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Juvenile Justice Essay

2028 words - 9 pages

1. Describe the different models/eras of the Juvenile Justice System and which model to you agree with and why?
The Juvenile Justice System has been marked by many shifts in thinking concerning how to treat juveniles. Before the twentieth century, Juveniles were considered property and were treated the same as adults in the criminal justice system. The move away from viewing children just as property to viewing them as those in need of protection happened during Europe’s Renaissance period. The Industrial Revolution brought early child labor laws and programs designed to alleviate the ill of urbanization are precursors to the juvenile justice system of today. In the sixteenth and ...view middle of the document...

Delinquency was thought to be caused by the neighborhood, poverty, urban decay, the family, and child rearing practices. It was believed that the state could and should act in loco parentis, and was able to decide what was in the best interest for the child, and due process was unimportant and would hinder the treatment process. The level of discretion used as this time was very broad and widespread. This model was all about rehabilitation and providing juveniles with a second chance, so therefor, records were held to very strict confidentiality standards.
The next model that came along in the 1960’s and lasted until the 1980’s was the due process model. The due process changes in the juvenile justice system moved away from the idea that a child was property, and began to recognize them as a person with rights and protections. Now the juvenile courts had to provide juveniles with due process. The role of the due process was heightened due to the need to protect juveniles from abuses in the system. The goal of this system was the prevention of future delinquency, rehabilitation, and protection of a juvenile’s rights.
The Punitive model began in the 1980’s and is still present today. Under this model, the function of the system has shifted from rehabilitation to assessing the level of hard to society from the actions of a juvenile and imposing the necessary level of punishment to deter the juvenile from future delinquency. According to the punitive model certain juveniles are just a culpable as adults, and delinquency is a matter of a juvenile choosing to commit a crime. The role of the state became to act in loco parentis for the best interest of society. The ultimate goal is to prevent future delinquency through punishment, incapacitation, deterrence, and holding juveniles accountable.
I personally agree with the model we use today, which is the punitive model. I feel like the goal should be to protect society first and then figure the best way to help the delinquent. If that means putting a child murderer in jail, so be it. I feel the level of discretion needed when dealing with juveniles needs to be hight. One must first consider why, what where the circumstances, family personal and medical history; while also deciding what is the safest thing to do for all parties involved.

2. What factors predict delinquency?
The risk factors that can be used to predict delinquency can be divided into six catagories: biology and genetics, family, personality, social environment, ecological environment, and educational environment.
Biology and genetics is a set of hereditary factors that can be connected with juvenile delinquency. Race and ethnicity can be considered a sub category under biology and genetics. Some of the risk factors listed under this category are if the juvenile is a male, a child of a substance abuser, low IQ, chronic pain, lac of cultural enrichment at home, or if the racial or ethnic group values criminal behavior.

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