A Critical Look in Current Events Facing Juveniles in the Juvenile Justice System

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A Critical Look in Current Events Facing Juveniles in the Juvenile justice system

The juvenile justice system was founded on the belief that juveniles should be rehabilitated from committing crime. It was the belief of the government that juveniles do not posses the cognitive reasoning of adults, therefore should not be punished as adults. The juvenile court was formed in 1899 with the belief that the government needs to play a more active role in the rehabilitation of juveniles. This belief held strong up until the 1980's when President Ronald Reagan took office. The beliefs in juvenile rehabilitation were fading and an alternative was rapidly being put into motion, juvenile incarceration. Juveniles being incarcerated was not new to the juvenile justice system at this time, but what was new was the faith that incarceration in itself a good way solving the rising rates of crime. The Reagan legacy opened up the doors to drastic change in the juvenile justice system, such as: more adult like treatment of juveniles, making them more responsible/culpable for their actions, more frequent detentions handed out, seeing juveniles in adult court, and even the death penalty for juveniles. The new direction the juvenile court was taking is what shaped the issues and controversies we see in our juvenile court system today. The main controversy with the juvenile justice system today is the new belief in the rise in the adult like punishment to being applied to juvenile offenders. This new reform has brought adult like approaches to juvenile court such as, mandatory minimum sentencing, juvenile's cognitive capacity, do juveniles belong in adult court and adult prisons, and the death penalty for juveniles.

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..."2"> Greg Sukiennik, The America's Intelligence Wire. Financial Times, March 14, 2005

COPYRIGHT 2005 Financial Times Information Ltd.

3) Claudia Wallis With reporting by Eric Ferkenhoff/ Chicago; Wendy Grossman/Houston; Stacy J. Willis/Las Vegas,

Too Young to Die: The Supreme Court nixes the juvenile death penalty. What that says about the Justices' thinking--and ours. Time, March 14, 2005 v165 i11 p40. COPYRIGHT 2005 Time, Inc.

4) Peggy Walker, Judge, Juvenile Court of Douglas County, SB440 and the Need to Reform Georgia's Practice Of Sending Youth to the Adult Criminal Justice System: Testimony of Judge Peggy Walker to the Senate Study Committee on Youth and Crime. June 1, 2004
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