer in jail, so be it. I feel the level of discretion needed when dealing with juveniles needs to be hight. One must first consider why, what where the circumstances, family personal and medical history; while also deciding what is the safest thing to do for all parties involved. 2. What factors predict delinquency?

The risk factors that can be used to predict delinquency can be divided into six catagories: biology and genetics, family, personality, social environment, ecological environment, and educational environment. Biology and genetics is a set of hereditary factors that can be connected with juvenile delinquency. Race and ethnicity can be considered a sub category under biology and genetics. Some of the risk factors listed under this category are if the juvenile is a male, a child of a substance abuser, low IQ, chronic pain, lac of cultural enrichment at home, or if the racial or ethnic group values criminal behavior.

Family is a set of factors that focuses on parents, siblings, extended family, and inner workings of the family and how this could correlate with juvenile delinquency. Some factors that can be found under this category are rejection by a parent, low parental supervision, easy access to guns at home, poor communication in home, abuse by a family member, and little or no religion. Personality is a set of factors focusing on the psychological makeup and attitudes of the juvenile and how it can correlate with delinquency. Some examples of personaly risk factors are shyness, emotional problems, lack of discipline, and antisocial personality.

Social environment factors can be defined as a set of factors focusing on the juveniles peers, social class, and activities and interests that influence juvenile delinquency. Some factors listed under this section are if the juvenile feels rejected by school peers, has friends that engage in problem behavior, faces economic hardships, lives in a persistent high level of property, has unstructured free time, or partakes in activities that revolve around hanging out or doing nothing. Ecological environment risks are a set of factors that focus on the community and neighborhood of the juvenile.

Such risk factors include lack of community resources, easy availability of drugs, high unemployment rates, concentrated poverty, and schools with high failure and dropout rates. The educational environment risk factors focus on the juvenile’s school, attitude toward education, and academic behavior and performance. Some of the risk factors are low parental involvement in school, segregation in school and community; desire to drop out, low positive view of the future, low standardized test scores, low homework completion, and poor performance in school. . Highlight significant differences between adult and juvenile justice system. The criminal justice systems for adults and juveniles differ in many significant ways. Their differences vary from state to state, but in general: * Juveniles are not prosecuted for committing crimes, but rather delinquent acts. When the delinquent acts are very serious, they may be considered crimes and the juvenile may be tried in the adult system. * Juveniles don’t have a right to a public trial by jury.

For a juvenile charged with a crime, the trial portion of the case involves a judge hearing evidence and ruling on whether or not the minor is delinquent. This is called an adjudication hearing. * Once the juvenile has been deemed delinquent, the court will determine what action should be taken. This stage differs from the adult system in the purpose of the action. In the adult system, the goal is to punish. In the juvenile system, on the other hand, the goal is to rehabilitate and serve the minor’s best interest. Juvenile courts are often more informal than those for adults. For example, rules about the admissibility of evidence may be more lenient. One of the main differences between the juvenile and adult justice systems lies in their overall aim. For the juvenile justice system, the main aim is to rehabilitate and reform the juvenile offender so that they can resume functioning normally in society. The focus is more on alternative sentences that keep the juvenile out of jail, such as probation, parole, and diversionary programs.

4. What is the overarching thing you have valued from this class? During thing class I learned a lot of information, but the one thing that I will value the most is that idea that juveniles are our future so we must prepare them correctly for their future and ours. As a country we put our children on a pedestal, because we believe this is what is best for them. We constantly praise them for the good, but forget to punish them for the bad. The best thing for our children is punishment. We seem to have forgotten how to do that in our homes and in the juvenile justice system.

When a delinquent commits a crime he/she will be “rehabilitated”, but how often does that actually work? It’s becoming frustrating for our police officers who complain that they see the juvenile on the street over and over again committing the same crime. As a parent myself, I have taken this value and helped me with how I treat my son. When he was born I felt guilty for his medical problems so I put him on a very high pedestal, which has led to a lot of behavior issues. He felt like it was okay to ignore me and hurt me. He is still young, so I can easily fix this problem by providing some discipline.

If only other parents, even non-criminal justice majors could take this class and learn this same lesson. If this was possible maybe the juvenile crime rate, and adult crime rate, would lower. 5. How was making our own test beneficial or not to you? When we created our own test I was honestly very aggravated and stressed out, but in the end I feel lie learned even more this way. Instead of just memorizing facts I was forced to learn the actual concepts behind things in order put it into question form. After taking the test, I realized ow the test itself was not important it was the process we were supposed to learn from. 6. Is the non-traditional approach of this class effective or non-effective? The non-traditional approach used in the class was very effective.

By not having facts and dates and names forced down our throats for an entire semester were able to concentrate on the idea behind the juvenile justice system and its importance. It made learning actually interesting and entertaining. I walked out of that class at the end of the semester knowing more than I have learned in any other class. . What issues do you see in the Juvenile Justice System that could be or need to be changed? To me one of the biggest issues I feel the Juvenile Justice System has is leaving education behind. Through personal experience with my brother I have seen this happen. Once a child gets into trouble with the law they begin to focus more on fixing the behavior issues and forget about their education, which I feel can lead to even more run in with the juvenile justice system. By not providing the juveniles with a good education we are pushing a life of crime on them.

When children are put into jail they need to still beable to get their high school diploma or GED at the least, by hiring teachers to work with them. We also need to create a positive learning experience for those on probation, instead of just kicking them out of school. Maybe, we should consider having get an education as a mandatory part of probation and parole. I know it may not be safe to have some of these students around other juveniles who have never been in trouble, but there has to be away to provide them with the education they need to truly have a successful and crime free future.