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History of Juvenile Court, Probation, Juvenile Confinement, and Aftercare
The juvenile court is a tribunal that has been especially delegated the authority to pass decision or judgments about the fate of the children and/or adolescents who have not attained the age of maturity and have been found involved in some illegal activity. This age of maturity is normally 18 years. In most of the countries and legal systems, children or teenagers, who commit a crime are treated differently from the adults who have committed the same offenses. The juvenile court is also known as the quasi-criminal court.
The concept of the juvenile court, also known as young offender’s court, was introduced about a century ago in the United States of America and the first juvenile court started working in the state of Illinois in 1899. Prior to that, underage or child offenders were taken e as normal offenders and the same punishment implemented on them was applicable to the adult law-breakers.
Historical Themes of Juvenile Justice
Earlier in times, before the introduction of the juvenile court system, various themes were in practice to handle the underage law-breakers. These included discovering the child, increasing the authority of the state, reform and retrenchment, get tough and go soft approaches, the threat of dangerous poor and the unsolvable nature of the youth crime (Emerson, 2017). Out of all these approaches, "go tough and go soft approaches" was the most appropriate and favorable approach in terms of the juvenile justice system.
These approaches have long been used to curb and control the crime rate in the underage criminals since a very long time especially the get tough and go soft approach. It had been implemented in the juvenile courts since 1970. Get tough was a comparatively harsher approach which intended to serve the criminals with severe punishments for their wrongdoings, while go soft approach was adopted to deal with the criminal softly and go for reformative measures to control the criminal behavior of the offender.
Philosophical Positions of Each of Four Juvenile Justice Correctional Models
Basically, the juvenile justice system relies on four types of models to get the laws and policies completely implemented. These models are as follows:
The Treatment Model
The Justice Model
The Crime Model
The Balanced and Restorative Model
All these approaches or models serve the purpose appropriately and play a very important role in the curb and control of the crime in a society. The most appropriate and effective model that has been repeatedly tested and proven to be successful in this respect is the fourth and last model; “The Balanced and Restorative Model”. This model focuses on creating a better community as well as the grooming of the young offender so that he does not turn into a full-fledged criminal when he or she grows up. It uses both the methods of punishment by confinement and individual rehabilitation through counseling.
Example of Processing of a Juvenile Offender
As it has been established earlier that the juvenile justice system differs considerably as compared to the adult justice system. The purpose of creating a spate justice system for the handling and treatment of the underage criminals is to produce better adults, and not criminals or frustrated grownups who do not believe in the fairness of justice system. An excellent example of the proceedings of a juvenile court can be seen in the form of the case of Kendall bell vs the state of Texas.
Kendall Bell had been found guilty of involvement in a robbery act with a deadly weapon. As the matter was pretty serious so the juvenile court moved the matter to the criminal justice court. The criminal justice court placed Bell on community supervision of six years. The state later found out that bell had violated his terms of community supervisions and sentenced him to a punishment of 20 years ("FindLaw's Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas case and opinions.” 2019).
Uniform Crime Report and National Crime Victimization Survey
The Uniform Crime Report is the compilation of criminal data under the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. Uniform Crime Reporting Program is an initiative taken by the FBI to collect and compile the statistical data of crime all over the nation. This program covers over 18000 centers including cities, counties, states, tribal, colleges, universities and federal law agencies ("Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics", 2019). This program was initiated by FBI to asses and keep a check on nature and the type of crimes taking place in different parts of the country and it was intended to generate reliable information to be used by the law enforcement agencies in the administrative, operational and managerial fields.
On the other hand, another effective tool gather and asses the data related to criminal activities in the country is National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) ("Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) - National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)", 2019). This survey is intended to collect data from local households regarding criminal activities in the locality.
Dimensions of Law-Violating Behaviors
There are various dimensions of law-violating behaviors but out of all of them, five of these dimensions have been noted to be the most prominent ones (Luengo, Otero, Carrillo-De-La-Pena, & Miron, 1994). These five dimensions contribute a lot in shaping up the behavior of any criminal especially the underage criminals. These five dimensions are:
Age of Onset
Transition to Adult
Although the idea of a separate tribunal seems fitting for the offenders who are under the legal age of maturity, there are some cases in which a juvenile should be tested in the adult criminal court. For example in the case when the offender has committed some grave crime like murder etc.
Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) - National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). (2019). Retrieved from https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=dcdetail&iid=245
Emerson, R. M. (2017). Judging delinquents: Context and process in juvenile court. Routledge.
FindLaw's Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas case and opinions. (2019). Retrieved from https://caselaw.findlaw.com/tx-court-of-criminal-appeals/1853830.html
Luengo, M. A., Otero, J. M., Carrillo-De-La-Pena, M. T., & Miron, L. (1994). Dimensions of antisocial behavior in juvenile delinquency: A study of personality variables. Psychology, Crime and Law, 1(1), 27-37.
Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.bjs.gov/ucrdata/abouttheucr.cfm
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