Example Of Juvenile Justice System Research Paper
It is a widely accepted principle in criminal justice system that juvenile offenders commit crime disproportionately than adult offenders. One of the basic principles of juvenile justice system that is taken into consideration is the consistent research finding showing that offending patterns usually change during the life course and juveniles usually grow out of crime while adults are more resistant to change (Richards, 2011). The type of rehabilitation approach used when processing juvenile offenders is founded on the principle of reducing recidivism and habitual delinquencies. Research studies often pointed out that only a few juvenile offenders continue their deviant behavior in their adult life. The juvenile justice system is established with the core principle of one that will address the unique needs of youth offenders through rehabilitation and treatment while providing community protection to them. In the adult criminal justice system, the adult offenders are usually declared guilty and incarcerated in prison. The juvenile justice system, however, takes a different approach when processing youth offenders. They are declared as delinquents instead of being criminals and are usually sentenced to render community-based penalty.
The principle of juvenile justice system adapts the core principle of reformation and rehabilitation of deviant behavior among the delinquents. The law also views youth offenders as victims themselves and the main principle of the justice system applied to them is not one of a punishment but of rehabilitation. Minor offenders are usually less mentally and emotionally stable than adult offenders and their behavior remains to be malleable that can be changed with proper treatment. The state also adapts the doctrine of parens patria when establishing the core principles of juvenile criminal justice system where the state takes the role of being the parent of the nation, more so of children who are vulnerable in all aspects of their persons. It is a state policy to always promote the best interest of the child by identifying the unique and distinct needs of juveniles that are more complex and vulnerable than adult offenders. In terms of punishment among adult offenders, incarceration or imprisonment is implemented because the objective is to promote reformation from an adult criminal who is already at the age of discretion when committing a crime. In juvenile offenders, imprisonment is not the choice of reformation but it is more directed towards treatment and rehabilitation. The sanctions given to adult offenders are usually in proportion to the offense committed and rehabilitation is not the primary option, but one of deterrence. The core principle in juvenile justice system is changing individual behavior and to reduce the risk factors in developing more serious future deviant behavior.
In order to maintain the juvenile criminal justice system as distinct from the adult criminal justice system, continued reforms are required in order to maintain the principles embodied in the juvenile justice system and to make its provisions relevant to the constantly changing needs of a child delinquent. Consistent review and assessments should also be established in order to identify strategies that are effective in bringing an effective rehabilitation response from juvenile offenders. It is also essential to become more vigilant to the risk factors for future delinquencies which is not the main objective in the adult criminal justice system in order to establish more effective preventive measures such as the implementation of childhood programs and other forms of rehabilitation strategies that will meet the individual needs of a child in conflict with the law (Siegel and Welsh, 2012). The establishment of alternative or distinct courts that will exclusively hear cases of juvenile delinquencies will also help maintain the distinction between juvenile and adult offenders. This is viewed as an effective administration of criminal justice according to the uniqueness and individualization of the youth offenders involved that will maintain the independence and distinction between juvenile and adult criminal justice system. The juvenile courts are in the best position to promote the core principles of the juvenile justice system and in pursuing the administration of justice through an individualized rehabilitation approach that is different from the adult justice system.
Richards, K. (2011). What makes juvenile offenders different from adult offenders? Australian Institute of Criminology. 409:1-7.
Siegel, L. and Welsh, B. (2012). Juvenile delinquency: Theory, practice and law. USA: Cengage Learning.