This paper will discuss the history of the juvenile justice system and how it has come to be what it is today. When a juvenile offender commits a crime and is sentenced to jail or reform school, the offender goes to a separate jail or reforming place than an adult. It hasn’t always been this way. Until the early 1800’s juveniles were tried just like everyone else. Today, that is not the case. This paper will explain the reforms that have taken place within the criminal justice system that developed the juvenile justice system.
Before the Progressive Era, children who were over the age of seven were put in jail with adults. In the early part of the 1800’s reformers started to become concerned with the overcrowded environment in the jails and prisons, and the corruption young kids were experiencing when locked up with adult prisoners. 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. They were overwhelmingly convinced that so...
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Johnson, K., Lanza-Kaduce, L., & Woolard, J. (2011). Disregarding graduated treatment: Why transfer aggravates recidivism. Crime & Delinquency, 57(5), 756-777. doi:10.1177/0011128708328867
Klein, Eric K. (2011) "Dennis the menace or billy the kid: An analysis of the role of transfer to criminal court in juvenile justice." American Criminal Law Review Winter 1998: 371- 410. Retrieved from Academic OneFile.
Myers, J. B. (2008). A Short History of Child Protection in America. Family Law Quarterly, 42(3), 449-463. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Rodriguez, P. F., & Baille, D. M. (2010). Reforming Our Expectations About Juvenile Justice. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 19(2), 43-46. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
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The Juvenile Justice system, since its conception over a century ago, has been one at conflict with itself. Originally conceived as a fatherly entity intervening into the lives of the troubled urban youths, it has since been transformed into a rigid and adversarial arena restrained by the demands of personal liberty and due process. The nature of a juvenile's experience within the juvenile justice system has come almost full circle from being treated as an adult, then as an unaccountable child, now almost as an adult once more.
There is a great deal of controversy over the trying and sentencing of juvenile offenders today. Many will argue that because the severity of Juvenile crimes has risen, the severity of its consequences should rise; however, no matter how serious the crime is, juvenile offenders tried as adults receive far worse than they deserve. The majority of Juveniles tried as adults are hardly given any form of human rights. Adult jails are not the environment children should have to experience, especially those sentenced for misdemeanors and nonviolent crimes. There are other solutions to reducing juvenile crime. It does not take adult court to straighten out kids on the wrong path. Most children are not even able to recognize that what they had done is wrong. There may be no perfect solution to reducing juvenile crime, but there are ways far more effective than adult trying and sentencing.
This paper describes the various legislations and movements that were established in 19th century to address the issue of juvenile justice system. It outlines the challenges faced by the legislation and movements and their implications in addressing the issues of the juvenile justice system.
Yet, that beginning provided the foundation for how our Nation deals with juvenile offenders. A century ago, “the focus of the juvenile justice system was on the juvenile offender—rather than the offense—and that remains largely true today” (Martin, 2005). The juvenile court system is based on “the principle that youth are developmentally different from adults and more amenable to intervention” (Martin, 2005). At its best, the juvenile court “balances rehabilitation and treatment with appropriate sanctions—including incarceration, when necessary” (Martin,
Feld in Abolish the Juvenile Court (1999), there are inherent flaws in the juvenile justice system because it cannot act as a social welfare system and also provide criminal social control. Juvenile courts punish delinquents in the name of treatment but deny them protections available to criminals (Feld, 1999). Youths whom judges remove from their homes and incarcerate in intuitions for long periods of time receive substantially fewer procedural safeguards than do convicted adults. Juvenile courts provide inadequate social welfare and lack the necessary resources needed to treat these
The U.S made legal history in 1989 when the world’s first juvenile court opened in Chicago (Rank, J.) Since 1990 many states have also adopted the “get tough” approach to juvenile justice as a response to the increasingly violent crimes committed by children. Juvenile crime escalated to an all time high, and then started to decrease in 1995 when images on television, such as the Springfield, Oregon, rampage of 15-year-old Kip Kinkel who shot both of his parents and then two of his classmates. The impression of citizens in the United States was that juvenile crime is out of control. (Levinson) Now Juveniles are being prosecuted a lot more than adults in adult courts.
Treating juveniles as a separate class in the criminal justice system did not exist until the late nineteenth century. Juveniles were grouped with all other violators of law within the nation’s courts. Along with rapid industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and social change that shocked our society came the necessary reforms to the criminal law system that saw things like probation, parole, undetermined sentences, and most importantly for the subject at hand, the juvenile court system. Recognizing the need for different type of solution, states began to adopt “open-ended, ...
There has always been alarm and despair over escalating juvenile crime. In the 1950s there were reports about the mushrooming problems with youthful gangs in the big cities. In the 1960s we began to hear about a surge of juvenile crime in areas that had been regarded as virtually crime free. In the suburbs as well as the inner cities, youngsters were dropping out of school, using drugs and committing crimes. In the 1970s and 1980s, juvenile court dockets became increasingly jammed with criminal cases. According to the Department of Justice, the percentage increases in arrests from 1985 to 1994 have been greater for juveniles than for adults. During 1994 alone, 2.7 million juveniles were arrested. During the latter part of this century, juvenile courts that customarily provided social services in order to rehabilitate rather than punish lawbreakers were faced with an onslaught of children who were not simply wayward youths, but hardened repeat offenders. The 1980s witnessed an increasingly desperate outcry for courts to take more extreme measures to contain juvenile crime, which is assuming ever more serious forms.
According to Donna M. Bishop( 2003) of the University of Chicago criminal justice system “Transfer of juvenile defendants to criminal courts for adult prosecution has traditionally been justified on the grounds that the juvenile court is ill equipped to handle two classes of offenders. In cases of seriously violent crimes, the public has historically demanded heavy penalties that exceed the authority of the juvenile court (Tanenhaus, forthcoming). While commission of a repugnant act neither transforms a young o...
The way that juvenile delinquency has been perceived has changed over the course of history and will often reflect the current social conditions. During the 1600-1700’s law was largely defined by the influence of religion. Violation of a law whether by adult or child was seen as a legal and moral violation of God’s law. Punishments for law breaking adults were extremely harsh, often to the point of death (add source). Punishment was harsh toward children as well. In society there has been the notion that children are particularly susceptible to moral violations. If an adolescent was found guilty of a serious crime they could be punished by the use of physical pain, such as whippings, lashings and beatings. The definition of serious behavior
The history of Juvenile Justice dates back to the early 1800s. Child were classified as adults when committing a crime. When a children reached the age of five they were put into society and were treated as adults. Changes to the juvenile justice system did not begin until the early 1800s. The first institution was the House of Refuge, which separated the children from the outside world. Many of the institutions that were made were designed to separate juveniles from adults and for them to be treated differently. The first juvenile court was established in Cook County, IL in 1899. The system wanted to help them find alternatives from doing wrong and treat them as way to stay out of trouble and ‘adult’ jail. Parens patriae plays a huge roll
As a society we try to figure out if the system today for juvenile is working or not. The juvenile system was designed a long time ago to try and rehabilitate also to reform juveniles that commit crimes. In some cases, juveniles today have evolved to many more adult crimes. Many of these crimes have come on the form of raping’s and murders. The original juvenile justice system was not build for these type of behavior, so today many states are trying to refigure their individual programs to fit such
The dilemma of juvenile incarceration is a problem that thankfully has been declining, but still continues to be an ethical issue. The de-incarceration trend has coincided with a decrease in crime. It is hopeful that our nation is changing the approach to the treatment of juveniles in the criminal justice system. It means we know what to do and what is working, now just to follow through and continue the change to creating a juvenile justice system that is truly rehabilitative and gives youth tools to be able to be positive members of
The juvenile justice system is a foundation in society that is granted certain powers and responsibilities. It faces several different tasks, among the most important is maintaining order and preserving constitutional rights. When a juvenile is arrested and charged with committing a crime there are many different factors that will come in to play during the course of his arrest, trial, conviction, sentencing, and rehabilitation process. This paper examines the Juvenile Justice System’s court process in the State of New Jersey and the State of California.