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Future Of The Juvenile Justice System

1296 words - 6 pages

Future of the Juvenile Justice System
The future of the juvenile justice system is uncertain. There is a struggle to try a find a way to serve the needs of the juvenile delinquents and issue them a punishment for violating the law. In order to improve the direction of the juvenile justice system, recommendations are needed regarding community involvement, law enforcement, courts, corrections, and the private sector. These recommendations address issues that the system is currently facing and offers solutions for the future. A justification of the system is also offered based on the histories, trends and causation theories.
Community Involvement
Community involvement is an important ...view middle of the document...

243).
The Juvenile Justice Prevention Act promoted to the use of community based models for delinquent youths. The community based models place heavy emphasis on families, social services, and community members like clergy, teachers, and elders. These volunteers in the community provide the Wraparound treatment to help rehabilitate delinquent juveniles. A problem with community Wraparound care and other community base programs is that they focus more on the child welfare system instead of the delinquent juvenile. Another issue revolves around the number of evaluations of the recidivism rate of these programs as most evaluations focus on the placement of the juvenile instead (Flash, 2003, p. 523).
The community plays a vital part in the rehabilitation of juveniles, especially with the mandates of the Juvenile Justice and Prevention Act. Juveniles can encounter law enforcement in prevention based programs without the creation of a negative opinion of police from this type of contact. Effective prevention programs involving the community can be implemented without fear that contact will create a negative perception of the police for juveniles (Balcazar, Keys, & Garate-Serafini, 1995, p. 243). In both the transitional process and in the community based programs, family ties and volunteers in the community are greatly needed. These members of the community need to be recruited and provided with additional services that can help them best serve the juveniles. More focus and emphasize needs to be placed on the delinquent juvenile in the community setting to best help them in the rehabilitation process (Flash, 2003, p. 523).
Justification and Funding for the Juvenile Justice System
The juvenile justice system was founded on the belief that children are different from adults; therefore, the justice system and corrections sanctions for juveniles should acknowledge the differences. “Rising juvenile crime rates during the 1970s and 1980s spurred state legislatures across the country to exclude or transfer a significant share of offenders under the age of eighteen to the jurisdiction of the criminal court” (Fagan, 2008). The acknowledgement of these differences should be the bases for a proper juvenile justice system. The examination of the juvenile justice’s systems history, trends, and causation theories will provide an insight into the future of the juvenile justice system.
History
The juvenile justice system is a system that evolves with society focusing on the welfare of the child, and the protection to the community. The history of the modern juvenile justice system began with the English common law. The common law specified an age limit on when a child could begin to be held accountable for criminal acts, which placed the age limit at seven (Champion, 2010). Although an age limit was placed on offenders, during the 1700s criminal offenders were treated in the same manner, which could include banishment, whippings, and other corporal...

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