Juvenile Corrections Research Paper

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Juvenile Corrections

Juvenile delinquency is a common phenomenon in the globe today. Owing to the severe crimes, committed, different states handle the matter differently. On one hand, some states utilize the "punitive approach" that prioritizes crime control, punishment, and incarceration; on another, the restorative model, which stresses human rights, youth development research, and restoring the community. In the United States, the law does not tolerate juvenile delinquency; this explains the utilization of the "punitive approach" when handling juveniles. In addition, policies in the U.S. are becoming more punitive; therefore, juveniles have found themselves tried in the adult legal system. However, in the recent past, the U.S. has re-considered the death and life without parole sentences for juveniles, which it has termed as unconstitutional. Apparently, the state is gradually applying some human rights principles in relation to juvenile justice policy, a positive move, indeed (Caldwell, 2011).

Background

During the 19th century, juveniles received similar sentences to those of adults, a case that applies to date. However, the case is different across states and continents, but some people feel that juveniles are mature, and they are conscious of their criminal activities; therefore, the law should not treat them differently, either way. Numerous studies on juvenile justice suggest that there are better ways to "punish" juveniles, rather than trying them through the adult legal system, a practice that predisposes them to adverse effects.

A typical example is embracing the rehabilitative approach, which will help the juveniles in correcting their delinquent behavior. In order to accomplish the desired goals, there is a need to integrate social services who will work with the juveniles to meet the needs of individual juveniles that find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Most importantly, such approaches will help social workers to determine the causes of the delinquent behaviors expressed by these juveniles. In addition, the state has initiated programs aimed at reducing the recidivism rates, a common aspect experienced by juvenile offenders from correction facilities (Perlin, 2013).

Therefore, the state initiated programs such as the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI), which aimed at reducing the recidivism rates of juveniles, and other offenders across correctional facilities. Empirical evidence suggests that the program had a long-term influence for juvenile offenders returning to their communities after serving their terms. Nevertheless, such a program is cost-effective, and they can help shape some policies associated with juvenile offenders. Most importantly, the programs have proved effective in keeping young offenders out of prison and conversely help them to stay out of prison by becoming productive members of the community, an aspect that can save the correctional institutions costs (Wells and Hermon, 2013).

Alternatives to confinement

Confining juveniles is costly, and it is not likely to reduce the future criminal activities because when they are in confinement, the youth are likely to become hardened and enhance their criminal activities once they serve their terms. Therefore, the state should look for other ways instead of confinement. Typical alternatives include community services, which will allow the young offender to live at or near their homes. Other alternatives are intensive supervision, electronic monitoring, counseling, and therapy, education, and secure facilities. Nevertheless, juveniles in confinement go through harm, which makes them fail to become changed individuals. In addition, the juvenile justice system will need reforms and restructuring, in reference to the model below, in order to achieve the overall desired goals of reducing incarceration rates of young offenders.

A simple model for an effective Juvenile Justice System

Intensive Probation Supervision involves releasing the juvenile to their community, but the court provides strict rules that the individual must follow. Unlike the common probation, in this one, there is no confinement. If the young offender fails to rules provided by the court, they can risk re-arrest. In addition, the officer in charge has less caseload; therefore, they spend more time with the juveniles talking sense to them. In this way, it is less costly when compared to the other probation and confinement. Out of home placement is more or less a correctional facility, but unlike the correctional facility, the place has social workers, counselors and therapists who are there to assist the offender in changing. Interestingly, the electronic monitoring, which…

Sources Used in Document:

References

Abrams, L.S., Kim, K., & Anderson-Nathe, B. (2005). Paradoxes of treatment in the juvenile corrections. Child and youth car form, 34(1), 7-25.

Caldwell, B. (2011). Punishment vs. restoration: A comparative analysis of juvenile delinquency law in the United States and Mexico.

Hirth, D. (2001). Early intensive help for high-risk juveniles. Corrections today, 80-83.

Perlin, M. (2013). Collaborative justice. Criminology and Law Enforcement, 1-3.

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