There is a saying that history often repeats itself. If this is a true saying, then society will have to deal with the complex issue of juveniles delinquents, who may eventually become adult criminals, as societies in time past dealt with the same conflict. Moreover, if this saying is true then the community in which juvenile delinquencies exist must have the tools necessary to divert the youth from crime. If one is to convert delinquent youth’s behavior, they need to be able to variegate the justice system in order to prevent juvenile delinquent recidivisms. Furthermore, understanding the cause of juvenile delinquency is an important key in its prevention. In order to understand the cause of juvenile delinquency, the history of the juvenile justice and varies approach to prevent it need to be examined.
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“The history of the juvenile justice in the United States began during the colonial period. Before it inception the family was the main origin of social control of the youth” (Bartollas & Miller, 2008, p.5). However, “In the 1800s, the state seeing growth of developing cites and the effect it was having on the young population, they felt the need to develop a system to control the youth” (Bartollas & Miller, 2008, p.6).
Therefore, the Juvenile Justice system was developed by the government because of the changing demographics in cities. As a result, the government was now actively practicing the concept of ‘parens patriae’ thru the court. Moreover, the juvenile justice reformers sought to make a change to the objectives of the juvenile justice system, including the ‘rights of youth.’ “In earlier years, child offenders above the age of seven were treated and incarcerated like adult offenders” (Bartollas & Miller, 2008, p.5). The treatment of youths had created distaste among the reformers towards jail terms for juveniles; they desired a system to be more compliance with the “due process of law.” Furthermore, the reformer was seeking to convert from what they saw as inhumane treatment of the juvenile therefore, facility such as the house of refuge was started.
“The earliest Reformatory Refuge was built in 1825 and was called the New York Hoses of Refuge” (Bartollas & Miller, 2008, p.9). “It was not until 1890s when the Progressive Era commenced in the US that individual states started setting up rehabilitating centers” (Bartollas & Miller, 2008, p.10). There was a feeling during the progressive era stating that the justice system should take the responsibility to recover the lives of young offenders before they were absorbed into criminal activities. The parenting responsibility was been exerted by states to give juveniles an opportunity to return to their former condition.
By 1967, most of the cases of juvenile delinquency were tried in juvenile courts. This meant Persons under the age of 18 were tried in juvenile courts. This was due to the ruling by the Supreme Court that it was necessary for the juvenile courts to use the due process of law. The approach after the decision was to encourage the states to develop plans that would discourage juvenile delinquency.
In this context the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Control Act 1968 were passed. The Act was later strengthen by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. In this effort, the (OJJDP) established The Runaway Youth Program and The National Institute for Juvenile justice and Delinquency Prevention. The Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Control Act 1968 law was later replaced by The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act 1974. However, the movement received a setback when there was an increase in juvenile crimes during 1980s and 1990s.
The first stakeholder is the youth that commits crime. He has all the rights that are promised to adults under the constitution. It is necessary to understand that legally a youth should have more rights than an adult has. The same justice system cannot be used for youths. Other stakeholders are the parents. The parents have the primary responsibility for ensuring that their wards do not commit crimes. The government whether state, federal, or local, are also stakeholders, which have the dual responsibility of protecting the community as well as rehabilitating the juvenile.
The Finally stakeholders is the community. The community interest in fighting juvenile’s recidivism is beneficial to the safe of the community. Therefore, community safety is an understandable reason to start community-based program. Moreover, “studies have shown that many community -based correctional programs reduce recidivism and are less expensive than confinement” (Bartollas & Miller, 2008, p.210). Communities felt that strong action is was necessary to prevent juvenile offenders as a deterrent. Some advocates believed “childhood intervention programs were having an impact on future juvenile delinquency and criminality rates” (Zigler, Edward, & Taussig. 1992)
(3.A complete description of issue addressed.)
The issues involved juvenile delinquency includes juvenile placement in criminal procedure. The issue deal the treated of juvenile who commit crimes like adults. The problem is whether the crime juvenile commit dictate that they should the type punishment as their adult counterpart. “The courts often are face with the decision when a juvenile commit what is other wise considered an adult crime” (Bartollas & Miller, 2008, p. 155).
Another issue of juvenile delinquency is the severity of the offense the juvenile commit. Status offenses are behavior committed by juvenile that they can be arrested. Such as truancy, drinking, runaways, and general ungovernability, how can these stop status offenses. This issue led to the question; to what extent can the parents be held responsible for supervision of children? Moreover, if the parents cannot be maintain their children what are the local resources available at them? Other issues of discussion are the subject of juvenile drug use.
Moreover, what is been done to eliminate this problem. On the other hand, the existence of after-school recreational activities or sport can reduce juvenile delinquency by a great extent. This type deterrent once again would require parent’s involvement. “On the other hand, if peer pressure is applied by juvenile delinquency, the parent needs to be alert to such problems and must seek intervention early on to be more effective” (Welsh & Farrington, 2007, p. 871).
(4 A detailed analysis of possible strategies and intervention designed to stop juvenile delinquency)
Parental guidance and good home life are the best overall approach to stop juvenile delinquency. However, in today modern society parents are not always capable of providing the necessary guidance to their children. Therefore, there need to be other possible strategies and interventions designed to stop juvenile delinquency. In that context, there are strategies and interventions that have been developed to assist parents in the venture. First all offense regardless of the severity should be dealt with expeditiously. Furthermore, the parent should adopt “the three point strategy of supervision, prevention of drugs and introduce activities to the children” (Koffman, Ray, Berg, Covington, Albarran, & Vasquez, et al. 2003).
Maury Nation and other devised programs to disseminate effective prevention strategies. Their programs took information from other programs to develop a better program. In their research, they “found that effective programs included teaching, positive role model and informed planning and implementation of problem-specific prevention interventions programs” (Nation, Crusto, Wandersman, Kumpfer, & et al., 2003, pp. 449-456).
3. If there is any doubt an advocacy group should be contacted at the earliest
(5. A comprehensive list and weighing of alternatives, both pro and cons, to the stop juvenile delinquency.)
The alternative that “Every minor offense including truancy should be treated quickly and seriously by the parents and school attendance should be given the greatest importance” has the pro that juvenile delinquency can be stopped at the incipient stage and school can play an important part in preventing juvenile delinquency. The con is that often parents are not aware of truancy and come to know of it when it is too late.
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The alternative that parents should use the three-point strategy of supervision, prevention of drugs and introduce activities to the children had the pro that its implementation can surely stop juvenile delinquency. In addition, it is a multi-pronged strategy, which has worked well. Furthermore, it contributes to the holistic development of children. The first cons are that parents that hold jobs which make it difficult to supervise and therefore, cannot implement this strategy. The second con is the fact that parents who need training is required to implement this strategy.
The alternative of If there is any doubt an advocacy group should be contacted at the earliest” has the pro that advocacy group can provide expert guidance to the parents. Further, the advocacy group can devise strategies for particular youth. The con is that in most cases the advocacy group is contacted after serious crimes are committed or the case becomes difficult. For instance, advocacy groups are contacted after the child is addicted to drugs.
(6. a prediction for how juveniles justice prevention and intervention strategies will be handled over at least the next two decades)
Over the next two decades education and community involvement should be major strategies in order to help prevent juvenile delinquency. In the arena of education if a child is exposing to education at an earlier age and given a robust foundation in learning, the youth have a chance to endure. For example, if organizations such as the PTA will take a proactive role in the intervention of trouble kids at a young age this will be helpful. This is a venue where the parents and educator both are able to contribute to the child development.
In addition, future prevention and intervention in the juvenile justice will depend on those actually involved in the juvenile justice system. If probation officers and youth detention centers do not take an actually role in future intervention of juvenile delinquency any other strategies will not be successful. Probation and correction will need to look for ways to encourage the juvenile to find alternative means of using their energy. Furthermore, the government will have to provide more funds to the juvenile justice system. With more funds, the juvenile justice system will be able to find qualified employees.
In addition, the juvenile justice system, especially the correctional agencies, must provide guidelines to help the juveniles develop. When juvenile are committed to juvenile detention the focus needs to be centered on educational development and alternative activity instead of the gang activity. The detention center of the future will need to be more conductive to a juvenile community surrounding. For example, detention center should offer schools, medical clinics, and recreation facilities so that youth will not have cultural shock. Technology should play an important role in probation as an alternative to detention as well. Monitoring devices such as GPS ankle bracelet should be use more in the future.
However, the finally part of the equation in intervention is the youth. If all the fore mention action are taken, and the youth fail to participate the process will be voided. Therefore, the primary contact of the youth, the family will need to undergo training when a problem arises. Parents are sometime overwhelmed with parenting duties and working at the same time and need to learn how to manage their time to be more effective. Some parents do not have the necessary parenting skills to raise their children; therefore, parenting classes should be available to assist them.
In conclusion, society will have to deal with the complex burden of juveniles delinquent, who may eventually become adult criminals. Moreover, the community in which juvenile delinquencies exist must have the tool necessary to divert the youth from crime. In order to change delinquent the juvenile need the juvenile justice system itself need to change policy and procedure to prevent juvenile delinquent recidivisms. Furthermore, an honest effort need to be made to understanding the cause of juvenile delinquency is an important key in its prevention. The families, communities and the government must be willing to work together for the greater good of the juvenile. Therefore, understanding the cause of juvenile delinquency and the history of the juvenile justice will be an important part of the success of preventing juvenile delinquency. When studying the history of the juvenile justice in the United States, need to be focus on the core issue of delinquency, the juvenile.
Speaking from a personal point of view, I believe rehabilitation instead of confinement is the best form of correction. However, I do realizes that not all juvenile offend will conform to the rule set forward by the courts and probation agencies. Therefore, when the juvenile are place in detention centers they should be afforded the service to help them prevent a life of crime.
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