Justice for Juveniles Essay Case Assignment
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Justice for Juveniles Essay Case Assignment
I choose this topic because the crimes committed by juvenile are on the rise, and too many of our young children are committing adult crimes. An estimated 250,000 minors are prosecuted annually through the adult justice system. With such a high number, it is high time that the matter of punishing these underage offenders be discussed and sorted out. We need not ratchet and self-minded people, but professional and willing stakeholders to handle this. Drawing suggestions and experts globally, solutions to the challenge of dealing with the escalating numbers of young criminals should be invented.
From a personal perspective, I prefer minors not being tried as adults. Though most people are of the opinion that these criminals should receive harsher penalties proportional to their crimes in the adult criminal system, I beg to differ. While addressing law-enforcers, judicial officers and the public, I would argue out my case based on the fact that extensive research on the effect of stricter laws remains to be seen. However, majority of the reformers under the juvenile system are known to pursue a less complicated life after their shortcomings as compared to those in the adult system.
Two criminologists, Simon Singer and David McDowell conducted a research on juveniles in New York. Their conclusion that the threat of adult criminal sanctions has no effect on the levels of serious crime juveniles supports my opinion. In fact, the adult system makes little difference in deterring juveniles from reoffending but increases their chance of committing crimes (Scott & Steinberg, 2010).
Similarly, two social scientists, Linda Metsger and Eric Jensen, obtained non-conflicting results in Idaho. They carried out the effects of the Transfer Statute of 1981 passed in the state.
Young people who had committed serious crimes including mayhem, robbery, attempted murder, murder and forcible rape had been tried as adults. Shockingly, there was no evidence that their sentences had any effect as far as crime was concerned (Jensen & Metsger, 1994).
Large-scale studies show juveniles with harsher punishments tried as adults are not scared and tend to reoffend sooner and more often than those tried in the juvenile system (Bishop, Winner, Lanza-Kaduce & Frazier, 1997). Negative experiences and behavior in the adult prisons are adapted by the minors. From homosexuality, bullying and inhumane acts seen in prisons, the young minors tend to use others, once released, as ‘lab rats’ to see how it feels.
When juveniles are detained in adult facilities they are denied of programs that can correct their behaviors. Most adult facilities lack education centers where they can enroll and further their education which is an avenue to ensure the young offenders become productive members. This creates the need for young offenders to be detained in juvenile centers regardless of their crime, to institutions that can offer juvenile behavior change programs. Such institutions have the capacity to enhance behavioral change in adults’ more than adult detention facilities which instead make juvenile offenders graduate to more heinous crimes.
More than 50% of people believe crime, not the perpetrator’s age, should be used to determine the sentences. It is important to note that most juvenile offences are done due to the young offenders not being able to think rationally leading to their wrong decisions. This can be attributed to their young age, and if the juveniles are placed in
correct juvenile systems then there are the high chances that they will mature in their reasoning and minimize on recidivism in the future. A Texas study conducted in 1996 found that juveniles in adult court received longer terms than they would have in juvenile courts (Ross, 2012). Interestingly, the juveniles were also likely to serve only a
fraction of their sentences.
Rehabilitation in juvenile detention centers, as compared to punishment in adult centers, give the young criminals a second chance. They receive guidance and get an opportunity to reform after carefully thinking about their actions. However, light sentences do not teach kids lessons. This is simply because minors are more sophisticated
at a younger age (Bishop, Winner, Lanza-Kaduce & Frazier, 1997).
Juvenile correction system should have the objective of changing the young delinquent into a productive member of the society. Systems that have been put in place to rehabilitate juveniles are meant to benefit them. For example, a delinquent may be ordered to attend school or work as a way of keeping busy while in the juvenile
detention. Professional counseling and community service are also programs in the juvenile systems. Such initiatives contribute to the reforming process of a delinquent. Detention facilities usually cram all types of offenders together from minor offenders to high profile young criminals. If the detention facility does not incorporate extra
behavior change programs to change the juvenile’s behavior, then the results of detention facility will be to expose the minor offenders to heavier crimes and make increase the chances of crime recidivism. Alternative forms of detentions such as enlisting the juveniles into community services and other alternate programs it will help the
state to reduce reliance on secure confinement which is more expensive, improves public safety, reduces racial bias in juvenile facilities, helps save tax payer money that would otherwise fund the expensive juvenile program and which has shown more reforms in the justice system (Price, 2009).
Among the measures that have been found to be actually effective in enhancing behavior change includes Cognitive behavior therapies. In this therapy process, juveniles or other inmates are taken through a psychotherapeutic to address patients with maladaptive or dysfunctional emotions. Most causes of delinquent or juvenile behaviors
are usually caused by unbalanced emotions, negative peer influence, drug induced behaviors and unsupportive families or communities. Punishing the juveniles has been the traditional method preferred by most institutions as many believe that crime is crime regardless of the age of the convict. Socials scientists have carried out
numerous studies and found that though practiced in most countries and institutions, does not lead to improved behavior change in the juveniles.
The CBT process employs various problem focused and action oriented measures to help address the specific problem. It is a therapy where the patients are given alternatives to enhance behavior change. It is an avenue to give the culprits an opportunity for behavior modification. The CBT program involves the juveniles getting engaged
in the behavior changing process and thus feels more attached to the program, which increases the chances of the behavior correction process being successful (McKenna, 2009). The advantage of the CBT program is that it can be incorporated into a detention facility and will just require extra psychology staff.
Statistics indicate that black juveniles are more likely to be taken to adult courts than their white peers with comparable crimes. Simply, the system is more vulnerable to racism (Ross, 2012). Having all these in mind, is it really in the interest of justice and these delinquents to try them in the adult system? Is there any gain or is it the feeling
of punishment that engulfs these young criminals?
Critics may and have in numerous cases opposed the juvenile system but it remains to be the most efficient and unchallenged until a better one is initiated.
Bishop, D., Winner, L., Lanza-Kaduce, L. & Frazier, C. (1997). The transfer of juveniles to criminal court: Reexamining recidivism over the long term. A journal on Crime and Delinquency.
Jensen, E. & Metsger, L. (1994). “A Test to the Deterrent Effect of the Legislative Waiver on Violent Juvenile Crime. Crime and Justice Journal.
McKenna, P. (2009). “Cognitive behavioral therapy for major psychiatric disorder: Does it really work? A meta-analytical review of well-controlled trials”. Psychological Medicine.
Price, J. (2009). “Cognitive-behavioral Therapy in Severe Mental Illness”. Psychiatric Times.
Ross, R. (2012). Juvenile in Justice. Richard Ross Photography publishers.
Scott, E. & Steinberg, L. (2010). Rethinking Juvenile Justice. Harvard University press.
Justice for Juveniles Essay Case Assignment
QUALITY OF RESPONSE NO RESPONSE POOR / UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT Content (worth a maximum of 50% of the total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 20 points out of 50: The essay illustrates poor understanding of the relevant material by failing to address or incorrectly addressing the relevant content; failing to identify or inaccurately explaining/defining key concepts/ideas; ignoring or incorrectly explaining key points/claims and the reasoning behind them; and/or incorrectly or inappropriately using terminology; and elements of the response are lacking. 30 points out of 50: The essay illustrates a rudimentary understanding of the relevant material by mentioning but not full explaining the relevant content; identifying some of the key concepts/ideas though failing to fully or accurately explain many of them; using terminology, though sometimes inaccurately or inappropriately; and/or incorporating some key claims/points but failing to explain the reasoning behind them or doing so inaccurately. Elements of the required response may also be lacking. 40 points out of 50: The essay illustrates solid understanding of the relevant material by correctly addressing most of the relevant content; identifying and explaining most of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology; explaining the reasoning behind most of the key points/claims; and/or where necessary or useful, substantiating some points with accurate examples. The answer is complete. 50 points: The essay illustrates exemplary understanding of the relevant material by thoroughly and correctly addressing the relevant content; identifying and explaining all of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology explaining the reasoning behind key points/claims and substantiating, as necessary/useful, points with several accurate and illuminating examples. No aspects of the required answer are missing. Use of Sources (worth a maximum of 20% of the total points). Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references. Or the student failed to submit a final paper. 5 out 20 points: Sources are seldom cited to support statements and/or format of citations are not recognizable as APA 6th Edition format. There are major errors in the formation of the references and citations. And/or there is a major reliance on highly questionable. The Student fails to provide an adequate synthesis of research collected for the paper. 10 out 20 points: References to scholarly sources are occasionally given; many statements seem unsubstantiated. Frequent errors in APA 6th Edition format, leaving the reader confused about the source of the information. There are significant errors of the formation in the references and citations. And/or there is a significant use of highly questionable sources. 15 out 20 points: Credible Scholarly sources are used effectively support claims and are, for the most part, clear and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition is used with only a few minor errors. There are minor errors in reference and/or citations. And/or there is some use of questionable sources. 20 points: Credible scholarly sources are used to give compelling evidence to support claims and are clearly and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition format is used accurately and consistently. The student uses above the maximum required references in the development of the assignment. Grammar (worth maximum of 20% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 5 points out of 20: The paper does not communicate ideas/points clearly due to inappropriate use of terminology and vague language; thoughts and sentences are disjointed or incomprehensible; organization lacking; and/or numerous grammatical, spelling/punctuation errors 10 points out 20: The paper is often unclear and difficult to follow due to some inappropriate terminology and/or vague language; ideas may be fragmented, wandering and/or repetitive; poor organization; and/or some grammatical, spelling, punctuation errors 15 points out of 20: The paper is mostly clear as a result of appropriate use of terminology and minimal vagueness; no tangents and no repetition; fairly good organization; almost perfect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word usage. 20 points: The paper is clear, concise, and a pleasure to read as a result of appropriate and precise use of terminology; total coherence of thoughts and presentation and logical organization; and the essay is error free. Structure of the Paper (worth 10% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 3 points out of 10: Student needs to develop better formatting skills. The paper omits significant structural elements required for and APA 6th edition paper. Formatting of the paper has major flaws. The paper does not conform to APA 6th edition requirements whatsoever. 5 points out of 10: Appearance of final paper demonstrates the student’s limited ability to format the paper. There are significant errors in formatting and/or the total omission of major components of an APA 6th edition paper. They can include the omission of the cover page, abstract, and page numbers. Additionally the page has major formatting issues with spacing or paragraph formation. Font size might not conform to size requirements. The student also significantly writes too large or too short of and paper 7 points out of 10: Research paper presents an above-average use of formatting skills. The paper has slight errors within the paper. This can include small errors or omissions with the cover page, abstract, page number, and headers. There could be also slight formatting issues with the document spacing or the font Additionally the paper might slightly exceed or undershoot the specific number of required written pages for the assignment. 10 points: Student provides a high-caliber, formatted paper. This includes an APA 6th edition cover page, abstract, page number, headers and is double spaced in 12’ Times Roman Font. Additionally, the paper conforms to the specific number of required written pages and neither goes over or under the specified length of the paper.
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