Juvenile Delinquents and Treatment Models
Colorado Christian University
Juvenile Delinquents and Treatment Models
Among those who work in the juvenile justice system there is much discussion on how to effectively determine the appropriate consequences and or treatment for their actions. There are those who believe in punishment that includes incarceration and boot camp and there are those who believe in treatment programs with the goal of rehabilitation. There are various treatment models in place that are designed to address the problems in a youth’s life that may contribute to the causes that influenced them to commit crime. An assessment of the resources that are in place for juvenile offenders will be addressed, especially those that are designed to assist youth offenders in rehabilitation and restoration. Also a study of those models that are designed with the goals that gives the juvenile offenders the tools that will afford them the opportunity for a productive reintegration into society. There are many aspects of the treatment model (Bartollas & Miller, 2014) describe this model, “as the belief that the basic mission of juvenile justice is to rehabilitate youthful offenders.” They go on to say that the “focus of this model is the mental, physical, and social needs of the child with many rehabilitation efforts implemented before a juvenile is processed into the system.”(p.18) It is worth the effort and expense to have these programs to treat youth offenders while they are still teachable and the possibility of redirection is feasible. Youth come from many different backgrounds, some are worse than others, which adds to the diverse reasons that contribute to them becoming offenders. This is why the assessment piece is necessary to determine which programs are suitable to treat the juvenile offender. An assessment of the family structure is needed to see if there any guidance or supervision in the home or any type of abuse is occurring physically or sexually. Is there abuse of drugs or alcohol with the parents or the children? Are there mental health issues? The environment they are living in is a huge factor that leads to criminal behavior such as very poor economic conditions and influence from adult criminal behavior prevalent around them. There are treatment programs available to treat juveniles in these areas, these are not for the violent offender, or someone who has committed murder or is constantly committing crimes. The safety of the community is first and foremost when dealing with this type of offender. In a book on Juvenile Delinquency by (Jack Bynum, 2010) talks about the Child Savers Movement that was a major influence in this direction of treatment that came about in the late 19th century, they were convinced that urban slum life exerted a corrupting influence on idle youths. The Child Savers believed: Because of their tender age, delinquent youths could be reclaimed from a criminal life if proper steps were taken. They were instrumental in shifting focus away from the criminal nature of delinquency to what was considered to be more of a humanistic approach built around the medical model and the rehabilitative ideal. (p.351) This group of social reformers influenced the treatment models we have today that are still with us. There is truth in these beliefs not only is from a humanistic approach but is it based on biblical principles. First of all the concept of righteous justice is throughout the Bible, a verse that conveys this message is found in Deuteronomy 16:19-20: You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God is giving you. (NKJV) Some other verses found in Deuteronomy 22:1-4, where God tells us...
References: Bartollas, C., & Miller, S. J. (2014). Juvenile Justice In America (7th ed.). Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc
Bynum, J. E. (2010). Juvenile Delinquency, A Sociological Approach (8th ed., p. 351).
Boston, MA: Pearson Education Inc.,publishing as Allyn & Bacon.
Colson, C. (2001). Justice That Restores (p. 113). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House.
Heilbrun, K., Sevin Goldstein, N. E., & Redding, R. E. (Eds.). (2005). Juvenile
Delinquency, Prevention, Assessment, & Intervention. New York, NY: Oxford
University Press Inc.
Holy Bible: New King James Version. (1982). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
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