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
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”. According to Griffin (2008) in some cases juveniles may be required to be “transferred” to adult court. The prerequisites for transfer to adult court are the duty to protect the public from violent youths, serious crime, and the lack of rehabilitation chance from the juvenile court. According to Flesch (2004) many jurisdictions handle the issue of serious juvenile crime by charging juveniles as adults. Charging a juvenile as an adult is done by a method which is called waiver to adult court.
“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 historical development of the juvenile justice system in the United States is one that is focused on forming and separating trying juveniles from adult counterparts. One of the most important aspects is focusing on ensuring that there is a level of fairness and equality with respect to the cognitive abilities and processes of juvenile as it relates to committing crime. Some of the most important case legislation that would strengthen the argument in regard to the development of the juvenile justice system is related to the reform of the justice system during the turn of the 19th century. Many juveniles were unfortunately caught in the crosshairs of being tried as adults and ultimately receiving punishments not in line with their ability
Lastly, there is the falsely accused, who do not commit unlawful acts but labeled unlawful. The theorists explanations for why juveniles receive a label, calls for a structural approach to rehabilitating juvenile offenders so that the labeling effect does not cause them to commit deviant behavior. According to NCJRS, “The President 's Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice report (1967) called for the creation of youth services bureaus to develop alternative programs for juvenile offenders within local communities. The establishment of these bureaus, which quickly appeared in most communities, began a movement toward diverting youth, especially status offenders and nonserious delinquents, from the juvenile court” (ncjrs.gov). The purpose of diversion is not to take away the discretion or power of the court but to use the power of the court to facilitate treatment (NCBI).
These areas will be briefly analyzed to give adequate explanation of the issue and whether additional protections serve the purposes of criminal and social justice. Law enforcement officials have a very important task when dealing with the rights of a juvenile at the time of arrest. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges recommend that a script be used by the judges to ensure that the due process rights of the juvenile are maintained (Bartollas and Miller, 2008, P.141). When the custody of a juvenile takes place all procedures must be followed in accordance with the state law. If procedures are not followed at the time of arrest, the case could potentially bring legal actions against law enforcement and juvenile court officials.
The Sentencing of Juveniles Today, we live in a society faced with many problems, including crime and the fear that it creates. In the modern era, juveniles have become a part of society to be feared, not rehabilitated. The basis of the early juvenile justice system was to rehabilitate and create safe havens for wayward youth. This is not the current philosophy, although the U.S. is one of the few remaining countries to execute juveniles. Presently, our nation is under a presidential administration that strongly advocates the death penalty, including the execution of juveniles.
. juvenile delinquency. In this report I will: define juvenile delinquency, give the extent of juvenile delinquency, give some suggestions on what causes juvenile delinquency, and what is being done in various communities to deal with this growing problem. The legal term juvenile delinquent was established so that young lawbreakers could avoid the disgrace of being classified in legal records as criminals. Juvenile delinquency laws were designed to provide treatment, rather than punishment, for juvenile offenders.
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.
Prior to the establishment of the modern juvenile justice system, children could be made to stand trial in criminal court for crimes committed, and if found culpable, they could be sentenced as an adult would be sentenced for similar crimes, with sentences resulting in prison time or even death. The juvenile justice system was developed in a large part due to the developing belief that youth offenders were incapable of criminal intent and should not be held to the same criminal standard adult offenders are. Therefore, it was considered appropriate to exempt juvenile offenders that were considered incapable of intent to commit a criminal act from prosecution and punishment. “Parens patriae” is the responsibility of the state to institute control over children when the child has posed a problem for the community due to criminal behavior, or when the natural parents of the children were either unable or not willing to meet their parental responsibilities. The juvenile justice reform movement began in this country according to this “parens patrie” line of thinking about the states role in the development of a child.