The American Juvenile Justice System

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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 Stealing and skipping school have been replaced by violent crimes, such as rape and murder.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 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…show more content…
In Ken Stier’s article, “Getting the Juvenile-Justice System to Grow Up”, in Time Magazine, he affirms the fact that every year, some 200,000 youths are tried, sentenced or incarcerated as adults. He also discusses how many advocates and academics argue that juveniles are not being given enough of a chance to turn their lives around after committing minor offenses. In agreement with Stier, I consider that juveniles have greater possibility than adults to make a change in their lives with the right help, counseling and rehabilitation. A 14-year-old from Wilkes-Barre, for instance, spent a year in a Glen Mills detention facility for the offense of stealing loose change from unlocked cars to buy a bag of chips; he was only set free after public-interest lawyers challenged the constitutionality of the punishment. Stier also states; there is new brain research showing that the full development of the frontal lobe, where rational judgments are made, does not occur until the early to…show more content…
Dealing effectively with juvenile delinquency involves two important actions prevention and intervention. Each of which has somewhat of a different purpose but both require effort. Prevention is an essential part of an effective strategy for addressing juvenile delinquency in any community. If it were completely successful, there would be no need for a juvenile justice system and, even when only partially successful, it produces better outcomes for the affected youth, the community, and the juvenile justice system (Lipsey 11). A lot is known about effective prevention programs from research and practice but, the question of how to enhance the programs for cost-effective impact on juvenile behavior is the

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