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Effectiveness Of Juvenile Courts As Deterrent Of Juvenile Delinquency

1606 words - 7 pages



Juvenile Courts, an Effective Promoter of Juvenile Delinquency?
Karla Mae Elpos
University of the Philippines Manila

Juvenile Courts, an Effective Promoter of Juvenile Delinquency?
Thesis Statement: Juvenile offenders should not be brought before juvenile courts because they are not an effective deterrent of juvenile delinquency.
“I believe the children’s our future...” Just like the lyrics of this song, I believe that the future is in the hands of the children, but how can we have a brighter tomorrow if the youth that we believe in gets involved with crimes and law offenses even in their young ages? Well, it cannot be denied that law offenders get ...view middle of the document...

d.). The Republic Act 9344 protects the rights of children especially those who are the Children in Conflict with the law. It gives opportunity for them to be reinstated in our community and to be given a chance to change. Under chapter 2 section 5 of this law, it was stated that the young offenders should be in a separate court from adult criminals, which is the family court or juvenile court. (Republic Act 9344, chapter 5)
A juvenile court is a specialized court established for juvenile offenders. Different countries also established their juvenile justice systems and juvenile courts after sometime (Behrman, 1996, p. 5). The ideals of establishing a separate court system for young offenders are truly commendable. Because of their cognitive and moral immaturity, the juvenile court believes that the juvenile offenders should not be blamed for offending the law (Ainsworth, 1996, p. 64). The intention of this system is to mould the child just like a parent would, not treat him/her like a criminal. Thus, they are not sent to imprisonment. In a juvenile court, a young offender is labelled as “delinquents”. The young lawbreakers then are handed over to a probation officer or an institution that will take care of them (Behrman, 1996, p. 6). One of the specialized court’s major goal is the successful rehabilitation of the young offender and prevention of a future criminal behavior. Juvenile offenders are sent to rehabilitation since they are flexible and still can change. (Ainsworth, 1996, p. 64)
The foundation of juvenile courts has established a hope of lowering the inflating rate of juvenile crimes. It has been found out in some studies that there was a drop in the rates for juveniles convicted in adult courts than for juveniles adjudicated in juvenile courts. (Redding, 2010, p. 1) This only indicates the need for a specialized court for juvenile lawbreakers.
Just as how beautiful the goals of the juvenile court system are, still, it doesn’t make it an effective way of stopping juvenile delinquency. I can see that it has even promoted delinquency among children.
Just like what I believe into, Trojanowicz (1973) also believe that “The juvenile court has a potential for producing and perpetuating delinquency.” (p. 56)
Based on Ingersoli (1982), the labelling processes that young offenders go through as they go on with court hearings has been believed to be one of the causes of an increasing crime rates involving minors (p. 125). According to Trojanowicz (1973), this indiscriminate labelling caused by the presentation of the young offender before the court may have an impact on his/her attitude towards himself/herself, as well as the surrounding people’s attitude towards him/her (p. 59). I agree with him because a juvenile court, just like what I mentioned awhile ago, labels young offenders as “delinquents”. Even though it is a term not as heavy as “criminal”, it still affects the way of thinking of the child and...

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