Rehabilitating the juvenile justice system

David Paterson last month, just in time for Christmas. The report, from the governor's task force on reforming criminal justice, came on the heels of a U. Justice Department investigation that found New York's juvenile penal system to be tragically mismanaged.

Rehabilitating the juvenile justice system

Menu History of the Juvenile Justice System A grasp of the current conflict surrounding the responsibility and direction of the juvenile justice system becomes more obtainable when one takes into consideration how the system has progressed since its inception.

The juvenile justice system was created in the late s to reform U. Since that time, a number of reforms - aimed at both protecting the "due Rehabilitating the juvenile justice system of law" rights of youth, and creating an aversion toward jail among the young - have made the juvenile justice system more comparable to the adult system, a shift from the United State's original intent.

The period, which formally spanned between andwas preceded by nearly a century of discontent. During the Progressive Era, Americans saw the growth of the women's suffrage movement, the campaign against child labor, the fight for the eight-hour workday, and the uses of journalism and cartooning to expose "big business" corruption.

Prior to the Progressive Era, child offenders over the age of seven were imprisoned with adults. Such had been the model historically.


But the actions of political and social reformers, as well as the research of psychologists in the 18th and 19th centuries, began a shift in society's views on juvenile delinquents.

Early reformers who were interested in rehabilitating rather than punishing children built the New York House of Refuge in The reformatory housed juveniles who earlier would have been placed in adult jails.

Beginning inindividual states took note of the problem of youth incarceration and began establishing similar youth reform homes. Such early changes to the justice system were made under a newfound conviction that society had a responsibility to recover the lives of its young offenders before they became absorbed in the criminal activity they were taking part in.

The juvenile justice system exercised its authority within a "parens patriae" state as parent or guardian role. The state assumed the responsibility of parenting the children until they began to exhibit positive changes, or became adults.

Youth were no longer tried as adult offenders. Their cases were heard in a somewhat informal court designed for juveniles, often without the assistance of attorneys. Extenuating evidence, outside of the legal facts surrounding the crime or delinquent behavior, was taken into consideration by the judge.

Early reform houses were, in many ways, similar to orphanages. Indeed, many of the youth housed in the reformatories were orphans and homeless children. Juvenile courts aimed to make their 'civil proceedings' unlike adult 'criminal trials.

The right to trial by jury and the freedom against self-incrimination were guaranteed to citizens in 5th Article of the Bill of Rights ratified This Article, the 5th Amendment to the Constitution, states that "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury…nor shall [a person] be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.

The Amendment states, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

A decision by the Supreme Court affirmed the necessity of requiring juvenile courts to respect the due process of law rights of juveniles during their proceedings. The ruling was the result of an evaluation of Arizona's decision to confine Gerald Francis Gault.

Gault age 15 had been placed in detention for making an obscene call to a neighbor while under probation. The Arizona juvenile court had decided to place him in the State Industrial School until he became an adult age 21 or was "discharged by due process of law.

The right to receive notice of charges The right to obtain legal counsel The right to "confrontation and cross-examination" The "privilege against self-incrimination" The right to receive a "transcript of the proceedings," and The right to "appellate review" The dissenting voice, Justice Potter Stewart, expressed concern that the court's decision would "convert a juvenile proceeding into a criminal prosecution.

The act was designed to encourage states to develop plans and programs that would work on a community level to discourage juvenile delinquency. The programs, once drafted and approved, would receive federal funding. The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act - By the United States had developed a strong momentum toward preventing juvenile delinquency, deinstitutionalizing youth already in the system, and keeping juvenile offenders separate from adults offenders.

Part of the rationale behind the separation of juvenile and adult offenders was evidence that delinquent youth learned worse criminal behavior from older inmates.

Such logic was voiced in the Progressive Era by the writer Morrison Swift, who commented on the practice of jailing young offenders with adults, "young and impressionable offenders were being carried off to Rutland with more hardened men, there to receive an education in lawlessness from their experienced associates.Rehabilitation Versus Incarceration of Juvenile Offenders: American juvenile justice policy has become progressively more punitive.

During the s, in particular, legislatures across the country enacted statutes under which growing including nonviolent crimes.

Rehabilitating the juvenile justice system

Even within the juvenile system, punish-. A separate juvenile justice system was established in the United States about years ago with the goal of diverting youthful offenders from the destructive punishments of criminal courts and encouraging rehabilitation based on the individual juvenile's needs.

May 09,  · Learn more about the juvenile justice process. 1 States, however, have the right to set lower age thresholds for processing youth through the adult system. In addition, some states automatically process any individual, regardless of age, through the adult criminal justice system for some serious offenses.

Rehabilitating the Juvenile Justice System Juvenile crime is a serious concern that is shared by the general public as well as state, local, and federal officials. The birthplace of the juvenile court can be traced back to Chicago in where it was created to address the needs of young offenders by diverting them from the destructive punishments of the adult criminal court system.

Additionally, youth within the juvenile justice system experience substantially higher rates of mental disorders (with subsequent drug abuse) than youths that are in the general population. I believe that the juvenile criminal justice system should focus on using rehabilitation as a punishment.

What I mean by this is that rehabilitation is being used more for people who want it, and not always people who need it.

Rehabilitation Beats Punishment for Juveniles