Transformation of the Juvenile Justice System

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Transformation of the Juvenile Justice System

The juvenile justice system is a formal arrangement by the government that is meant to deal and handle children who engage in crimes that conflict the law. This structure takes into consideration the juveniles rights and their best interests in how cases are handled. Since the past, responses toward juvenile crimes have been based on punishment and rehabilitative approaches (Monaham et al. p.588). For the last two decades, the juvenile system in the state have shown changes and demonstrated that the use of secure institutions as a response to the behaviour of young youth, produces poor results at very high costs (Seigle et al. p.8). Thus this calls for an effort to transform the system through; abolishing the whole system and reinvesting in community-oriented programs and reducing racial and ethnic disparities.

The adoption of a community-based alternative will help in reducing the costs incurred. The system uses a lot of money to maintain the jails and in confining the high number of youths jailed each year. Most of them are exposed to unfavourable conditions resulting in high rates of recidivism. With the increased drug use among juveniles and rise in their gangs, this program will help serve the youth safely in their communities. It has been proved to be cost-effect (Patrick et al. p. 2). A program like this, when implemented, will favour both the government system and the offenders.

Another form of transformation that needs to be addressed is a decrease in racism and ethnism. Most youths of colour are underrepresented in court and thus charged with cases that lead to their confinement in jail (Leiber et al. p. 589). The theme of discrimination is depicted here and may lead to innocent youths getting being jailed for cases not committed. Correction towards this issue may be achieved through; engaging juvenile justice practitioners to look into it and to work together with community members such as the advocates. Equality will ensure that all races are fully represented in court.

The transformation of the juvenile system will help in ensuring that the juveniles are handled carefully. Favourable conditions in community-based programs will encourage continued growth among the youths. Also, it will ensure that minors are held accountable for their actions through programs such as community services. The above suggestions may play a part in ensuring the future of the juvenile justice system is achieved.

Works Cited

Leiber, Michael J., and Rebecca Fix. “Reflections on the impact of race and ethnicity on juvenile court outcomes and efforts to enact change.” American journal of criminal justice 44.4 (2019): 581-608.

McCarthy, Patrick, Vincent N. Schiraldi, and Miriam Shark. “The Future of Youth Justice: A Community Based Alternative to the Youth Prison Model.” (2016).

Monahan, Kathryn, Laurence Steinberg, and Alex R. Piquero. “Juvenile justice policy and practice: A developmental perspective.” Crime and justice 44.1 (2015): 577-619.

Seigle, Elizabeth, Nastassia Walsh, and Josh Weber. Core principles for reducing recidivism and improving other outcomes for youth in the juvenile justice system. Council of State Governments, 2014.

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