The Juvenile Justice System (Research Paper)

Gabii $oto
February 28th, 2010
Period 4

The Juvenile Justice System
So, what??™s it like being a juvenile delinquent The household term ???Juvenile Delinquent??? was established so young lawbreakers could avoid the disgrace of being classified for the rest of their lives as CRIMINALS. Teenage delinquency laws were designed to provide treatment, rather than punishment for the misbehaving delinquents. Young delinquents usually are sent to juvenile courts, where the goal is to rehabilitate, or reform offenders, rather than to seek punishment for them, after all, these are problem children here, and they need help to start over with their life. But, in order to start over with their life, they have to find out what the problem is and start targeting it. The term juvenile delinquency itself has come to imply absolute DISGRACE.
A young person can be labeled as a delinquent for breaking any of the laws that we have here in America. These laws range from robbery to running away from their home. But the action(s) for which a youngster may be declared a delinquent in one county may not be against the law in another area. In some communities, the police DO NOT pay attention to MANY children who are accused of delinquent acts, or just simply refer them directly to their parents. But in other communities, the police actually do care so they catch children who are doing misdemeanors and refer them to a juvenile court IMMEDIATELY, where they may officially be declared delinquents. The extent of delinquency is strategic. Crime statistics, even though they are often incomplete and may be misleading, often do give an indication of the delinquent??™s problem.
The Federal Berol of Investigation (a.k.a. the FBI), reports that in the early 1990??™s, nearly half of all United States arrests for motor vehicle theft and arson(the causing of fires) were of people under the age of eighteen. Juveniles also accounted for about 1/3 of all arrests for larceny (theft). In any year, in America, about four percent of ALL children between the ages of ten and eighteen appear in a juvenile court. The percentage of this age group who are sent to court at least once is much higher. A third or more of juvenile delinquents in slum areas of large cities may appear in court at least one time. Girls are becoming increasingly involved in Juvenile Delinquency. Now-A-Days, about one of every five youngsters appearing in juvenile court is a girl. In the early 1900??™s, this ratio was about one girl to every sixty boys. Sociologists have gotten together a number of studies to determine how much delinquency isn??™t reported to the police. Most young people report taking part in one or more delinquent acts, though; a majority of the offenses ARE minor. Specialists have concluded that youthful misbehavior is way more common than is indicated by arrest records and juvenile court statistics.
People sometimes wonder what causes delinquency. This is an arguable question. There are MANY answers to this question. Multiple studies have been created in an effort to determine the causes of delinquency. A LARGE portion of these tests have focused on family relationships or on neighborhood conditions. The results of these investigations have shown that it is highly doubtful that any child becomes a delinquent for only a single problem. Family relationships, especially the one??™s between parents and individual children, have been the focus of several delinquency studies. An early study comparing delinquent and non-delinquent siblings showed that over ninety percent of the delinquents had unhappy home lives and felt discontented with their life circumstances. Whatever the nature of the delinquent??™s unhappiness, delinquency appeared to be the problem solver. It brought attention to youths neglected by their parents, or approval by delinquent friends, or to some delinquents, it solved problems of an unhappy life back at home. Recent studies have revealed that delinquents had parents with whom they did not get along with or who were inconsistent in their patterns of discipline and punishment.
The neighborhood??™s conditions have stressed to deeply study in the tests designed by Sociologists. Lots of those inquiries concentrate on differing rates of delinquency, rather than on the way individuals become delinquents. In the poorest sections of the cities, delinquency rates are above average, compared to other the much richer areas. Such areas have lots of broken homes, high rates of unemployment, and alcoholism. They also have very poor schools, few recreational facilities and high crime rates. A giant amount of young people see delinquency as their only escape from boredom, poverty, abuse, and far too many other problems. Social scientists have also studied the influence of other youngsters on those who commit crimes. They also point out that most youngsters who engage in criminal activity do this with other juvenile friends, and often in organized gangs. Delinquency rates tend to be high among the lower class income groups in societies where most people are well-to-do. The pain of being poor and living in slum conditions is felt more often in rich societies than in poor ones.
A teen who commits murder could be sent to a juvenile detention center until age twenty-one, or be sent to an adult prison. That decision is decided by a juvenile court judge. If the teen is found guilty in an adult court, the youth can face up to sixty-five years in prison. Teenagers who commit serious crimes fall into a grey area of the law. Many teens who commit serious crimes can be sent to adult prisons. The Juvenile Justice Improvement Act, a bill before the United States House of Representatives, would pressure states to find alternatives to locking up teenagers with adult prisoners. The most serious crimes, such as murder, warrant the most serious punishments.
Youth Rights experts argue that treating teenagers as adult in courts leads to more criminal activity. Treating teenagers who are bad as adults does more harm than good. Treating teenagers who are delinquents badly makes them do worse. Some say ???The adult system doesn??™t work for adults. There is absolutely no reason that we should think that it would work for a troubled child??¦ It has nothing to do with taking a delinquent and making him less likely to be criminal,??? says Daniel Macallair of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young people who are treated as adults in the criminal system are thirty-four more likely to commit further worse crimes than those who face justice in the Juvenile System.
Macallair also points out that until the age of eighteen, people are considered too young to be granted adult rights, including the right to vote. ???Laws define childhood as under the age of eighteen, therefore children don??™t have the full rights of a normal adult would have. America should apply that same standard in the area of criminal law,??? says Macallair. The more serious crimes must be handled with harsher punishments than the juvenile court system allows, some officials say. ???Penalties for violent crimes should be getting tougher, they should not be getting lighter,??? Brad Mitzelfelt told the Daily Press of Victorville, California. Other people agree that juvenile court penalties are too soft and should get stronger. ???Many juveniles consider the Juvenile Justice System to be a joke??¦ The juvenile??™s sophistication and violence and criminal history is so different than [that of] ten years ago,??? Judge Roger J. McDonald told the Orlando Sentinel.
Do you see what the Juvenile Delinquents have to go through every day They have to deal with their problems, and sometimes the parents and their unexplainable acts of punishment, are the problem. Once the teenagers get sent to juvenile, they have to wake up at 6a.m. every morning, to continue with their boot camp treatment. There are other crazy rules like not talking AT ALL to others, and weird rituals that are supposed to help turn around these people??™s lives. But hopefully, the rates of delinquency decrease.

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