The juvenile system is a system of establishing justice among the offenders who are under 18 years of age (Cole & Smith, 2006). It normally aims at rehabilitating these young offenders and protecting them from the punishment that would otherwise be inferred to them by the adult courts. The adolescents who normally find themselves in situations like these that need rehabilitation are referred to as delinquents. They were given such consideration because it was considered that they might need psychological assistance, as they might not be fully aware of the offences they are committing.
In the United States, we find that each state has its set of laws that govern the juvenile system. Some of the major weaknesses in the current juvenile system are overcrowding in the cells (Cole & Smith, 2006). This normally occurs due to very tough measures that are put in place such that even the offences that can be corrected at a home setting are brought in the juvenile system. It is important to ensure that only the people whose offences really call for juvenile treatment are put under such.
Another corrective measure to ensure that overcrowding is over come would be by constructing more and more juvenile homes to ensure that these delinquents are given a proper housing also for the sake of their health. The measure I would use to measure success is to compare the kids who have been in the former system with the kids who I would put through the new system. I would then be able to measure whether my new measures have helped improve the situation (Tracy, 2002).
Corruption is also part of the reason why sometimes these kids are jam packed in privately owned cells. The owners of these cells agree with the judges so that the judges get a pay when they send them there. This is not hearsay but a case was reported in Pennsylvania four years back (Gaines & Miller, 2008). Some of these kids had committed minor offences and were not even entitled to a lawyer . I would ensure that such inhuman and selfish acts are done away with by ensuring such people are put behind bars.
I would also make sure that the judges who are holding posts have clean records. This I would do by ordering an immediate audit on all these judges. Those with reports of having dirty affairs and deals of corruption would be thoroughly investigated. I would measure the success of this by comparing the efficiency of these new judges with those of the past (Siegel, 2008). I would also implement a measure where by all the juvenile detentions are owned by people who have the best interest of these children at heart.
I would also ensure that the people running these homes have the basic skills that are required of them so as to be of help to these children (Siegel, 2008). A thorough investigation on all the privately owned detention homes and ensures that they have no collaboration with the judges in question at all. A thorough audit of these firms would be carried out to ensure that they are clear of bias and corruption. The juvenile system of today has also been abused to such an extent that some times the delinquents are put in detention together with the adult offenders.
This has resulted to cases where they have been abused by the adults (Gaines & Miller, 2008). These harassments have sometimes been sexual like sodomy where we then find that they are faced with the danger of acquiring sexually attained diseases. As a corrective measure, I would make sure that they are housed differently. Effectiveness of this would be measured through looking at the progress of those teens who have been housed together with the adults and harassed and those that have not. Their emotional differences would be compared (Siegel, 2008).
Another weakness of the current system many times the children in question are ending up in a greater mess than how they first begun, This would be for such reasons as being taken into strange environments so far from their homes. What is so intimidating about this is that these homes are full of so many other delinquents making it hard for them to get attention (Siegel & Welsh, 2008). To correct this I would ensure that these delinquents are put in detention homes near their homes to avoid mental torture . Mental torture is avoided at all costs because if the delinquent is tortured they grow into more dangerous adults.
If this occurs then the juvenile system does not at all accomplish any purpose. I would also ensure that the detention homes that are so large are abolished or broken down into smaller units. This would be to enable personal attention to any delinquent. I would measure the success of this through comparing the change in behavior of children who have been put in the different systems (Gaines & Miller, 2008). The current system has not gone to the grassroots to initiate campaigns off awareness to the parents. Thus, many of these offences are occurring due to parents not giving attention to their children.
This has led to emotional wounds in these children. They many times respond by being defiant. To curb this I would go to the grassroots and initiating an awareness campaign to the parents (Cole & Smith, 2006). This means I would initiate a major educative campaign that focuses on the social lives of these children. This I would do because all youth ought to be treated ethically. Anytime ethical treatment fails and instead these children are abused, they become stigmatized and their mental health is affected. Thus, I would make sure that parents are educated on how they ought to relate with their children (Gaines & Miller, 2008).
With the proper and healthy relationships, these children would be more stable mentally and socially. This would in turn reduce the occurrences. I would measure the effectiveness of this by carrying a study on those children whose parents have been educated against those that have not and I would compare behavior (Siegel & Welsh, 2008). The current juvenile system also has it that if the offence in question is too serious, then the teen is tried in an adult court. This they term as the get tough approach so as not to overprotect such teens and endanger the society.
This I believe only exposes such teens to more mental torture (Siegel & Welsh, 2008). However, in my opinion I would avoid at all having these teens cases tried in the adult courts. This is due to the fact that when they are exposed to the public then the teens with their defiance become more hardened. This is what now would be termed as more dangerous because they would then act as though they are on a revenge mission and do more harm. I would measure the success of this by comparing the behaviors of the teens in the then former system and the current system.
Courtney from Study Moose
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