Observation Of Adolescents In A County Court

2108 words - 8 pages

In observing Municipal Court at Jefferson County Court House there were many adolescences present. Thought there were older adults, the adolescences or delinquents seems to make up a number of the people there. The thought is, is there an effect the young adults there or reason why young adults are seen in municipal court. When observing the present of the adolescences was interested because of the fact that most were told to shape up or they would end up in jail. One was also told to get into counseling and have an intervention or would end up in jail. Amélie Petitclerc says, “As most repeat offenders first come into contact with the law as adolescents, the juvenile justice system may present an ultimate intervention opportunity to modify criminal behavior and reduce suffering” (Petitclerc 291). Knowing this before observing would have caused me to be bias and suspect that adolescents would be there and intervention would be offered instead of going straight to jail.
When observing court many of the adolescence were there without parents and it brought to mind the thought of where there parents were. Parents are a key in a child’s life they teach them the right, the wrong, and help them when they get into trouble. Cindy Lederman states in her study, “The parent–child relationship is crucial for promoting both healthy child development and trusting relationships over time” (38). With the parent neglecting, abused, or abandoning the child can lead them to wrong things like stealing to get away from everything. When that happens, “The juvenile court together with the child protection system and other agencies that work with maltreating families have the unique responsibility for protecting children from family members who have abused, abandoned, and neglected the very children they were supposed to love and nurture” (Lederman 38). With the court stepping in there is many things that can lead them either in the right direction or the wrong direction. If the child is lead in the wrong direction they can just end back in trouble with the law.
In the observations there was only one judge to decide the sentence and/or service that they would have to do. There was not a jury or another person to have a say in what would happen. “A key difference between alternative youth courts and the typical juvenile justice approach is the make-up of the court personnel” (Forgays 474). The difference in the court personnel can lead to a change in the punishment that the offender gets. In the study by Deborah Forgays it is stated, “In the standard juvenile justice approach, including Court Diversion programs, adults represent youths and then decide the sentence” (474). When the decision is made by adults there could be bias because of the point of view that they have and how they were brought up. A difference that was seen in 2008 from the data from the Whatcom County, Washington State Teen Court program is, “the adolescent offender observes the courtroom...

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