Challenges for the Juvenile Justice System

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Challenges for the Juvenile Justice System

It has been one hundred years since the creation of the juvenile court in the United States. The court and the juvenile justice system has made some positive changes in the lives of millions of young people lives over the course or those years, within the last thirteen years there has been some daunting challenges in the system. According to Bartollas & Miller (2008) the challenges and unique issues the juvenile justice system face in the 21st century includes improving condition of confinement, fair treatment for children of color, health care, security, children with mental health issues, reducing overcrowding, securing resources for programs that work. Funding is a big challenge in the juvenile justice system, with limited funding the juvenile justice system face many challenges that handicap social policy advances. The juvenile justice system mission is to correct youthful offenders so they will not return to juvenile justice system or continue on into the life of an adult criminal many intervention methods has been tried in order to achieve the mission of rehabilitation. Some of the unique issues is failed intervention like diversion, community-base corrections, radical nonintervention, the closing of training schools, mandatory sentencing, punishment, transactional analysis, guided groups interaction, positive peer culture, behavior therapy, work release, home furloughs, and coeducational institutionalization. However, with different situations some things work for some offenders and some things don’t, the overall results of these strategies fell short of achieving the goal of preventing juveniles from returning to the system. Child abuse is the illegal physical, emotional, or sexual mistreatment of a child by his or her parents or guardian, most states also consider a child who is forced into delinquent activity by a parent or guardian to be abuse. The juvenile justice system is constantly increasing in numbers because children who are abuse usually end up in the juvenile justice system because of behavior such as truancy, vagrancy, running away from home and corrigibility. According to Schmalleger (2009) Status offenses were a natural outgrowth of juvenile court philosophy. As a consequence, however, juveniles in need of help often face procedural dispositions that treated them as though they were delinquent. Rather than lowering the rate of juvenile incarceration, the juvenile court movement led to its increase, this has an impact in the increasing number of child abuse and neglect cases on the juvenile justice system. The American Humane Association states that the number of children who are abused and neglected has fluctuated over time. There has been a general increase in the number of abuse and neglect substantiations. Below is the data on the increase of child abuse and neglect case : 1999829,000


The American Humane Association also states that it is difficult to determine if the shifts in the numbers of children being reported is due to the actual change in abuse and neglect each year or if the fluctuations are a result of improved data collecting in these areas. NCANDS reports that the increase in 2005’s data could be a result of the additional reporting of both Puerto Rico and Alaska, which were not included in Child Maltreatment in previous years. Maltreatment can take many forms, and some children can suffer from more than one type. Since 1999, the majority of children confirmed to be victims of child maltreatment experienced neglect. The following are the percentages of children who experienced maltreatment in 2005 (USDHHS, 2007): Neglect 2.8%, Physical abuse 6.6%, Sexual abuse 9.3%, Emotional/ psychological abuse 7.1%, Medical neglect .0%, Other 4.3%. The ‘other’ category listed above includes abandonment, threats to harm the child, congenital drug...
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