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Juvenile Correctional Officers Essay

When a person is charged for a crime that was committed and is sentenced to serve time in a facility, a correctional officer is responsible for the supervision and safety of the detainee. Correctional officers work in adult and juvenile detention centers, though in each facility their responsibilities differ pertaining to whether the detainee is an adult or a juvenile. Because of the ages of the detainees a correctional officer at a juvenile detention facility are greater than if they were dealing with adults. To understand what the differences are in regards to a juvenile, one must know, child development, punishment, and deterrence play a part in the unique situations pertaining to a juvenile detainee. Every child that commit’s a crime has their very own unique situation behind the crime. Some children were taught the crimes they commit by a trusted adult, or television. Some may have an underlying mental or psychological defect that brought them to commit the crime.

There are also situations where a child was neglected, abandoned, or abused by an adult they cared about, thus bringing violence among the child. A child’s development can play a very important role in corrections. There may be a violent child that may need to be restrained or put in separate quarters to protect themselves as well as other detainees from harm. A child may also need to be medicated because of an underlying condition or disease. All of these factors can not only affect how a child is taken care of in a facility, but also before that when they are arrested and tried. All of the above factors can either help or hurt a child. If there is no proof of abuse or an mental condition, the courts may be less lenient on their charge and sentence, then a troubled child with underlying factors, in which a judge may take those factors into consideration and gives a lesser charge, House them in a mental facility instead, or provide extra programs or services to help the child once detained.

Through punishment a court can show the juvenile what happens if they commit a crime and keep them off the street and from the community by taking away their freedom. Most juveniles are punished by a fine, community service, probation, home electronic monitoring, or incarceration in a juvenile detention center. While there they will be under close supervision of correctional officers and therapists in some facilities. There are occasions for serious crimes that a judge will sentence a juvenile to an adult detention center if they have been tried as an adult. The juveniles that are occasionally tried as adults are ones that commit crimes such as manslaughter, sex crimes, or murder. While a juvenile is in a detention center, they can have visitors as long as it is an immediate family member and this is usually on certain days. In some facilities, recreation, religious, and educational programs are given while they are detained as well.

“Increased punishment of juveniles reduces the amount of crime they commit in a way similar to the impact punishment has for adults, according to a new paper by Steven Levitt, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago“. “The evidence suggests that juvenile crime is responsive to harsher sanctions,” Levitt writes. “The estimated decrease in crime associated with incarcerating an additional juvenile is at least as large as the corresponding reduction in crime for adult offenders”, (Levitt, S, 1998). “In an effort to strengthen the sanctions for serious juvenile crimes, a number of states have enacted laws increasing the types of offenders and offenses eligible for transfer from the juvenile court to the adult criminal court for trial and potential sentencing”, (Redding, R, 2010).

These laws are created to try and set precedent to deter juveniles from following certain crime trends and teach them what is in store for them if they do offend. Deterrence has became a popular practice in the criminal justice system. With success of a deterrence, jails and detention centers do not get overcrowded, and more money of the individual states can go to fund therapeutic programs and services to assist troubled individuals. In some instances, a juvenile can be given an opportunity to make heir offense right by attending therapy and psychological meetings, thus helping them cope with whatever issues they may have.

This can aid in deterring the individual from committing a crime. Juveniles are our future and it is the responsibility of us adults to help them grow up into fine law abiding individuals and not into a life of crime. To help adults teach juveniles they , must know the juvenile corrections department and educate their children. Knowing how a child develops, how punishment can help, and ways to deter the juvenile are good practices for any parent and adult to learn. For us to safely say we raised our kids right, we must keep the world free of crime and full of love.

Resources
Redding, Richard, Juvenile Justice Bulletin, US Dept of Justice, Juvenile Transfer Laws, 2010, Right Margin Steven Levitt, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, Juvenile Delinquents, University of Chicago News Office, December 21, 1998, Para. 1.


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