Juvenile Justice System Case Study

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In the next decade, I believe the “pendulum” of the juvenile justice system will continue to swing towards rehabilitation. The juvenile court's main focus was to use a more rehabilitation approach instead of restoring to incarceration since juveniles are just kids. With this approach, the juvenile court puts an emphasis on the whole child instead of the offense, used parens patriae as its foundation, discretion of the juvenile's behaviors, and has the judge be the sole determining factor of the juvenile's faith (Cauffman, 2018). Throughout history, it is evident that the pendulum tends to swing back and forth between rehabilitation and punishment, especially within the past century. In fact, cases such as In re Gault and in re Winship, have…show more content…
This will make it harder to control the juvenile's behaviors which will increase deviant and criminal behaviors (Kurlychek, 2014). Even during the "get tough" movement, Mendiola-Washington and Emeka (2014) argued that practitioners were focusing on new strategies that aim to prevent crimes by juveniles, early intervention and rehabilitating juveniles. To emphasize, the punishment approach is not more effective as the rehabilitation approach. One way that will cause a change in how juveniles are treated is by refocusing on the best interest of the child and addressing the racial disparities present in our justice system. Juveniles are still kids and the court should not impose harsh punishments for crimes they commit during their youth. It is evident that juveniles' frontal cortex is underdeveloped which affects their decision-making skills and increasing their risk-taking behaviors (Cauffman, 2018). The judges can use these developmental changes to fulfilled their philosophy of focusing on the whole child, not the…show more content…
In fact, statistics have shown that African American youth are nine times more likely, while Latinos are four times, to be given an adult sentencing than white youth (Cauffman, 2018). It is evident that minority youth are being targeted more often than white youth. The unconscious racism can also contribute to racial disparities found in the justice system. A study conducted by Graham and Lowery (2004) found that black youths are seen to have more "negative traits rating, greater culpability, more expected recidivism" and received harsher punishments (Piquero, 2008, pg.67). The results were the exact opposite when it involved a white juvenile offender. The disproportionate minority confinement requires the juvenile justice systems to address the overrepresentation of minorities in their system and attempt to reduce these number. To emphasize, the disproportionate minority confinement ensures that the youthful offenders "receive equitable treatment," without taking into account their social status and race (Leiber et al., 2011, pg.

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