Juvenile Justice in Order to Fully Comprehend Essay

Pages: 4 (1160 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

Juvenile Justice

In order to fully comprehend the nature of the current Juvenile Justice System and propose possible changes to the system, it is of paramount significance to peruse through the history of the juvenile system from the early years till now. Children above five years old were taken as either small adults or property in the colonial times in America. They were sentenced in criminal courts for offences like cursing parents, petty theft and other such lots of cases. This continued for a long time till in 1825 when the Society for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency pushed for the separation of the juvenile from the adults in terms of justice administration. There after numerous cities built juvenile facilities which were majorly aimed at reforming the delinquents through hard work, prayers, whipping and even studies. However, by mid of the century these facilities were accused of child abuse hence the state took over the management of the juvenile facilities.

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With this development, the first juvenile court was established in Chicago in 1899 for handling children offenders or delinquents of 16 years and below. This was also focused on rehabilitation rather than pure punishment. With the precedence set, by 1952 almost all states, with exception of two, had set up juvenile courts where warning, confinement, probation were some of the methods employed to help turn possible criminal in the future into useful citizens to the U.S. The juvenile court judge would more often than not consult the social workers on how best a particular delinquent could be dealt with in order to correct them. This confinement and training could continue until the delinquent showed significant change or turned 21 years when they could be handed over to the criminal justice system as adults. There was however unfair treatment since there was no well established rules, no transcripts, formal presentation of crime evidence wasn't given chance, the delinquents not cross-examined and even so there was no right of appeal if the delinquent felt unfair judgment was passed.

TOPIC: Essay on Juvenile Justice in Order to Fully Comprehend Assignment

The above however came to an end in 1967 ruling of the famous in Re Gault that perceived the juvenile justice system as a kangaroo court whose powers were seriously limited and the loose structure gave room for abuse of the process (Edward Humes 2010).This land mark ruling required the juvenile courts to respect the rule of law of the U.S.A. And as well accord children fair chance before the law. The ruling pointed out several rights of minors as; the right to receive notice of charges they are facing, the right to obtain legal counsel whenever the delinquents deemed fit, the right to 'confrontation and cross-examination' before qualified government appointed authorities, the 'privilege against self-incrimination', the right to receive a 'transcript of the proceedings', and most importantly the right to 'appellate review' whenever they felt dissatisfied by the ruling. Following this ruling many people felt otherwise about the conditions introduced, people like Justice Potter Stewart felt it was going to introduce the treatment of juveniles as criminals in terms of proceedings.

The piece of legislation did not achieve much though in terms of correcting the crime in the society prompting the entrenchment of the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Control Act in 1968 which aimed at prompting states to establish suitable programs that would help keep the youth off crime. These programs were to be sponsored and funded by the federal state. This Act came to pave path for the enactment of the Juvenile… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Juvenile Justice in Order to Fully Comprehend."  Essaytown.com.  May 25, 2010.  Accessed October 17, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/juvenile-justice-order-fully-comprehend/94612.