Future Of The Juvenile Justice System

2125 words - 9 pages

Even with all the money and effort spent on the adult justice system the recidivism rate is astonishing. When we hear old sayings like "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" or "you have to nip the problem in the bud" or "if you don't want a rotten apple, don't go to the barrel go to the tree", do we realize the effect these concepts could have on the crime? If we realize it's difficult to teach old offenders new behaviors and actually focus our efforts on "nipping the problem in the bud" or attempt to save the apple from spoiling while it's still young and on the tree, we will be able to positively affect crime in the juvenile and adult justice systems.The Juvenile Justice SystemJuvenile justice first received help in the Supreme Court in the 1960's in a case called Kent v. United States; this case started the due process for juveniles. The Supreme Court stated that "…the informal process of determining whether a juvenile should be tried in juvenile or in adult court failed to provide sufficient due process protection for children. The Court held that before a minor is transferred to adult court the child is entitled to an informal hearing where the trial court must articulate the reasons for the transfer so that the child can have an adequate record for appellate review." (www.answers.com) One year later in 1967 the Court heard another case In Re Gault "…the Court determined that juveniles must at least receive alternative equivalents. Thus, in a juvenile delinquency trial, children are entitled to: (1) notice of the charges, (2) a right to counsel, (3) a right to confrontation and cross-examination, and (4) a privilege against self-incrimination."(www.answers.com) The history from that point on has been slowly moving to giving juveniles the same protections as adults in the justice systems."Academic experts have long recognized that crime is a young man's game. The typical criminal is a male who begins his career at 14 or 15, continues through his mid-20s and then tapers off into retirement. Three statistics demonstrate the disproportionate impact of those under the age of 18 on criminal activity: While comprising roughly one-sixth of the nation's population, they make up a full one-quarter of all people arrested and account for nearly one-third of the arrests for the seven crimes in the Uniform Crime Index (homicide, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, vehicle theft and larceny)." (www.Ihc.ca.gov)Juvenile experts believe the reasons why some juveniles commit crimes against society are because there are many influences that shape their decisions. "The family is, therefore, an important factor in the forces that determine delinquency. The family determines a child's class, structure, and development, and the nourishing process is vital to formation of a child's development. Family exerts the most influence on a human being. Any severe disturbance in one or both parents can produce a devastating negative impact...

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