Juvenile Crime Essay

1245 words - 5 pages

Running head: Juvenile Crime 1

Juvenile Crime
Patrice Lewis
January 26, 2014
Professor Lee Rankin

Juvenile Crime 2

“We fight for our children, that they may enjoy the promise of America. We fight for their innocence and their dreams. It is a fight for our future.”(Schmalleger, 2011, Chapter 15). I read this quote during my reading and it stuck with me throughout this entire section. Most youth in America today struggles with the ...view middle of the document...

(Chapter 15). “A key finding of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Study Group on Serious and Violent Juvenile Offenders is that most chronic juvenile offenders begin their delinquency careers before
Juvenile Crime 3
age 12, and some as early as age 10.7 The most recent national data show that in 2008 police arrested 99,794 children ages 12 and younger.8 These very young offenders (known as child delinquents) represent almost 10% of the total number of juvenile arrestees (those up to age 18).”(Schmalleger, 2011, Chapter 15). Before the modern era, juveniles were prosecuted in the same way as adults. When they were convicted they served their time with adults. There were no separate facilities for juveniles. In the early times fathers led the house and were the leaders of the family. This led to the development of the legal principle of parens patriae. Parens patriae allowed the king, or the English state, to take the place of parents in dealing with children who broke the law. Parens patriae implied that the king was the father of the country thus had all power over juveniles. By the middle ages juveniles ages 7 to 14 were accorded a special status, being tried as adults only if it could be demonstrated that they fully understood the nature of their criminal acts.15 Adulthood was considered to begin at age 14, when marriage was also allowed.
According to Schmalleger (2011), delinquency in the broadest usage is defined as juvenile actions or conduct in violation of criminal law, juvenile status offenses, and other juvenile misbehavior. Status offense is an act or conduct that is declared by statute to be an offense, but only when committed by or engaged in by a juvenile and that can be adjudicated only by a juvenile court. Status offenses include behavior such as truancy, vagrancy, running away from home, and incorrigibility. The youthful “status” of juveniles is a necessary element in such offenses. Adults, for example, may “run away from home” and not violate any law. Runaway

Juvenile Crime 4
children, however, are subject to apprehension and juvenile court processing because state laws require that they be subject to parental control. . (Chapter 15).
Some differences between juvenile courts and adult courts are that juvenile courts tend to reduce concern with legal issues of guilt or innocence and an emphasis on the child’s best interests, an emphasis on treatment rather than punishment. Juvenile courts provide privacy and protection from public scrutiny through the use of sealed records, laws against publishing the names of juvenile offenders. The juvenile courts use the use of the techniques of social science in dispositional...

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