Justice for Juveniles 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 Stealing and skipping school have been replaced by violent crimes, such as rape and murder.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 court system is a fixture of the justice system with many moving parts. Each component and member of the court system are essential in carrying out their common goal. By helping operate a complex system built to rehabilitate juveniles, these people, and the programs they run, prevent juveniles from reoffending, benefit them, and help them towards the path of becoming a productive member of society.
The juvenile justice system in America has seen many trends in the incarceration of youth. Initially, the system was created to help children who were left abandoned, neglected or abused. However, with the demands of stronger juvenile laws, the correctional facilities have become more of a prison, than of a rehabilitation center. Unlike the adult justice system, the arrested minors often go through a series of steps such as intake, determination of jurisdiction, adjudication and disposition. Today, with the rise of juvenile crimes, more than a million minors are set into the juvenile justice system for even the smallest of crimes. In that regard, many of these minors are being arrested for running away from home, truancy, ungovernability, liquor offenses, etc. These minors are plagued by juvenile records which prevent them from living a life that does not include more criminal activity.
Teen Court Teen court also known as youth courts is a juvenile justice system program that permits teens to try and sentence their fellow peers for committing minor and status offenses. The main purpose of the teen court is to make young offenders accountable for their wrong doing by paying the price for their offences. However this system keeps first time offenders away from the Juvenile system and gives them a chance to change. In order for a youth to be considered to serve on a teen court, the young individual must be 8th to 12th grade with good academic standing, the teen must be nominated by teacher, parent or him or herself, an application must be filled up and signed with the parent’s approval.
During early history, juvenile offenders we're treated the same as adults. Juveniles would be arrested, taking into custody and imprisoned in the equivalent facilities as adults. Back then punishments we’re the go, as for now, we have rehabilitation and treatments. “parens patriae” also known as the State, was established, they believed it would resolved the offenses being committed by juveniles. Parens patriae gave the state the right to make decisions for the child in replace of their parents. Juvenile justice faces an uncertain future. Despite this fact, it continues to operate under the “parens patriae” philosophy upon which it was built. The system now incorporate elements of due process and adapts to the changing demands placed on it.
An offense is an offense and as minors who commit brutal crimes ought to be tried in the identical ways as adults. PROBLEM EXISTS As put by a senator in the year 1997, in many places, adolescents commit as many as ten to fifteen serious offences before anything serious is done to them this fact makes the whole juvenile justice system broken and archaic (Butts & Harrell 1998, p. 7). U.S. juvenile courts handled more than 1.7 million cases involving law-breaking charges that year (Sickmund, 1997). The rationale behind this
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.
There are five ways in which a juvenile can be prosecuted in adult court. One way is through a judicial wavier, this is allowed in most states, where judges have the discretion to have a youth’s case tried in the adult criminal court. The second way is through statutory exclusion, twenty-nine states automatically require a juveniles’ case to be tried in the adult court based on the age of the youth and/or the alleged crime. The other three ways are allowed in fewer states and include direct file or “prosecutorial discretion” where juvenile court judges the decision to have a youth 's case tried in the adult criminal court. There also mandatory waivers in few states which require juvenile court judges to automatically transfer a youth 's case to adult criminal court for certain offenses or because of the age or prior record of the offender.
“He found that youths were likely to spend considerably more time in adult correctional facilities than juveniles that were sent to state juvenile facilities,” (Krisberg 176). Juvenile offenders has become an excelling issue since the beginning of the first juvenile institutions in the 19th century (Shoemaker 5). The issue then arises, should juvenile offenders be tried as children or adults. This is an important issue that can impact many children and society as a whole, therefore this issue should be taken wisely. Karen Romanoff- Miner, sides with the idea that juvenile offenders in adult courts and prisons are not doing the effects that they are meant to.
4. The fact is that considerable similarity exists between the juvenile and adult justice system. Both consist of three basic subsystems and interrelated agencies. The flow of justice in both is supposed to be from law violation to police apprehension, judicial process, judicial disposition, and rehabilitation in correctional agencies.
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.
The ones in the juvenile system often reoffend and end up back in the same place. If the juveniles aren’t tried in adult court for serious crimes their punishment won’t be as long and they will commit the crime again and again. The crimes that the children commit would probably go down if they are tried in the adult court. Some of the children that were transferred to criminal court were more likely to be convicted and receive periods of incarceration. If juveniles aren’t tried in adult court they get off of the crime they committed easier.
Can you imagine waking up behind closed walls and bars? Waking up to see your inmate who is a 45-year-old bank robber and you are a 14-year-old minor who made a big mistake. This is why minors who have committed crimes should not be treated the same as adults. Some reasons are because the consequences given to minors in adult court would impact a minor’s life in a negative way. If a minor is tried through a juvenile court, they have a greater chance of rehabilitation.
Prior to 1899 in the United States, children who committed a criminal offense were tried and punished as adults. Children were being institutionalized with adult criminals where they were picking up negative influences preparing them for a life of crime. Progressive and social change demanded that children be protected and educated instead and therefore a separate court system for juveniles was subsequently established to address this problem. It has since being argued that juvenile courts have abandoned their role to rehabilitate juvenile delinquents and should be abolished.