Free «Juvenile Justice» Essay
In many countries, as well as in many states in the USA, the criminal justice system is advancing day after day. Many states allow juvenile offender to be tried and punished as adults. In other states, juvenile crime brought the development and adoption of policies that are rather tough with regard to juvenile justice. However, there are better methods of handling young offenders. These are the ways that are less costly and more effective than the ones imposing tough sentences and prosecuting them as adults. Prosecuting young offenders as adults is not an effective and appropriate way of punishing them because little consideration is given in criminal court to how adolescents behave and to their ability to comprehend the results of their deeds. In addition, young people are still adopting different modes of contact and behavior. Therefore, making them serve a sentence together with adult criminals gives them a chance to mingle with dangerous criminals. In the prisons, they can learn and adopt the culture of crime and choose to become criminal in the future. It will lead to the development of anti-social behavior and increase the rate of crimes through increasing the number of criminals. While determining the nature of punishment to inflict on a minor offender, it is important to consider different factors, such as maturity, education and development factors. A family history of the offender is also important since it is a factor that contributes towards child’s development. Criminal courts do not take these factors into consideration since the laws that are used in such courts are meant for adults who are fully developed and free from any nature of influence. Adolescents can commit crimes because of the emotional and physical changes that occur in their bodies and social influences. Therefore, trying them and punishing them as adult offenders is not a good solution to this problem (Greenwood, 2008).
Various researches and practices have outlined a number of methods that are rather effective and beneficial in addressing juvenile crimes. These methods involve a collective responsibility of the government, family, schools and members of the general public. Among the most applicable ones are: proper education, recreation, community involvement, different programs, family therapy and correctional youth facilities.
The government should provide education schedules that will be run in the school institutions to enlighten young people about crimes and the factors that make people commit crimes. It will enable the young people to understand different forms of crimes and how to avoid them. In addition, parents and family members should be taught on how to raise their children in a healthy way through explaining them the negative effects of guns, drugs, weapons and sex at young age (Fagan, 2008). The programs will provide young people with the necessary awareness of what they do and its consequences.
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The youth should be introduced to recreational activities they could attend after the school. The activities should be unsupervised to enable the youths to think and deal with the challenges that they encounter (Grisso, 2008). Many juvenile crimes are committed during the holidays and after the school. Therefore, the recreation programs will keep the young people engaged after the school, and hence, avoid the crime. Recreation programs may include: sports, music, drama, clubbing, dancing, karate and many more.
The youth should be engaged in various community activities. Such engagement will enable them to interrelate with the adults and establish a safe social environment. The interactions should be established during boy scout and girl scout camps, volunteer groups and church youth group activities.
Training programs for parent-child interaction should be introduced as well. In these programs, parents are trained on how to raise their children in a better way. The parents become equipped with the skills that enable them to raise their children and prepare them for a healthy future. They are exposed to the major challenges of behavior that make young people engage in criminal activities and they are shown the ways through which they can prevent their children from engaging in crimes (Gardner, 2002). These programs give parents the necessary skills to interact with their children in diverse circumstances and explain how to answer to the behavior of a child when it is positive and negative. The programs reduce aggression, children’s anxious behavior, attention deficit and hyperactivity in children.
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Bullying is among the main issues that make young people abandon the school and engage in different forms of crimes. Therefore, the government and school administration should introduce some effective strategies that will bring bullying to an end. Without bullying, campuses and high schools will offer a good environment to all students where they will enjoy studying and participate in the important programs that will benefit their future.
Furthermore, different creative programs are to be developed by the juvenile justice systems. The young people who commit crimes should be assisted by the juvenile justice systems through the help of the intervention assistance teams. Through the justice systems, the government should assist the young people to receive drug rehabilitation. Most of the young people who commit crimes do it when under the influence of drugs (Bishop, 2000). Therefore, it is significant for the state to provide trainers who will help the youth to stop the abuse of drugs and other substances and enable them to operate without any influence. Counseling is also essential in giving to the young people who are engaged in criminal activities a chance to realize the problems that committing a crime can cause. Counseling will make the young people realize that crimes have bitter consequences that can harm somebody else’s and their own life. In addition, the young people should be given opportunities to study while being in correctional facilities. These are the educational programs that will help them develop important professional skills. With these skills, the young people will be able to become busy and earn some money for their living without engaging in crime activities.
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