Juvenile Punishment and Rehabilitation

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Bob's family practices strict discipline, while Joe's family does not. One day, they both stole money from their father's pocket. Bob was grounded for two weeks, and while the Joe's mom just told him what he did is wrong. While the both know taking money from father's pocket is wrong, in Bob's mind, stealing from father's pocket is a big mistake; however, Joe thinks it is not a big deal. Comparing to Bob, Joe would be less likely to do the same mistake again. Juvenile system is too lenient; it needs to be more punitive for punishment could serve as a form of prevention for crime. About 100 years ago juvenile justice system was established in the United States to divert youthful offenders from the destructive punishment of criminal courts, encouraging rehabilitation. Under most state laws, juvenile offenders do not commit "crimes." They commit delinquent acts, some of which are acts that would constitute crimes if committed by an adult. The trial phase of a juvenile case is an adjudication hearing. This means that the judge hears the evidence and determines whether the child is delinquent. The court may then take whatever action it deems to be in the child's best interest. The purpose is to rehabilitate, not punish (Citigate). Besides revalidation, financial cost is another reason for juveniles to be tried less harsh. It costs much more to detain a juvenile than an adult. The average cost of holding a teenager in a juvenile facility was $33,000 in 1990, the last year data was available. The average cost of holding an adult prisoner was about $23,000 in 1992, the most recent year for which data is available (Levitt). With the decline of punitiveness of juvenile system the crime rate of juvenile has increased significantly. Over the last two decades the rate at which juveniles were arrested for murder rose 177%, the violent crime arrest figure for juveniles rose by 79% (Levitt). These data suggests that lowering punitiveness for juvenile system does not...
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