During the revolution in America, many people were displaced and moved to major towns in search of jobs to cater for their basic needs.
Final Research Assignment
During the revolution in America, many people were displaced and moved to major towns in search of jobs to cater for their basic needs. Children were among this population, and when they were not able to find jobs, many of them became street children and started engaging in all kinds of criminal activities.
The number of children committing different crimes escalated, and there was a need for the judicial system to find a solution to manage the situation. A better understanding of the development of children and compassion led to some changes in the way that they were prosecuted in courts. Juvenile institutions were being set up, which dealt with teaching different life and trade skills. They acted like correctional facilities for the children (FindLaw, 2019). House of refuge was set up for reeducation of youths where intermediate sentencing was used to correct the behavior, and also religious teachings were provided, offering the youths a chance to turn their lives around.
New reformatories such as foster homes were also set up in the mid-1800s, where hard labor was stressed to punish these individuals. Separate juvenile for girls were also set up to teach them to be more responsible in the future. All these institutions were brought together to form the first juvenile court in 1899. In 1944, the first juvenile courts operated with the philosophy of parenspratiae, where the State was expected to act as a parent and intervene where necessary if a minor was found committing any crime (CJCJ, 2020).
Since then, changes have been made in this justice system, formalizing it and making more laws to allow the representation of a minor by a lawyer during trials. Stages that occur in the juvenile court include intake screening of the minors, filing of a formal petition, adjudication, and lastly, disposition (The National Academies Press, 2015).
In today’s world, any person that violates the established laws is subjected to legal consequences. However, the type of punishment or consequence that a person can be subjected to is determined by several factors. Modern-day society is keen on promoting human rights and freedoms based on the specific needs of each individual even when they violate the law. As such, it is only appropriate that the members of society be grouped according to specific characteristics such as age and gender to ensure that each group is treated fairly. The justice system exists to handle all cases involving a person that has violated the law in one way or the other, (Koocher & Kinscherff, 2016). Even so, the juvenile justice system was established to accommodate individual cases that involve persons who cannot be considered as adults by the law. The juvenile justice system’s primary role is not to punish but rather to rehabilitate young offenders who are below the age of 18 years. This department was established based on the understanding that punishments meant for adult offenders were barely optimal for youthful offenders.
About a hundred and twenty years have passed since the juvenile justice system was established in the US. Since then, a lot of progress has been made to ensure that youthful offenders are rehabilitated appropriately and reintegrated into their respective communities. To better understand whether or not the juvenile justice system has served its purpose, it is necessary to evaluate the department’s first philosophy as well as the statistical data about the number of juvenile cases in the country over time. As such, this paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the juvenile justice department. The increasing number of youthful offenders necessitated the need for a juvenile justice department. Over the years, this department has promoted the welfare of youthful offenders but not without some racial disparities.
The juvenile justice system was founded on the principle of freedom from oppression and the philosophy of personalized justice. These two aspects are among America’s most cherished traditions in the quest to promote social welfare. Most importantly, the principle of Parens patriae has the most influence on the juvenile justice system in America. This principle requires that the State or rather, the federal government should act as a substitute parent to any child or minor who does not have the privilege of being raised by their parents. As such, the State has jurisdiction over neglected, dependent, and delinquent children (Kuperminc, et.al., 2018). This philosophy requires that the State should not discriminate against any child that requires juvenile services based on their race or social status. Also, the first philosophy of the juvenile justice system requires the State to withhold the identity of the youthful persons held in any correctional facilities to prevent stigmatization in the process of reintegrating them into their respective communities.
Based on the principle philosophy, the juvenile justice system strives to ensure that youthful offenders are treated as a person in need of structured help and behavioral rehabilitation rather than subjecting them to punishment. Although this philosophy is has led to significant achievements within the juvenile justice system, concerns over the legal rights of youthful offenders often arise. For instance, families of children detained in the juvenile justice system have raised concerns over the lack of engagement in the rehabilitation process (Amani, et.al., 2018). This is one of the areas in which the philosophy is lacking. Effective rehabilitation procedures should accommodate all the stakeholders, the youthful offenders incarcerated, juvenile officials such as judges and probation officers, as well as parents and educators, (Hirschfield, 2018).
This study adopts a qualitative research methodology to investigate the relevance of the juvenile justice system in a modern-day society based on the principal philosophy and statistical data over the years. A qualitative research design is appropriate because it allows the study to document the opinions and attitudes presented by stakeholders in the juvenile justice department. This approach will promote the evaluation of social welfare versus social control in the juvenile justice system. The information used to develop the argument and draw conclusion has been derived from multiple secondary sources of data. As such, a synthesis of literature material has been conducted to support the main argument.
Research indicates that the number of juvenile crimes has significantly dropped in the years after the establishment of the juvenile justice system was established in the US. Most importantly, the juvenile justice system has demonstrated its relevance to society through the number of minors and youthful offenders that the department has rehabilitated and reintegrated over the years. On average, “2.1 million youths” are rehabilitated by the juvenile justice system annually (Elkington, et.al., 2020). This means that almost a similar number of crimes are averted annually through rehabilitation programs. However, the department has been criticized for racial disparity. Records at the juvenile justice department indicate that black people account for the largest juvenile population in the US. Based on the same records, White persons and Asians are the least likely to be accommodated in various rehabilitation centers and male offenders are more than female offenders in the juvenile justice system, (Evangelist, et.al., 2017). Below are data tables that present the Juvenile department’s incarceration records.
1.The declining trend of juvenile cases
- The age and gender distribution of juvenile offenders
Juvenile Incarceration – Child Trends
- Juveniles in residential placement by race.
The increase in cases of crimes committed by children necessitated the implementation of juvenile law in America. The minors who commit crimes are arraigned in juvenile courts with their defense attorneys (CJCJ, 2020). The judicial system has incorporated the laws that govern the conduct of the behavior of minors that have criminal characteristics. Juvenile systems have continued to increase in the world where the victims and their families have had notable differences in their adaptation to life after the event. There are cases where the victims in juvenile cases are unfairly treated by the members of the society who affect their livelihood and means of expression (Modrowski & Kerig, 2019). In America, for instance, the juvenile system is not fair to the black people who are seen by the fact that black schools are likely to suspend the learners while the white schools do not. This indicates the disproportionation of the minority contact with the juvenile system. Data have indicated that the black males are likely to receive an adjunction that is formal than the white male as they are grounded on ethnic inequalities as well as sex.
Some programs have been initiated to help the youth engage in positive behaviors and increase positive social networks with participation and guidance from adults. The programs have proven to be effective in fostering positive behaviors and also in avoiding juvenile systems. Some interventions have been sought by the counselors to assist and take care of children and the juvenile justice systems (Kuperminc et al., 2018). The counselors have decided different techniques that are dependent on the type of needs of the youths. The treatments are aimed at the modification of behaviors, positive peer cultures, and guided group interactions (Koocher & Kinscherff, 2016).
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