Juvenile Correction Research Paper

Pages: 8 (2458 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Children

Juvenile Corrections

Before the expansion of the first contemporary juvenile court in 1899, juveniles received trials for violation of the laws in adult criminal courts (Siegel 2009, 699). The upshots were devastating as children got treated as criminal offenders and usually sentenced to adults prisons. Although the following passage of state legislation forming juvenile courts eliminated the problem faced by juvenile tried as adults, the juvenile justice system never acknowledged that some forms of behaviors required that juvenile receive adult trial. Presently, most American jurisdictions offer through law for waiver or transfer, of juvenile offenders to the criminal courts.

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In its fundamental form, the choice of whether to waive a juvenile to criminal or adult court requires a transfer hearing. The statutory criteria formed by a state's juvenile court act, guides the decision to relocate a juvenile to the criminal court (Siegel 2009, 699). As a result, waiver requirements differ greatly among jurisdictions. Factors considered in relocation of a juvenile to a criminal court include the temperament of the crime alleged in appeal, and the age of the child. Felony offenders above the age of 14 receive relocations to adult criminal court for punishment and trial where these children get imprisonment in adult jails for a period of not less than one year (Siegel 2009, 699). If such juveniles receive conviction, they serve their jail terms in adult prisons. While some jurisdictions requires that a child be over a certain age, mostly 14 years, before giving them a waiver, trying juveniles as adults comes with adverse effects to a child's mental health and behaviors.

Research Paper on Juvenile Correction Assignment

Juvenile corrections are the facilities through which minors condemned for a certain misdeed spend their time in, to get rehabilitation. Juvenile corrections allow children the prospect to adapt novel social and coping skills to handle situations in the best manner possible, and restrain from becoming repeat criminals. Some juvenile corrections amenities are better while others are unpleasant for rehabilitating juvenile offenders. The best facilities should center on detaining and punishing offenders as well as mentoring and educating them. Children detained in juvenile facilities must remain in the premises and put up with strict laws besides performing manual labor that makes them become responsible for their wrong deeds (Siegel 2009, 699). However, forty-six states in America offer judges in juvenile courts the discretion to waive jurisdiction in personal cases entailing minors to allow prosecution in adults' criminal courts.

On the contrary, when a juvenile receives an adult trial, the trial takes place in adult court and he/she gets adult sentences if convicted. Such juvenile face jail fines, jail term or other punishments suitable for adults and suggested by judges. A juvenile tried as an adult also receives rights to a panel of judges' trial not offered in juvenile courts (Siegel 2009, 670). Crime severity and age acts as the guiding principles towards trying a juvenile as an adult.

Notwithstanding the recent trend that make it easier for juvenile offenders to be transferred into adults courts, the transfer of scores of nonviolent juvenile offenders to criminal court receive encouragement from inadequate and unclear principles for relocation decisions in some jurisdictions. Juvenile officials employ no established formal strategies to direct transfer decisions, but they depend on informal guiding principles to control waiver decisions passed by attorneys under their command (Elrod & Ryder 2011, p.232). Given the temperament of waiver decision and its impacts on a juvenile in terms of disposition and status, the Supreme Court imposed procedural protections for juvenile offenders in the process of waiver.

In spite of the promising progress in a few jurisdictions, critical inequalities and deficiencies are evident in American juvenile justice systems. Minority juvenile offenders continue to receive disproportional representation. Staff from scores of correction facilities use excessive force, provide insufficient mental health care while sexual abuse among the juvenile is prevalent in these correction facilities. Case procession decisions in juvenile justice systems appear to be guide by racial disparities (Siegel 2009, 670). Waiver to adult courts is higher for the minority youths in the society. The bottom line suggests that minority youth particularly those who commit drug related offenses are not agreeable to placement in the juvenile justice system.

The "get-tough" legislation endorsed by forty-five states between 1992 and 1997 functioned to augment prosecutorial discretion in juveniles tried as adults. Judges do not waive children into adult court system in the modern world. Only 15% of waiver decisions come from judges while legislative bodies or prosecutors make 85% of waiver decisions. Eighty two percent of children certified as adults are those from the minority in the society. According to Roberts & Springer (2010, p.180), 200, 000 children in a year get placement in the adult justice system.

Over thirty percent of children arrested are female. For instance, in 2003, the number of girls less than eighteen years arrested was 643,000, and the number of girls arrested between 1994 and 2003 was higher than that of boys (Roberts & Springer 2007, p.180). Apparently, girls commit less grave crimes compared to boys, but in the recent past girls have joined the juvenile justice system in more numbers for grim offenses. Between the years 1994 and 2003, arrests for felony crimes committed by boys dropped by 31% while that of girls dropped by only 2%. Misdemeanor assaults increased among girls with a 36% increase while the boys experienced a 1% rise. In this regard, the statistics on girls increased crimes than that of boys is alarming (Roberts & Springer 2007, p.180)

A report by Deitch (2011) indicates that there is little difference between juvenile tried in juvenile court system and juvenile tried as adults. According to Deitch, youths transferred to adults' courts and those detained in juvenile corrections appear to a large extent akin with respect to criminal offense, demographic aspects, sentence length and criminal history. More importantly, the juveniles depict comparable criminality levels in terms of both their criminal record and present offenses. The majority of juveniles in juvenile and adult prison commit violent offenses with sexual assault and robbery crimes being the predominate cases. The length of sentences in both juvenile tried as adult and juvenile tried in the juvenile court system with respect to Texas jurisdiction are remarkably the same with children in the two population getting sentences of between four and ten years. A few of juveniles tried as adults receive sentences of 40 years and above.

According to Dietch (2011, p.10), certified juveniles do not represent the worst to warrant them to be tried as adults. This statement disapproves the hypothesis that juvenile tried as adults are more persistent and violent in their criminal offenses than those tried in juvenile court. A report by Dietch indicated that although majority of juvenile tried as adults commit violent offenses, only seventeen percent of them committed homicide and 15% of certified juveniles received charges of non-violent felonies. Seventy two percent of juvenile tried as adults held prior violent criminal record while 29% of them were first-time criminals. More significantly, 89% of juvenile tried as adults in Texas, never entered Texas Youth Commission thereby implying that few of these offenders hold a critical delinquency history.

Adults' jails and prisons are a poor fit for juveniles particularly those below seventeen years (Dietch 2011, p.10). Regardless of the offense committed by juveniles tried as adults, the adults' prison cannot adequately provide the specialized needs of the juveniles (Siegel 2009, 699). Detaining juveniles in adult jails and prisons compromises both personal safety and public safety of the juveniles. A group of the Centers for Disease Control, tasked with assessing all the present scientific research indicated that relocation of juveniles to the adult court system hold no disincentive worth. Instead, relocating juvenile to the adult court system augments the rate of recidivism and violence among the juveniles rather than decreasing them. A report cited by Dietch (2011, p.11), indicated that juveniles tried as adults, and served not less than one year in jail or prison shows a 100% increased danger of aggressive recidivism. Moreover, juveniles detained in adults jails and prisons experiences increased dangers of sexual assault, mental illness, suicide and physical assault.

Juveniles tried as adults and held in adult jails and prisons have no access to productive therapeutic interventions, staff with specialized skills to handle the minors, education programs and services directed at accomplishing the distinctive and age-suitable needs (Siegel 2009, 670). To make the matter worse, certified juveniles get placements among adult offenders and this aspect puts them at greater physical risk. Moreover, certified juveniles placed in isolation for prolonged periods develop mental health issues. Studies indicate that after a brief period of isolation, makes juveniles to experiences symptoms of depression, anxiety and paranoia. While many states allow certified juveniles placement in juvenile correction during pre-trial and post-conviction to prevent causes of anxiety, paranoia and depression, some do not do so. For instance, in Texas, juveniles certified for adult trial await trial in adult jails while the ones convicted get placements in adult prisons regardless of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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