Specially trained lawyers work closely with trained social workers to provide legal representation and education, foster care, mental health, and policy advocacy”(_____,2014,p.1118). The goal being to expand beyond what is usually being presented in courtrooms, putting the same amount of focus on the individual and the crime. Analyzing the lifestyle of a juvenile could form answers to the questions surrounding influences and the impact the crime had on them. In the Supreme Court case of Miller v. Alabama, “the courts [were able to] recognize that adolescents are less blameworthy nor the offenses they commit because they are less capable of evaluating the possible outcomes of different courses of actions and they are more vulnerable to external
Several studies conducted to determine impacts of transfers of cases from juvenile courts to adult criminal courts for trial and potential sentencing indicate higher recidivism rates among the offenders. This is because of the notion the youth possess on the strictness on the adult courts. They believe trials on these courts end up in harsh punishment for offenders. In a way, adult punishments scare youth away from committing major crimes. However, studies show that short term punishments imposed on young offenders in adult courts propagates the offenders to commit even more crimes that are serious after their sentence terminates.
A transition from the classic objective of reform brought by juvenile justice system to a more tough policy that focus more on public safety and on idea of punishment to juvenile offenders came to effect. The trend is to be more amenable to the “get-tough” principle, allowing a juvenile to be prosecuted and tried as an adult in criminal court. The most basic reason for allowing this shift is for public safety and deterrent of crimes involving juveniles. The arguments provide that there is a need to incapacitate these juveniles for some period of time in order for them to realize the seriousness of the offense that they committed and the adult criminal court system is the closest way of achieving this goal. The advocates of the transfer of the juveniles to adult court believe that since the same crime was committed, the same act was done, thus, there is a need to impose the same harsh punishment.
Additionally, he seems to be addressing law enforcement officers and readers who have a special interest in expungment. The purpose of Funk's is to make the reader aware that there is a problem with the current expungement policies. His intention is to stress that violent crimes committed by juveniles have increased dramatically since the inception of expungment. He believes expungment is a direct factor for this increase. Finally the cost may have become too much to bear with the explosion of juvenile crime and the increase in recidivism it gives the writer a valid case that expungment needs to be reconsidered.
“One of the most important actions that can occur in the early court processing of a juvenile offender is the transfer process, or also known as waiver” (Siegel & Welsh, 2011). Before they had a juvenile court system, juvenile offenders were treated in the Adversarial Criminal Justice System, in the same manner as adults. These influenced legislators in many countries to think of alternative procedures that could be used in dealing with youthful offenders instead of subjecting them to the harsh treatment in the criminal justice system (Siegel & Welsh, 2011). So, this led to the establishment of juvenile courts that focused more on rehabilitation rather than punishment. Court proceedings were made more informal, and youthful offenders were since distanced from the Adversarial justice system.
The Progressives in the late nineteenth century started to push for universal reform in the criminal justice system (Myers, 2008). The Progressives looked to move away from the penalizing aspect and more towards a rehabilitative system, with regard to the rectification of delinquent children and adolescents. A specific group of Progressives, called the "child savers," focused the majority of their attention on finding and curing the causes of juvenile delinquent behavior. The child savers group viewed the juvenile offenders as adolescents in need of care and direction, not punishment (Myers, 2008). In In re Gault (1967), Justice Fortas summed up the views of the child savers: “The early reformers were horrified by adult procedures and penalties, and by the fact that children could be given long prison sentences and thrown in jails with toughened criminals.
Juvenile Courts in the United States When the Juvenile Justice System was created, it was geared towards treating poverty stricken juvenile offenders as adults while allowing the wealthier offenders to essentially go free. Decades later, a reform movement saw a need to delineate juvenile offender from adults through their own court system. A shift in how these offenders were treated throughout the juvenile system process began to take shape. There was a push to reduce the risk of a youth offender becoming an adult offender. This push is far different from how the initial juvenile offenders were treated.
Snyder, H., Sickmund, M., & Poe-Yamagata, E. (2000) Juvenile Transfers to Criminal Court in the 1990’s: Lessons Learned From Four States. National Center for Juvenile Justice: Pittsburg, PA. Griffin, P. (2008) Different from Adults: An Updated Analysis of Juvenile Transfer and Blending Sentencing Laws, With Recommendations for Reform. National Center for Juvenile Justice: Pittsburg, PA Griffin, P. (2003) Trying and Sentencing Juveniles as Adults: An Analysis of State Transfer and Blending Sentencing Laws. National Center for Juvenile Justice: Pittsburg, PA
The focus of the juvenile justice system is to rehabilitate juvenile offenders, rather than to imprison and punish like the systems adult counterpart. According to Caldwell (1961) the juvenile justice system is based on the principle that youth are developmentally and fundamentally different from adults. This has lead to the development of a separate justice system for juveniles that was initially designed to assist troubled juveniles providing them with protection, treatment, and guidance. When performing as it is designed and up to the initial intentions, the juvenile court balances rehabilitation (treatment) of the offender with suitable sanctions when necessary such as incarceration. According to Mack (1909) the focus of the juvenile justice system has shifted from “how can we help the child”, “why did the child commit the crime” to “was the crime committed”.
Lawyershop.com. Retrieved from: http://www.lawyershop.com/practice-areas/criminal-law/juvenile-law/history Hill, D.E., (2008). Juvenile Justice. Retrieved from: http://www.faqs.org/childhood/In-Ke/Juvenile-Justice.html Shore, H. The Idea of Juvenile Crime in 19th-Century England. Retrieved from: http://www.orange.k12.oh.us/teachers/ohs/tshreve/apwebpage/readings/juvcrime19cbr.html Stier, K., (2009).