The Age and Time for the Crime in Juvenile Justice
March 16, 2014
The Age and Time for the Crime
The adult criminal system is designed for the prosecution of adults not children. Both state and federal legislative have responded to juvenile crime by focusing on sending more and younger children to adult criminal court. How and where do we draw the line between adults and children? Where do we draw the line between justice and malice? Juveniles that commit crimes should be punished for the crimes that they commit, but they should not be tried as an adult. This paper will offer information on why there needs to be changes in the juvenile justice ...view middle of the document...
Barry Feld whom is one of the nation’s leading scholars in Juvenile believes that justice will be served by accommodating to the needs of juveniles on an individual basis and that this process is needed in order to achieve the ultimate goal of rehabilitation. (Feld, 1989) Rehabilitation is very important for adolescents and is said to work better on children than adults according to Kristin Rhodes. Kristin Rhodes graduated from Gettysburg College (Gettysburg, PA) in May 2007 with a BA in philosophy. Rhodes observed juvenile probation process from sentencing through probation, including house calls and juvenile detention centers. In Rhodes journal (2008) she stated “Rehabilitative philosophies appreciate the evolving character of the adolescent mind. They consider that adolescent brain development is not complete, that juveniles are more likely to be impulsive and less likely to use their rational capabilities. Furthermore, in its goal to change and not only to punish, rehabilitative philosophies recognize that much of what influences the young person's thought process might be negative and destructive, which contribute to poor decision making.”
Minors back in the 1800’s had strict confidentiality for the crimes that they committed to avoid humiliation to the minor. Dr. Clifford E Simonsen whom taught at several major universities, and was the author of Juvenile justice in America wrote about the history of the juvenile justice system and how it started back in the 1800’s. (1979) Using the newly founded juvenile system Judges played the role of a parent and they were allowed to do whatever was needed to help the juvenile reach rehabilitation (p. 3) Julian William Mack was a United States federal judge who focused on social reform and received a LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1887 was one of the first judges to lead over the nation’s first juvenile court. Mack (1909) describes the goals of the juvenile court system; “The child who must be brought into court should of course, be made to know that he is face to face with the power of the state, but he should at the same time, and more emphatically, be made to feel that he is the object of its care and solicitude.” (p. 104) “The ordinary trappings of the court room are out of place in such hearings .” The judge on a bench, looking down upon the boy standing at the bar, can never evoke a proper sympathetic spirit. Seated at a desk, with the child at his side, where he can on occasion put his arm around his shoulder and draw the lad to him, the judge, while losing none of his judicial dignity, will gain immensely in the effectiveness of his work. (p. 119)
American punishment for minors is turning back into treating juvenile offenders like adults just like it was done in earlier times. The DC sniper case is a perfect example of a juvenile that is sentenced to live with no hope of ever getting released. Lee Boyd Malvo is currently serving a life sentence for killing multiple people back...