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Juvenile justice system Essay

Researchers and psychologists have list of typical behaviors that are exhibited by juvenile delinquents. The list also includes traits that experts referred to as indicators or predictors of delinquency. Typically, violent school children are engaged in unhealthy activities such as smoking, drinking, and drug use and of early sexual activities. They also have very poor academic performance. Researches say that violent school children are typically irresponsible in the sense that they lack the sense of accountability as they tend to blame others for their behaviors.

They are often resort to vandalism, uncooperative, no sense of loyalty and are poor team players (Case, Travis). Violent children also develop anti-social behavior which makes him feared by other children as his tendency of hurting others is at high rate. There are however been several measures adapted and implemented by both schools and the government to attend to this problem in cooperation with the parents. One famous experiment made was the Linking the Interests of Families and Teachers (LIFT) Program which have actually been recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA) (Stoolmiller, Mike et.

al. ) Researchers conducted the experiment in 12 elementary schools in a metropolitan area with about 200,000 student population. Participants totaled 671 students in 32 classrooms. The researchers concluded that the implementation of such intervention program had greatly reduced the aggressive behaviors of the participants but the long-term effects are still under follow-up studies. In the research made by another group, 800 Seattle school children were exposed to similar intervention program.

Hawkins’ Social Development Research Group gave parents special training course in interactive teaching, classroom monitoring, cooperative learning, and proactive disciplinary skills to prevent problems from arising. Their training also included positive reinforcement and risk reduction of alcohol and drug use. On the other hand, children were taught impulse control, how to get what they want without aggressive behavior, and how to recognize the feelings of other people.

The program was however concluded as a failure since it did not have significant effect in altering negative behaviors. “It did not have a major impact on reducing the proportion of students who had tried cigarettes or drugs at age 18” (Schwarz, Joel 1999). In the early 19th century, there are already efforts made to reduce juvenile delinquency by making school attendance compulsory. This social control for juvenile delinquency also required that all children be sent to school and so all children should be pulled-out from the workplace (Feld, Barry 1999).

Despite this, researchers especially psychologists still find it the most effective and efficient means of reducing juvenile delinquency for parents and elders to set themselves as excellent role models of moral uprightness. 2. What are some of the key principles of the juvenile justice system that distinguish it from the criminal justice system? What can be done to ensure that these principles are protected so the juvenile justice system remains distinct from the adult system?

While criminal justice system aimed at punishing the criminal offender, 1the juvenile justice system primarily aimed at the rehabilitation and reintegration of the juvenile offender into society. In this regard, an independent juvenile justice system is required to be established. A legal scholar argues that these principles are measures to adjust to the less developed cognitive ability and still developing social skills of the youth (Zimring, Franklin 1998, page 69).

Zimring argues that youth offenders should have “diminished responsibility” relative to their offenses as compared with adult offenders. He explained that this was based on the grounds that youth actually do not yet have the well-developed ability to decide on things relative to real-life decisions because there are not yet mature enough to understand the real course of life. Because of immaturity and the skill of self-control, Zimring argues that this may have been a major contributor to an adolescent committing crime.

Peer pressure among youth is also of great influence to juvenile delinquency. As Zimring puts it, the immediate pressure of peers is the “real motive for most teenage crime. ” Peer pressure is one thing that youth lack the capacity to withstand and this might have been the answer to the research findings that majority of the youth offenders do not repeat their offenses after they have reached maturity. The age of the offender is a primary consideration in the juvenile justice system aside from the serious consideration of the offender’s circumstances.

The Human Rights Commission of the United Nations asserts that juvenile justice system should 2ensure that decisions on the cases of youth offenders should be solely for the best interest of the child and that such decisions should ensure that the offender shall have his due worth and dignity be highly considered. In order to ensure that these principles are protected, the UN’s Human Rights Commission requires that the justice system for youths “be established with especially trained staff.

” It is also recommended by the same body that youth offenders should be separately detained with that of the adults (The Beijing Rules, 1985). Since these children are expected to be immature in terms of cognitive and social aspects of their lives, they should be treated accordingly. This is the main purpose why the justice system’s personnel should be well-trained parallel to the needs of the youth offenders. Coordination with specialized institutions, particularly those whose aims are relative to strengthening and developing the moral and spiritual aspects of these children will be of great help.

This way, the children will also have the assurance that they will be taken care of instead of being punished. The American Prosecutors Research Institute suggests a more comprehensive and balanced principles that are to be implemented in the operations of the juvenile justice system. They suggest that the system should implement community protection, offender accountability and competency development (Harp, Caren , November 2002).

Harp argues that when these three modern principles are strictly implemented, the justice system for youth offenders have the assurance that it will “operate in the best interest of the child and the community. ” It is important for children to pay the price of their actions in order for them to learn and develop the sense of accountability or responsibility (The Denver Post, August 30, 2007). They are arrested and detained to segregate them from the community for a time until they learn to act responsibly. They are to be under custody to let them know that immaturity is never an excuse for being accountable.

While in custody, it is important that they spend such time in engaging with activities that will develop their personality because juvenile offenders are more importantly to be educated than to be incarcerated (Allah, Dasun, The Village Voice, 2002). This is what Harp is pointing to as competency development through competency-enhancing work which is needed to ensure that these offenders will still the chance of living a better life after they are released from rehabilitation. 3. Discuss the most important advantages to community treatment for juvenile offenders.

Has community corrections (probation, juvenile intensive probation supervision, electronic monitoring) generally been successful? Explain. The Hamilton County of Indiana has enumerated some benefits that can be derived from the implementation of community corrections. First the offender will be able to learn the sense of accountability since he has to serve in prison as his punishment for his delinquent actions. In consideration of the children’s immaturity, community corrections ensures that the offender be able to realize the importance of learning how to handle himself and his actions in order not to hurt anyone anymore.

Through community corrections the public is ensured of its safety since offenders are to be held under close and strict monitoring or supervision. Since competency and skills development programs and activities are integrated in the community corrections, offenders will have the chance to make things right while there is still time. This way their families and the community are benefited both ways in the sense that offenders, after being treated in the corrections, will likely be going out to leave a far better life compared to his past.

Since the system staff is expected to be especially trained in attending to the needs of the juvenile offenders, these children will have the better chance of improving their own personalities. In the community corrections, offenders feel more enthusiastic and have high self-esteem since they are being treated with special attention to their personal emotional needs. Community corrections programs spare offenders many of the negative effects of incarceration (Howard Society of Alberta, 1998).

Offenders are treated not as criminals who are supposed to be punished rather they are there to be educated with life lessons especially to learn the sense of accountability. With community corrections, offenders are not segregated from the community as criminals since educational and competency programs are implemented in order to prepare them to face the challenges of life after their release. Employment opportunities are open for those who are graduates of community corrections. Such facilities are also cheaper than prison maintenance so government is able to save much money for running prison bars.

REFERENCES

1 Juvenile Justice. Juvenile Justice Canada. February 06, 2006. Retrieved on September 04, 2007 from http://www. amnesty. ca/themes/resources/children/juvenile_justice_background. pdf 2Human Rights Commission. United Nations. United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (The Riyadh Guidelines). Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 45/112 of 14 December 1990. Retrieved on September 04, 2007 from http://www. unhchr. ch/html/menu3/b/h_comp47. htm Allah, Dasun. Incarcerate or Educate? The Village Voice. February 27-March 05, 2002.

Retrieved on September 05, 2007 from http://www. villagevoice. com/news/0209,allah,32636,5. html Bright, Martin. Youth Prison Not Safe For Children. The Observer. May 19, 2002. Retrieved on September 04, 2007 from http://www. vachss. com/help_text/archive/youth_prison_uk. html Case, Travis. Identifying Characteristics of Juvenile Delinquents. Retrieved on September 05, 2007 from http://www. traviscase. org/Teens/CharacteristicsJD. html Feld, Barry C. (1999). Bad kids. New York: Oxford University Press. Pp. 17-57 Hamilton County Indiana. Benefits of Community Corrections.

Retrieved on September 06, 2007 from http://www. co. hamilton. in. us/services. asp? id=5019&entity=2102 Harp, Caren. Bringing Balance to Juvenile Justice. The American Prosecutors Research Institute. November 2002. Retrieved on September 05, 2007 from http://ndaa. org/publications/apri/juvenile_justice_monograph_nov_2002. html John Howard Society of Alberta (1998). Community Corrections. Retrieved On September 06, 2007 from http://www. johnhoward. ab. ca/PUB/C29. htm#effec Mason, Timothy. The Characteristics of Delinquents. Retrieved on Septeber 05, 2007 from http://www. timothyjpmason.

com/WebPages/Deviance/Deviance4. htm Scwarz, Joel. High school students’ violent behavior, drinking, sexual activity drops, and school performance rises from elementary school interventions. March 14 1999. Retrieved on September 06, 2007 from http://uwnews. washington. edu/ni/article. asp? articleID=1553 Stoolmiller Mike et. al. Treating Violent and Aggressive Children. Retrieved on September 06, 2007 from http://www. selfhelpmagazine. com/articles/child_behavior/treatviolent. html Zimring, Franklin E. (1998). American youth violence. New York: Oxford University Press. Pp. 69-83


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