Juvenile Justice

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1. Describe the different models/eras of the Juvenile Justice System and which model to you agree with and why?
The Juvenile Justice System has been marked by many shifts in thinking concerning how to treat juveniles. Before the twentieth century, Juveniles were considered property and were treated the same as adults in the criminal justice system. The move away from viewing children just as property to viewing them as those in need of protection happened during Europe’s Renaissance period. The Industrial Revolution brought early child labor laws and programs designed to alleviate the ill of urbanization are precursors to the juvenile justice system of today. In the sixteenth and seventeenth century the concept of rehabilitation began in puritan America. In 1823, houses of refuge were created to take in all children who were neglected, abused, or delinquent. The concepts of parens patriae and in loco parentis served as the foundation for interventions such as houses of refuge. Into the late 1800’s and early 1900’s a call for reform led to the creation of the juvenile justice system in the United States by the child savers. The early Juvenile Justice system was founded on the belief that the state could and should as in loco parentis under parens patriae. In the late nineteenth century the juvenile justice system’s purpose was to determine cause, diagnose illness, and prescribe treatment. The Juvenile Justice system became part of the United States legal system with the passage of the Illinois Juvenile Court Act of 1899. There are three different models of juvenile justice that have taken place since the 1900’s. The first is the traditional model which lasted from 1899 till the 1960’s. During the time of this model the goal of the juvenile justice system was the prevention of future delinquency through treatment and rehabilitation. It was felt that juveniles were not capable of the same mens rea as adults, and they were not as intellectually, socially, or morally developed as adults. Delinquency was thought to be caused by the neighborhood, poverty, urban decay, the family, and child rearing practices. It was believed that the state could and should act in loco parentis, and was able to decide what was in the best interest for the child, and due process was unimportant and would hinder the treatment process. The level of discretion used as this time was very broad and widespread. This model was all about rehabilitation and providing juveniles with a second chance, so therefor, records were held to very strict confidentiality standards. The next model that came along in the 1960’s and lasted until the 1980’s was the due process model. The due process changes in the juvenile justice system moved away from the idea that a child was property, and began to recognize them as a person with rights and protections. Now the juvenile courts had to provide juveniles with due process. The role of the due process was heightened due to the need to protect juveniles from abuses in the system. The goal of this system was the prevention of future delinquency, rehabilitation, and protection of a juvenile’s rights. The Punitive model began in the 1980’s and is still present today. Under this model, the function of the system has shifted from rehabilitation to assessing the level of hard to society from the actions of a juvenile and imposing the necessary level of punishment to deter the juvenile from future delinquency. According to the punitive model certain juveniles are just a culpable as adults, and delinquency is a matter of a juvenile choosing to commit a crime. The role of the state became to act in loco parentis for the best interest of society. The ultimate goal is to prevent future delinquency through punishment, incapacitation, deterrence, and holding juveniles accountable. I personally agree with the model we use today, which is the punitive model. I feel like the goal should be to protect society first and then figure the...
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