Free Research Paper On Solution: Redesigning The Corrections Justice System
Part 2: Solution to Problem and Advantages
Part 2: Solution to Problem and Advantages
There are exactly 50 States within the United States that implements two distinct justice systems for both the adults and the juveniles. In these states, there are about 250,000 youths under the age of 18 who are being transferred to the adult criminal justice system every twelve months (Ziedenberg, 2011, p.2). However, with the little attention being directed to the corrections systems, juveniles in the adult system commit re-offense at a much higher rate than those remaining in the juvenile justice system. With this, the corrections justice system face a new challenge, to make sure the juveniles who are underage would be rehabilitated, reformed, and supervised effectively, based on their rights. With this, the juvenile justice system should be reformed and redesigned, to make sure the juveniles receive the right treatment, be reformed and become good citizens of the society.
There was failure in the Proposition 21, the Gang Violence and Juvenile Crime Prevention Initiative, in trying to decrease the number of juveniles who commit violence. This law had increased the prosecutorial discretion to a level that ignored the case of immaturity among the juveniles and instead, had taken away the power of the juvenile court judges. However, by transferring them to adult criminal courts, there was violation in the equal protection rights of the juveniles, especially since prosecutors were the ones who decide whether to try them as juveniles or as adults. With this, the solution would be, to redesign the corrections justice system by focusing more on the rehabilitation of the juvenile offenders and not on the incarceration and punishment that are too harsh for young offenders.
Redesigning the corrections justice system will provide equitable advantage, since the original juvenile justice system was designed to act as a “chancery court” and not as a “criminal court” (Taylor, 2002, p.985). Its primary focus should have been on the “benevolent state treatment of children” (Taylor, 2002, p.985), in which they seek to rehabilitate the juveniles and not punish them. It should have served as a social service agency and should have benefited the society by teaching right conduct and behavior to juveniles who are not yet mature enough to comprehend proper comportment. By focusing on the offender, instead of the offense, there is impartiality on the treatment of the offender, as the focus centers on “why” the offender has committed the crime. There will be actions that would prevent further crime from taking place, and there would be probation officers and child welfare professionals to help teach or train the juvenile. By then, the case appears to be more equitable, especially in terms of the juvenile offender, who would be given the right treatment and care through acts of rehabilitation and reformation for the sake of equity.
Secondly, redesigning the corrections justice system will likewise provide social advantage, since the policies for the legislative committee of the court will undergo enhancement, which benefits the prevailing of justice within the society. It is the legislature that gives the prosecutors the right to decide on whether the young offenders will be under the juvenile or the adult court. Over the years however, the legislatures showed increased preference on direct file and statutory exclusion, as they sought to removing the judicial discretion, which should have aimed for the rehabilitation of the young offender. This is seen in California’s Proposition 21, wherein “the juvenile is not afforded a hearing and discretion rests exclusively with the prosecutor with little statutory guidance” (Taylor, 2002, p.988). If this is to continue, the society will suffer, as the juvenile offenders would receive harsh treatment from the prosecutors, instead of reconsidering the case of the offender as to why they were indebted to commit the crime. More and more juvenile offenders will commit re-offense, and the society will be more violent and severe in the coming years.
Lastly, by redesigning the corrections justice system, there will be advantages in terms of ethical or moral. In the Juvenile Justice Initiative of California’s Proposition 21, power rests on the prosecutors instead of the judges, giving the former the right to sentence youths to full criminal terms and to a life in prison. This is very different from the juvenile justice system, which holds criminal terms by only up to 25 years of age (Taylor, 2002, p.990). If this is the case, then the way of the adult justice system is much too severe for the juveniles, who are “not fully developed cognitively, morally and emotionally, [so] they should not be held to the same standards of moral accountability” (Young, 2001, p.19). There was more emphasis on punishing and locking up the juveniles than in teaching them the right conduct and behavior. This, however, is unethical and immoral, as juveniles should still be given the freedom to grow and to move about, so they can develop into fully-fledged adults through rehabilitation and reformation. They needed help and guidance to develop cognitively, morally, and emotionally, and this will not take place if they were to be locked up in their detention area, without fully comprehending why they ended up in jail.
The juvenile justice system should be reformed and redesigned to make sure the juveniles receive the right treatment and be reformed, to become good citizens of the State. There are three advantages in implementing this solution. First, it will provide equitable advantage, since young offenders should rightfully be treated according to their rightful age. Second, it will provide social advantage, since the redesigning of judicial policies of the legislative committee will decrease the number of juvenile crimes, to prevent the future society from being filled with violence and injustice. Third and last is the ethical and/or moral advantage, since the redesigning of the judicial policies will give the young offenders the right to reform, for them to be fully developed cognitively, morally, and emotionally. If these are to be implemented, then the society will be much more peaceful and equitable, as the young offenders will have the chance to reform. They will grow in mind and in wellbeing, until they understand the effects of their wrongdoing to the prevailing society.
Taylor, J. (2002). California’s Proposition 21: a case of juvenile injustice. Southern California Law Review, 75(1), 983-1019.
Young, L. (2001). Suffer the children: the basic principle of juvenile justice is to treat the child, not punish the offense: statistical data. America, 185(12), 19-26.
Zeidenberg, J. (2011, December). You’re an adult now: Youth in adult criminal justice systems. Washington, DC: National Institute of Corrections. Print.