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.
Although trends in America show that society wants to try juveniles as adults for violent crimes, rehabilitation for the majority of our youths is the best solution. Juveniles Tried as Adults 2 Due to the evolution of increasingly dangerous and serious violent crimes committed by today’s youths, law makers have been put in the position according to Schwartz, to "give our communities a false sense of public protection" (CQ Researcher, 1994). This is done through the creation of legislation aimed at punishing juveniles for the crimes they commit. However, it is clear that trying juveniles as adults does not address the crime rate or why violent crimes are committed, because it is simply a quick-fix policy that only surfaces around election years, implying that "it’s political" (Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service, 1996). Secondly, the majority of crimes ... ... middle of paper ... ... information was known before the infamous strong-armed robbery, it could have been prevented through early intervention.
According to Caldwell (1961) the juvenile justice system is based on the principle that youth are developmentally and fundamentally different from adults. According to Mack (1909) the focus of the juvenile justice system has shifted from “was the crime committed” to “why did the child commit the crime”, “how can we help the child”. 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 Griffin (2008) in some cases juveniles may be required to be “transferred” to adult court. In this paper I am going to discuss the three primary mechanisms of waiver to adult court: judicial waiver laws, statutory exclusion laws, and prosecutorial discretion or concurrent jurisdiction laws.
Multiple surveys have proven that 65% of the most ridiculous mistakes made by an adult were made in their teenage years. Adolescents are known to make mistakes, but when punished correctly, instead of repeating, they learn. Most people believe the harsher the punishment the less likely a child will act out again, but through research and analysis of the brain this was proven to not be true. When a teenager goes as far as committing a crime, judgement should still be based on the fact that he or she is still a minor. As a juvenile, doing something wrong , no matter the severity, should be resulted in a punishment that requires them to learn from their mistakes.
“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 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 sense of mutual responsibility and equality before the law must rule out a person from malicious mischief; otherwise they must be ready for suffering. The differences in punishment measures for different categories of offenders who commit the same crime undermine the system of social order and justice. Why should some offenders get second chance and escape punishment? Who will give a second chance to their victims? In order to make today children incapable of co... ... middle of paper ... ...ce is very dubious about its rehabilitative function.
It’s about holding them accountable for their actions by placing them in adult jails to set an example for others, a deterrence. The problem lies in ignoring the general separation the law has in housing juveniles and adult offenders separately. Juveniles should be tried and sentenced separately because their cognitive learning and correctable behavior will be different than that of an adult. According to the Texas Law Review (2004), “Juvenile courts recognize two main kinds of juvenile offenses. Juvenile crime is simply criminal activity committed by a juvenile.
The movement was referred to as the Society for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency. The main issue that legislation and movements sought to address was the separation of delinquents from the adult offenders. In a case of an adult offender the court looks at the act committed. However, with the emergence of juvenile courts the focus is on the delinquent who is viewed as a child, and who needs to be helped. In the spirit of ensuring that trials against children were handled in a speedy and in a confidential manner, children below fourteen years were tried immediately before two magistrates (19th Century Bedford Gaol).
There is no doubt that youth justice practises have changed throughout the years, these changes have been made to adapt to the new challenges that present themselves today. Crime in general, but particularly youth crime is a consistent problem for society. It was during the mid nineteenth century in England when the parliament initially recognised juvenile delinquency as a distinctive social phenomenon and accepted the responsibility not only for young offenders, but also for the children who, though not in trouble with the law, required full care and protection. Children who stood before the courts were no longer seen as little adults but were seen as beings in their own rights who were entitled because they lack full responsibility for their actions. Through this change in status it accomplished the introduction of reformatory rather than punitive treatment.