Juvenile Justice Policy Paper

Juveniles are all persons under the age of 18years and as minors, they deserve a kind of justice system that favours them to improve their lives teenage ill behavior is a worrying trend amongst many English and American nationals as it is at this age that one can either make or break their lives. It is seen as a decline in the unity in the families and community as the child is nowadays considered only as the parents responsibility and not that of everyone as a whole as in the past. This brought about concern on wanting to come up with a juvenile justice system to avoid a situation where when, these persons would blame the government for not seeing the importance of an alignment project so to speak (Bishop, et al. 1996). The youth being the future, this tends to be a fragile topic to handle in the essence of them being the next leaders and citizenry, it is important to come up with ways of reducing juvenile misconduct.

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Homelessness a factor encouraging behavior in the Juvenile Justice system and has an effect of access of bail upon arrest thus they are in remands. Other factors are: Aboriginals or live alone, mental incapacity due to torture when younger or experiences in life. School dropouts who cannot get decent jobs or run away from home and school lead to use of drugs and alcohol and eventual crime. There are several consequences which are: an escalation of recidivism which is all a repeat of the same bad behavior. There is overcrowding in this institutions to a point that one can get illnesses and there is overworking of the facility workers (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1999). Also with this come factors that contribute to increase which are;

Lack of stable accommodation; Since they have nowhere to go once they are out, they still opt to be within the correctional facilities as they are ensured of a roof, food and place to sleep.

Bail Act; This was enacted in 1978, and it gives a limit on the bails to uphold irrespective of the offence.

Unworkable bail restrictions; This are characterized and restrictions like curfews and perimeter limitations.

In the recent past there have been two types of occurrences which have led to the handling of juvenile handling over time. The first is that the society seems to have taken up the habit of unlawful misbehavior and not leaving the juveniles out of it as they tend to behave as they observe the second is a disparity from of the past from the knowledge of the present. This has caused quite an essence of contempt that there is a problem with our juvenile custody system together with ways of solving it and its reason (W.J. Warren, 2005).

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In the early 20th century, there was an inclination to doing good in the society which involved capital offences even for children, approved schools and in-house police custody as the police had enough time to burn, and then they could discipline the children. All this was before the job culture hit in leading to individualism (Public Policy Research (IPPR), 2006). This article also was of the suggestion that the social inequity and parents not having enough time for their children as they are in and out of work is enough to prove that children are acting wrongly.

Criminal behavior from the past was more polite as compared to the brutality today more unjustified as not much investigation was being conducted worsening by the new generation. Government action has come to take upon this holding by calling upon a vague ‘golden age’ myth of peace and Concord to justify 6the upcoming criminal justice policies of moving back to behaviors of the 1930s of respect for all in society (Platt, 1977). The second is a disparity from of the past from the knowledge of the present; this involved Approved Schools and Borstals in the 1950-1960s which were common for meting out undignified treatment and atrocious punishments Northern Echo, 2003) which was based on the system of the time, known as “the regime of Victorian reformatories”. With the human rights declaration of today, such treatment is highly unaccepted and illegal terming those punishments as uncivilized.

There is a problem which is associated with the superciliousness based on what is observable in that there was as much similar problems as there are today (Geoffrey Pearson,1952). In comparison it was will noting that the children of those days in the past in Approve schools, the children go without food, proper beddings or recreational facilities and upon this, they would be compelled to change but as compared to today, that is very hard to achieve as they come out even worse than they got in (Falconer, 2004). There is almost nothing new in the establishment of and actually what has changed is the leniency in the juvenile justice system. Both these myths are more of apparition As compared to things on the ground in that child back then got into as much trouble as today because of the lack of jobs and idleness.

The juvenile justice system has developed chronologically through history proposing that existing government has amongst the least persuading attributes in dealings with juvenile criminals. In that there is more compromise on youthful crimes resulting from dispossession and not personal responsibility. Diminished responsibility of the young criminals existed way before in the 17th century believing that children were “doli incapax” – incapable of distinguishing right from wrong unless proven otherwise. The Reformatory and Industrial Schools Act came about to mainstream the gaps that existed while juveniles were receiving custodial sentences in correctional facilities (Falconer, 2004). The Children and Young Persons Act ensured that duty of courts was to have the child’s best interests at heart. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which are rights to life, survival and development, against discrimination.

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Public and political opinion of juvenile crime are a combination are a wrongful that give one a sense of melancholy and unawareness of actual facts on the ground and give position of juveniles which is often quite punitive leading to grievous consequences. The punitive and self imposed confidence in modernity has brought about political satisfaction of the juvenile system.

There were similar problems shared with juveniles and adult prisoners meaning that they should also have constitutional rights being protected emphasized in the case of; Kent v. US 1966 and in re Gault 1967 ensuring their rights are also upheld (Loraine, & Allison, 1994). The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, was enacted to ensure that the government and local communities provide preventative, community-based services to youth subject to being delinquents through the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; thus giving the government a sense of caring for its citizens. The case of Thompson v. Oklahoma set the precedent for juvenile sentencing as was held by the U.S. Supreme Court that the execution of juveniles’ under16years of age was unconstitutional. Death penalty for minors was unconstitutionalized in 2005 Roper v. Simmons.

Correctional facilities emphasize on diversion giving consensual commitment of an offence and the revelation not being used against them and instead a fair trial process is conducted this of course is presented with evidence. Certain principles have to be maintained when dealing with juveniles:

  • The response should be proportional to the offence and in best interests on child and community;
  • in as much as there are restrictions, one should have a sense of their rights respected;
  • restriction if crime was against another person;
  • as he is still a child his best interests should be at hand.

Alternative to imprisonment should be explored such as; care, guidance and thorough supervision, counseling; probation; foster care; education and vocational training programmes and detention should come when all ventures have been explored.

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