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Juvenile Justice Process and Correction Essay

Xander L. is a young man with a rough start in life, who is a known gang member, and has been in and out of the juvenile court system on numerous occasions. The 17-year-old young man has been involved in various crimes, such as purse snatching, breaking and entering, and drug possession. The juvenile offender previously served one year in a juvenile correctional facility as well as probation on several occasions. The juvenile offender also pled guilty in a court of law, regarding his possession of a concealed weapon. The case study discussed the scenario of which the individual is a repeat offender, committing crime after crime, after he has received numerous opportunities to correct his behavior. However, the case study does not reflect the steps the offender followed after he was arrested for the crimes committed. Once the offender entered the juvenile-justice system through the arrest, he will go through the intake process, detention, adjudication, disposition, and aftercare (Norris & Callahan, 2012).

In the state of Illinois, the intake process involves the prosecutor, or the court deciding whether to file the case in the juvenile court. The prosecution will review factors, such as the evidence of the offense, the seriousness of the offense, the previous criminal and court history of the offender, and the success rate of the rehabilitation tactics with the juvenile (Norris & Callahan, 2012). Furthermore, during the intake process the prosecution may determine to handle the case as a formal or informal hearing, depending on the crime committed. The informal disposition would involve the juvenile agreeing to certain terms and conditions for a specific period of time. In addition to the verbal acknowledgement, the youth will sign a written agreement and a parole officer will monitor the juvenile offender’s compliance of the agreed conditions, such as curfew, school, or community service (Norris & Callahan, 2012).

However, based on the scenario involving Xander L, the prosecution decided upon the formal disposition because of the type of crimes committed by the juvenile offender. The formal disposition involves the possibility of detention for the young offender. The individual may be detained at a secured facility if it is determined in the best interest of the juvenile or the community (Norris & Callahan, 2012). The detention of the offender may result in his or her adjudication or rather the request made by the prosecutor to waive the case to an adult criminal court. When the prosecutor request that the criminal case is waived to the adult court system, the court will make the decision based on several factors. The court will consider whether the juvenile offender may be helped by rehabilitative treatment through the juvenile court, previous adjudication tactics with unsuccessful results, or the crime committed is too severe for the juvenile court to have precedence over (Norris & Callahan, 2012).

In the case study involving Xander L, the previous crimes committed by the juvenile offender did not persuade the judge to waive the case to the adult criminal court. Therefore, the court has decided to maintain its jurisdiction over the individual, and determine whether the offender should be adjudicated as a delinquent. In the state of Illinois, if the youth is adjudicated as a delinquent, the disposition hearing will follow (Norris & Callahan, 2012). During the disposition hearing the court will consider probation recommendations as well as the prosecutor, and juvenile presenting their agreement to the judge for his or her consideration. The sentencing or disposition plan may involve requirements, such as counseling, detention center confinement, community service, or restitution (Norris & Callahan, 2012).

In some states, the judge may also order the youth to a juvenile correctional facility for rehabilitation. However, if the juvenile offender is placed in a correctional facility, aftercare will be mandatory after the release. In the state of Illinois, for example, the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice is mandated to provide post-released treatment programs for juveniles committed to the department. The programs include mental health services, educational services, substance abuse services, and referral services to any other state or local agencies (Saddler, 2012).

The corrections plan involving a letter to a judge regarding sentencing for a non-violent offense, would involve asking the judge to be lenient when sentencing the defendant because he is in the process of completing his general equivalency diploma, and by sentencing my client to a more severe punishment will only deter the individual from completing his goal. I am available to discuss any recommendations for my client, and I can be reached on my cell phone or email address regarding the opportunity. In conclusion, the case study involves the juvenile offender committing numerous crimes, serving a previous sentence in a juvenile correctional facility, and having a concealed weapon in his possession. Ultimately, falling on the mercy of the juvenile court not to have his case waived to an adult criminal court.


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