The Juvenile Justice System

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Justice System Position
Kimberly Gaudiosi

The topic of juvenile justice is a broad one but one that should concern everyone. My standpoint on this debatable topic is that the juvenile justice system should focus on the rehabilitation of the teens rather than making them pay for their crimes with an extensive jail sentence as a punishment. “Over time the US Supreme Court has placed limits on the use of the death penalty. The Court has now considered whether or not juveniles should be sentenced to life without parole (LWOP). They have ruled that life without parole may not be given to a juvenile unless their crime involves murder. With restrictions already placed on the death sentence, retaining the possibility of life without parole is important. Society needs an "ultimate punishment" for those who commit heinous crimes and also as a deterrent. The Court's decision should encourage those who run prisons to focus on rehabilitation, as more people will eventually be up for parole.” (Richards, 2011) An interesting bit of information I read states, “Connecticut is one of just three states where the age of jurisdiction for a juvenile ends at 16. In Connecticut, a juvenile is any person under the age of 16, or over the age of 16 but who violated the law before turning 16. Cases involving arrests of juveniles who are 16 and older are heard in adult court. Legislation has recently been passed to review this juvenile age policy. (Haller, 2006) I feel that the community these teens lives in should not be entirely responsible to pay for the cleanup and or rebuild of the destruction a certain group of teens did. Nor should the parent which is why I propose that the community service jobs’ pay could go towards the amount it would take to fix their mistakes. This would teach them a little something about responsibility as well as take care of the issue at hand. I am not entirely sure I agree with the death penalty in general but I agree with this statement from Richards as I fully believe everyone deserves a second chance. In the paragraphs to come I intend to cover my opinion in further detail as to why I think the juvenile justice system should adopt the focus I believe in as well as how it will affect the law enforcement, the court processes probation, corrections, community services as well as the intervention programs. Towards the end of my paper I also intend to discuss the opposing view and why I feel they are not a valid choice. I feel that the juvenile justice system should look further into primarily using rehabilitation for their troubled youths because everyone deserves a second chance. They may have committed the crimes that are being held against them but they also may have learned their lesson because of the reality of the situation. I would hate for a life to go to waste from sitting behind bars when they could have been through the rehabilitation process and possibly some counseling and truly learned from their mistakes, if they would be fully capable of leading an otherwise successful life. I definitely feel that they need to be punished for what they did regardless if they were under the influence or claim they didn’t know what they were doing at the time, the victim and their families deserve at least that but I think that sentencing them to extensive jail time or prison time is counterproductive. You want those who have been through the justice system once or twice to go and talk about their experience in hopes that it would deter other teens and young adults from committing crimes. While focusing on the rehabilitation aspect of things, I feel these at risk teens should be participating in community services. They could be picking up trash along the roads, wash graffiti off the train cars or even be cheap labor for the county in the form of mowing county lawns or helping road construction or garbage disposal companies. I think my idea behind this would be to prove that life...
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