There are indication that most criminals have a juvenile records in the US, indicating that crime manifests from a tender age. Therefore, to reverse the incidence of crime, it follows that the best strategy is to reduce the criminal orientation in the juvenile offenders as opposed to hardening them and preparing them for criminal careers. The case of the Crossroads Juvenile Center demonstrates the willingness of the juvenile justice systems to make these changes on the children.
In today’s society the youth generation seems to be facing some problems that there is no solution for. Juveniles are participating in many wrongdoing activities that they are not being held accountable for. I see many gray areas when it comes to the juveniles justice system and I strongly believe there should be changes made in order to help these juveniles be deterred from such behavior so they do not continue down a path that can affect the rest of their lives.
Edward Humes is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a PEN Award recipient for his nonfiction work, No Matter How Loud I Shout: A Year in the Life of Juvenile Court. His training and experiences reflect No Matter How Loud I Shout because he has immersed himself in the court system of California and spent one year in the justice system in Los Angeles, Inglewood, and Pomona, California, which gave him insight into the juvenile system and the necessary skills and resources to construct this book. Along with this book, Humes has written thirteen other nonfiction books. They range from discussing the G.I. Bill to looking at American high schools. Humes writes about the American people and the effects of social life and the government. No Matter How Loud I Shout aligns with this subject matter because it breaks down the juvenile court system and its effects on American youth.
A Bureau of Justice Statistics conducted a study in 40 of the nation’s largest urban communities. “It was found that an estimated 7,100 juvenile defendants were charged with felonies in adult criminal court in 1998. Of these 40 county criminal courts, juveniles were 64% more likely than adults to be charged with a violent felony. These juvenile defendants were generally treated as serious offenders, as 52% did not receive pretrial release, 63% were convicted of a felony, and 43% of those convicted received a prison sentence. States have expanded the mechanisms by which juveniles can be charged in criminal courts. In 1998, statutory exclusion was the most common method (42%) used to charge juveniles defendants compared to the more traditional use of juvenile waiver (24%). In the 40 counties in 1998, 62% of the juvenile felony defendants were black, 20% were white, 16% were Hispanic, and almost 2% were of another race” (“Bureau of Justice Statistics”).As time goes on, crime rates of youths
This issue led to what is now resulting in mass incarceration. Mass incarceration has been shown to affect mostly poor and minorities. Individuals living in poverty are not afforded the same royalties as those who are not in poverty. They are more willing to commit crimes because of their lack of fortune. The crime rate is more prone to be in urban communities, which hold a significant number of minorities. Within the urban communities, negative perceptions are magnified. Adolescents are more prone to be a product of their environment, especially those whose parents are incarcerated. Because of this trend adolescents are being incarcerated at an alarming rate and sentenced to adult facilities. Lambie & Randall (2013) states, the United States have imposed harsher penalties on serious young offenders, and have consequently increased rates of incarcerated youth and made it easier for youth to be treated and incarcerated as adults within the justice
The juvenile justice system has made numerous of ethical issues when managing juvenile offenders. The issue with the juvenile justice system is the laws and rules that govern it. It has led to years of controversial debate over the ethical dilemmas of the juvenile corrections system, and how they work with youth offenders. The number of minors entering the juvenile justice system is increasing every month. The reasons why the juvenile justice system faces ethical dilemmas is important and needs to be addressed: (1) a vast proportion of juveniles are being tried and prosecuted as adults; (2) the psychological maturation of the juvenile to fully comprehend the justice system; and (3) the factors that contribute to minorities being adjudicated in the juvenile justice system are more likely than White offenders. These three ethical issues that are rising in the juvenile justice system will be further examined.
The contemporary distinctive patterns of segregation and poverty in the United States often relate back to the issue of race. Scholars have looked at the institutional forces that shape differential life outcomes of American racial minorities, particularly African Americans, to explain such patterns. Massey and Denton explore racial residential segregation in the United States throughout the 20th century. They argue that the making and concentration of the (African American) underclass in inner cities resulted from institutional and interpersonal racism in the housing market that perpetuates already existing racial segregation. Amanda Lewis and colleagues adds more insight to Massey and Denton’s investigation with their comprehensive overview
The federal government’s “War on Crime” by the Johnson administration in the 60s made way for tougher law enforcement and surveillance (Hinton, 2015). However, with this came the separation of children and adults in the criminal justice system; then the separation of juvenile delinquents from status offenders. As mentioned, status offenders are different from juvenile delinquents because they had broken rules which apply to only children. Meanwhile, juvenile delinquents are youths under the age of 18, who committed offenses that would be punishable to adults as well. By the late 1960s, there became a growing concern that juveniles involved in the court-based status-offense system, were not getting their best interests met (Shubik & Kendall, 2007). This can be seen in the growing number of court-involved status offenders who were being detained and placed outside of their homes for noncriminal behavior (Shubik & Kendall, 2007). Following multiple studies and research, the President’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice recommended that the juvenile court be the agency of last resort and that community-based organizations, not penal institutions, should be responsible for these youths (Shubik & Kendall, 2007; Farrington,
Unfair punishments and policies in a school setting ultimately disenfranchise minority youth of their civil rights and liberties. In the case of the “school to prison pipeline”, minority youths’ right to an education is being violated, creating a social need for developing healthy and fair discipline procedures (Porter, 2015). This social need can be addressed by properly assessing minority youth who display unacceptable behavior. Instead of using extreme punishment, such as expulsion and out of school suspensions to deflect inappropriate behavior, other methods can be set in place such as counseling sessions or after school programs geared towards encouraging appropriate behavior.
The book provides various opposing viewpoints regarding the cause of juvenile crime and how the criminal justice system should treat juvenile offenders. Each argument highlights the main risk factors for juvenile crime. For example, gang plays a large part of juvenile violence. Some teens become gang members because they feel a sense of belonging and protection. Therefore, the community should focus on building strong relationship and positive role-models. Other critics claim adult prison is not appropriate for juvenile offenders and should find better alternatives.
The American juvenile justice system was designed over a hundred years ago to reform kids who were found guilty of minor crimes such as petty theft and truancy. Today, the system is becoming overwhelmed by crimes of violence. Stealing and skipping school have been replaced by violent crimes, such as rape and murder. The juvenile justice system is not meant to deal with these kinds of problems. In the past, the juvenile justice system sought to rehabilitate youthful offenders by taking a protective stance over juvenile delinquents. However, the protect instead of punish philosophy does not work for today’s society. Today, as juvenile crime has become more common and violent, our system will be forced to change. The justice
A key to providing appropriate punishment across a wide range of cases is the transfer process. In some states, judges decide whether to grant the state’s request to move a juvenile to adult court; in others, removal is automatic for certain specified crimes, usually murder. This is how we separate out those few crimes committed by juveniles deserving of adult trial and punishment.
When considering these statistics, which state that Black and Latino teens are more likely to commit juvenile offenses it is important to keep the following in mind: poverty, or low socio-economic status are large predictors of low parental monitoring, harsh parenting, and association with deviant peer groups, all of which are in turn associated with juvenile offending. The majority of adolescents who live in poverty are racial minorities. Also, minorities who offend, even as adolescents, are more likely to be arrested and punished more harshly by the law if caught. Particularly concerning a non-violent crime and when compared to white adolescents. While poor minorities are more likely to commit violent crimes, one third of affluent teens report committing violent crimes.
In today’s world there are countless crimes committed every single day. “In 2015, there were 1.42 million total arrests, at a rate of 3,641 arrests per 100,000 residents” (State of California, Department of Justice). Grown adults are not the only people being arrested every year, there are also juveniles, children, being arrested every day. One topic of controversy today is whether or not juveniles who commit these crimes should be tried as adults in criminal court. There are many differences between the justice system for adults and the justice system for juveniles. If a juvenile is defined as a person under the age of eighteen can we justify trying them in as an adult? Is convicting juveniles as adults a better solution?
In an age where juvenile crime has escalated from simple truancy to more serious crimes such as mass school shootings some would agree it is time to abolish juvenile courts or modify the system at the very least. Because of the seriousness of juvenile crime in this day and age, most states have already lowered the age limit for juvenile court jurisdiction from 17 years and are prosecuting more children as adults depending of the seriousness of the crime. Some criminal justice and child welfare scholars argue that younger children do not have the mental capability or experience to weigh the consequence of committing a crime and much less understand the implications of a criminal record in their future. Furthermore, they note that most juveniles grow out of criminal behavior as they mature out of the system and in