Juvenile Justice

Topics: Juvenile delinquency, Crime, Criminology Pages: 17 (4585 words) Published: November 13, 2014

Juvenile Justice
Valarie Murphy-Taylor
CRJ 301
Timothy Koester
February 18, 2013

Juvenile justice was created in the late 1800’s as reform to U.S. policies with regards to youth offenders. Over time, through various amendments directed at protecting both the due process rights of youth, and creating an averse effect in relation to jail among youth offenders, juvenile justice created a system similar to that of the adult justice system, an alteration from the original intentions of the United States. “The long-standing mission of juvenile justice has been to correct youthful offenders so that they will neither return to the juvenile justice system nor continue on into the life of an adult criminal” (Bartollas & Miller, 2008, Ch. 16, pg. 352). There has been a number of strategies and interventions tried in order to accomplish these goals either through rehabilitation or justice, but whether or not they have worked, has depended mainly on the circumstances surrounding the victim(s), offenders and the community. In this paper we will discuss the history of the juvenile. We will also discuss the best strategies and interventions designed to prevent juvenile delinquency, but not limited to: an exhaustive examination of all stakeholders to juvenile delinquency and a comprehensive list and weighing of alternatives, both pro and con, to the strategies/interventions proposed to stop juvenile delinquency, justice, and possible prediction of how juvenile justice will be handled in the next two decades.

Throughout history, rarely was there any emphasis on the special needs of juvenile offenders. Typically, adult and juvenile offenders who committed a crime were processed in a similar manner and were subject to similar punishments as the other. In the fifth century, it was determined that children of the fixed age of seven under certain conditions should be exempted from criminal responsibility. Girls of the fixed age of twelve and boys of the fixed age of fourteen should be held totally responsible for their unfavorable JUSTICE3

behaviors. These changes continued in medieval Europe as well, which eventually helped shape England’s juvenile justice. “Both the Chancery court, which eventually became responsible for overseeing the general welfare of the citizenry, and the concept of parens patriae, which focused on the sovereign as the one who protected his or her subjects, played a prominent role in the shaping of English juvenile justice” (Bartollas & Miller, 2008, Ch. 1, pg. 4). Basically, because children are under the protection of the sovereign, it was very difficult for English kings to justify any interference in their lives. Over time, the concept of parens patriae was used increasingly to justify interference in the lives of peasant families. ‘Eventually, the common-law tradition in England concurred with that of earlier law that stated children of the fixed age of seven should be deemed another matter, and their accountability should be determined by other factors: the severity of the offense, maturity of the individual, the capability to distinguish between what is considered right and wrong, and whether or not the evidence is of blatant malice” (Bartollas & Miller, 2008, Ch. 1, pg.4). Unfortunately, the sad part of English juvenile justice is that under the statues that allow for children to be executed there were some 160 to 200 capital offenses listed. However, most children who were sentenced to be executed were later either forgiven or transferred to another country, but some were condemned to death. For example: about 18 to 20 children under the age of 18 were executed in London in 1785.

In the United States juvenile justice began in the colonial period, which continued practices as the English did. The family, during colonial times was the cornerstone of the community and the...
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