In the juvenile justice system there have been debates as to whether the focus should be punishment or rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation should be the main focus because it offers more positive strategies that are more effective in transforming juveniles into better prominent citizens, along with safer communities. Although, punishment should not be ruled out completely. But, by working together on both strategies, punishment can be somewhat effective.
Rehabilitation is the external ability to influence the internal development of a strategy that will teach juveniles, that are in the system, not to conform to crime but be transformed in the mind to think and act in a positive law abiding manner with the realization that they can do and be that dream they have always had.
In our reading materials, (Juvenile Delinquency: The Core), it states, “ Community-based treatment refers to efforts to provide care, protection, and treatment for juveniles in need”. Which is rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation allows juveniles to be counseled individually and in group, vocational training, and many other programs that will fit the need of the the best possible treatment that will transform the delinquent back into society as a prominent citizen. In other words, depending on the problem the individual may have, the treatment will be the one chose to get to the root of the problem.
Incarceration or punishment for a juvenile, ma do more harm than good because it would expose juveniles to prison like conditions and to more experienced delinquents who could influence more corruption into the juveniles without having the chance of treatment to get the true help they need.
When given the chance of rehabilitation, juveniles are given the chance to reenter society as a contributing member to their community by participating in programs that are designed to improve their behaviors as well as reconnecting with their community in a positive way by regaining the community's trust.
The juvenile justice system should adopt the focus of rehabilitation because it addresses the needs of delinquents and allow them the opportunities to get to the root of their problems, it reduces the cost of incarcerations of youths, it allows juveniles to reenter society with a much prominent attitude and behavior which will develop trust from their communities.
Kids are shaped by the contributing factors of their communities that influence external contributors That affect their growth patterns. When participating in rehabilitation, juveniles have that opportunity to work within their communities while being supervised and closely watched by many in the community which will allow those in the community to see the transforming of positive aspects develop in the juveniles.
Rehabilitation; the programs and treatments can be the force that teach or help the juveniles to realize that it is not “the” world that is causing their troubles but “their” world; the way they act and think is contributing all the factors of their culture that is causing them to think and act as delinquents. Therefore with rehabilitation they can change and become modeled citizens.
Juveniles, like anyone else, deserve to have the opportunity of being helped. Everyone deserves to be given a second chance because we all make mistakes and it is when we learn from those mistakes we can better how we function in everyday life.
Juveniles do not pick the families or communities in which they are born and raised in. A child will become the factor of the environment in which he/she is exposed to. Therefore, if their problems stem from mental, psychological, social, or drug abuse, rehabilitation have the programs that will offer the help they need in resolving the problems that they may have.