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.
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.
This an extremely well written and powerful book written by Edward Humes. Humes shared his thoughts, observations, and criticisms about the juvenile justice system after a “riveting ride” through the Los Angeles Juvenile Court within his book, “No Matter How Loud I Shout.” The manner in which the book is written makes it fairly easy to read, demanding your attention while allowing for a simple follow along. I feel as if the book has given me much more insight and broader knowledge of the juvenile justice system, particularly the juvenile court system of Los Angeles.
During one of our class sessions we discussed the different areas within the criminal justice system. The topic of courts and sentencing specifically of juveniles was mentioned. As we get to know the inside students we learn some of their backstory of how they ended up at Joseph Harp Correctional Facility, many of them had their first contact with the criminal justice system as a juvenile. Several of the inside students expressed animosity toward the courts when it came to sentencing of juveniles. They thought that some of the ways juveniles are sentenced is too harsh.
Juvenile delinquency is a problem that affects society as a whole. Understanding Juvenile delinquency is important because it is part of trying to figure out how people in American society should react to it; specifically, in terms of law enforcement officers, their agencies, and State legislators. When deviant behavior becomes "continuous, chronic and widespread it gets perceived as a significant part of the population as threatening to the general well-being of society" (Thompson and Bynum, 2010, p. 44). This is a societal problem that requires attention from various forms of social control. However, a lot of the burden is absorbed by an imperfect Juvenile Justice System. As time has passed, argument has ensued over what should be done with the Juvenile Court System. Should the court system be reformed or simply abolished? Barry C. Feld believes that there are enough factors to support the abolishment of the Juvenile Court System and supports an integrated approach (Hickey, 2010). Others, like Vincent Schiraldi and Jason Ziedenberg, believe that the transfer of kids "into adult court is unnecessary, harmful and racist" (Kelly, 2010, Lecture Unit 3). While reforming the system may seem like the best idea, there are certain factors that inhibit proper changes from being made. Creating a separate court system for juveniles has caused a number of consequences for youth.
Life is precious and we live it only once, however, what we do with it is to our own discretion. It is a shame that many people at young ages decide to live a life of misdeeds and become what we call juvenile criminals, but, every action has a consequence and to deal with these unlawful adolescent we have the Juvenile Justice Department. The juvenile justice system is a network of agencies that deal with juveniles whose conduct has come in conflict with the law. These agencies include police, prosecutor, detention, court, probation, and the Department of Juvenile Corrections. However, when young offenders commit a series of crimes, constantly being in trouble with the law, they are waivered into Adult court where they will be subject to any
The community and the courts began to view juveniles as capable of molding and rehabilitating, so thus began a modification in the court system and sentencing of juvenile offenders. In 1899, the first US court system existed in Cook County, Illinois which opened up doors to numerous juvenile court systems. “Children were no longer to be dealt with as criminals, but rather through the parens patriae power of the state were to be treated as wards of the state, not fully responsible for their conduct and capable of being rehabilitated (Davis, 1976, p. 3).” Parens patriae: the notion that grants the state power and authority to protect juvenile offenders who are unable to care for themselves is important because the court moved from viewing juveniles as criminals to juveniles as delinquents, a minor between the age of 10 and 17 who violated the law (Juvenile Delinquents). Juveniles violates laws while adults commit crimes. Instead of imprisonment of the juvenile delinquent the court assessed why the juvenile violated the law and tried to treat the child’s problem by sentencing them to an intervention program rather than placing them in prison. The judge, “the father figure,” stood dedicated to protecting the juvenile rather than punishing (Davis, 1976, p. 3) making sure to evaluate the best interest of the
Shook, J. (2005). Contesting childhood in the us justice system: The transfer of juveniles to adult criminal court. Childhood: A Global Journal of Child Research, 12(4), 461-478.
Juvenile Justice Reforms in the United States. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2011, from Juvenile Transfer to Criminal Courts: http://www.ojjdp.gov
Whitehead, J. T., & Lab, S. P. (2013). Juvenile justice: An introduction (7th ed.). Waltham, MA: Anderson Publishing.