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Juvenile facilities provide intensive and specialized therapeutic programs with brilliant results. The juvenile placed in juveniles' corrections enjoy an education-centered curriculum and trained staff that functions exclusively with the juvenile offenders' population. On the contrary, those juvenile held in adult jails and prisons do not enjoy these services (Siegel 2009, 671). Understanding that juveniles hold different emotional, safety, social and physical requirements from adult offenders, guidelines requiring certified juveniles to get placements in divergent setting other than adult prisons and jails is paramount. More than sixteen states in America hold certified juveniles in juvenile corrections and not in adult prison until these offenders reach eighteen years.
Six states hold juvenile in juvenile facilities until they attain the age of 21. Pennsylvania and Virginia passed the laws requiring that juveniles, regardless of their crime, get placement in juvenile correction facilities and not in adult jails (Dietch 2011, p.11). This is because juvenile facilities as opposed to adult prisons and jails acknowledges the significance of vocational programs aimed at helping juvenile offenders fit in the society once they are out of the corrections facilities. Exclusive recreational and educational programs are present in juvenile facilities and are beneficial to those tried as juvenile and placed in juvenile correction facilities. Those tried as adults and placed in adult prisons and jails do not enjoy these facilities. Adult prison officials do not include juvenile offenders into programs established for adult offenders because of safety reasons.
Apparently, relocation of juvenile offenders to adult court system does not help in curbing juvenile crime. Instead, a community-centered devotion is paramount as it helps in handling problem linked to behaviors prior to certifying a juvenile offender as an adult. Delinquency prevention and powerful parenting besides involving juvenile in law-abiding and productive activities, is the way to go to prevent crimes among juveniles (Elrod & Ryder 2011, p.232). Children with a record of serious crime or serious offenders should face isolation from the society and taken into juvenile correction facilities to shield the public from their harm and put to remission their influence to other children. Those with mental health issues should receive services of trained mental health practitioners. Most juvenile offenders experiences mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, mental retardation to mention but a few. Others suffer from drug and alcohol abuse. From this perspective, juvenile correction staff requires adequate training in order to handle mental disorders among the young offenders (Elrod & Ryder 2011, p.232). Untrained staff only makes the problem of juvenile offenders with mental health issues worse and these offenders may stay for longer periods in corrections facilities.
It is common for juveniles accused of heinous and serious crimes to receive trial as adults. Judicial waiver facilities allow juveniles to received adult trial for serious crimes (Siegel 2010, p.467). A judge from a juvenile court can decide to waive jurisdiction and transfer a case to a criminal court where the perpetrator of the crime receives an adult trial. This process has other names, which are "certifying cases to criminal court" or "binding over." When a judge waives a case into the criminal court and the trial judge decides that the criminal is can get better service in juvenile court, the judge orders a reverse waiver. However, the reverse waiver is applicable in 25 states in America while 31 states do not allow the reverse waiver (Siegel 2010, p.467).
One of the greatest fears of trying juveniles as adults is that juveniles will serve their jail term in adult prisons where they get exposure to adults who are experienced criminals. Such children will learn how to perform serious crimes besides becoming targets for adult predators. Juveniles held in adult jails and prisons experiences 5 times risks of becoming victims of attempted rapes or sexual attacks compared to those held in juvenile correction facilities (Siegel 2010, p.467). The suicide rate for children held in adult jails and prisons is almost 8 times higher than those of children held in juvenile detention centers.
Some Juvenile tried as adults spend their time in adult jails and may become involved in adults' day-to-day life. Such children do not get adequate education, counseling, treatment and mentoring provided in juvenile facilities, which are small with much lower staff-to-inmate ratios. Although some adult jails and prisons offer access to education and treatment, young offenders lose on building the comparatively helpful, mentoring centered style of intimate-staff interactions offered in juvenile facilities. According to Siegel (2010, p.468), direct waiver rules hold little effect on juvenile violent crime rates. Moreover, children waived to adult courts receive harsher punishment and are risky and unable to get rehabilitation. Waived juveniles spend more time in juvenile correction facilities awaiting trial. Transfer decisions are not fair and proof has it that minorities get judicial waiver to adult court system at greater rate than their population representation. Over 40% of all waived juveniles are African-Americans (Siegel 2010, p.468).
The problems of juveniles processed in adult justice systems a critical one. Approximately eight thousand juvenile delinquency cases get relocations to adult justice system each year (Siegel 2010, p.467). While some people consider the waiver procedure as a suitable technique for getting the most severe juvenile offenders off the streets, others view it a detrimental to juvenile offenders. If a child injuries someone with a weapon, or has a long record in the juvenile court, chances are that such a child will face adult trial. Waiver decision has its supporters, but scores of experts questions its usefulness. Opponents of waiver argue that waiver holds more harm than good to the child, community and the entire society (Siegel 2010, p.467).
Deitch, M 2011. Juveniles in the adult criminal justice system in Texas.…[continue]
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